Types of Teachers (36 Examples)

by Dave

How many types of teachers do you think there are? I break the types of teachers into categories: elementary school teachers, secondary teachers, and post-secondary teachers. For each one, I go through and give a brief description of each kind of teacher. Find your favorite teacher.

Below you will find a list of some of the most common types of teachers in U.S. education.

Drama Teacher

Drama teachers help students learn about performances. These performances involve areas such as opera, ballet, play or even mime. They are performed live, on television, on the radio, or even online. Drama is composed of either verse or prose and presented through acting or dialogue to tell a story involving an interweaving plot.

elementary teachers Young asian woman teacher teaching kids in kindergarten classroom preschool education concept

Types of Teachers (Elementary)

The list below contains the types of teachers at the elementary level.

Elementary Art Teacher

Elementary art teachers help young learners to develop their own sense of artistic expression and gain an appreciation for art. Many art teachers specialize in a certain medium, but they frequently use others to supplement their lessons. These teachers help to lay the groundwork with students for higher levels of art at a later age.

Elementary English Teacher

Elementary English teachers help students to practice and solidify their basic language skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and pronunciation. Types of goals for elementary English include communicating in short routine conversations, writing simple descriptions of events, and being able to ask and respond to simple and familiar questions.

Elementary Foreign Language Teacher

Elementary foreign language teachers often introduce young learners to their first language that is not English. These teachers have the task of teaching students the basics of a new language, such as a new alphabet and numbers. As with the English teacher above, these teachers also have to work on reading, writing, listening, speaking, and pronunciation.

Elementary History Teacher

Elementary history teachers introduce young students to the basics about history, such as national, state, local and global history. At the elementary level, most of the history instruction will focus on facts and memorization of famous individuals, dates, and locations. Students will often learn their history through a lens from the United States’ point of view.

Elementary Mathematics Teacher

Elementary mathematics teachers focus on introductory topics for students who have learned how to identify their numbers. This is the first opportunity for students to use numbers beyond simply learning their names and shapes. The five basic strands of elementary mathematics are number sense & numeration, measurement, geometry & spatial sense, patterning & algebra, and data management & probability.

Elementary Music Teacher

Elementary music teachers first introduce students to the study of music. Often, this instruction begins with developing a sense of a steady beat and matching pitch. Students are then introduced to musical concepts and vocabulary. The young learners can also then progress to learning to play instruments. These teachers help students build and enrich their knowledge of music.

Elementary Physical Education Teacher

Elementary physical education teachers oversee the physical activities of young learners. It is important to optimize students’ physical activity during their education, so they can achieve their daily physical activity recommendations. Typically, this instruction begins with games that require running, jumping, etc. and then evolves into sports with more complicated rules as the students age. The instruction moves from focusing only on the physical activity to more detailed understandings of gaming rules and sportsmanship.

Elementary Science Teacher

Elementary science teachers introduce students to the science that surrounds them in their daily lives. Everything from the bus that the students ride on to school to the television that they watch before they leave home are a result of science. All of the systems of their lives have been specifically designed. These teachers introduce the students to a basic understanding of these systems. Perhaps even more importantly, they help the students move beyond understanding their daily lives to an understanding of the scientific method. Learners will use this understanding throughout the rest of their education.

Elementary Social Studies Teacher

Elementary social studies teachers help their students to learn about the broad areas of social studies, such as history, geography, and other social sciences. This level of instruction moves beyond the basics of history and dives into an understanding of people. The children learn about groups of people relative to themselves, their families, homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

Elementary Technology Teacher

Elementary technology teachers introduce students to the basics of technology in either a classroom or laboratory setting. The type of instruction for these students can range from teaching basic computer skills to learning how to design applications. In addition to the actual technologies that students use, they are also taught about methods for discovering solutions using these technological means. Creative thinking is strongly encouraged in this instruction.

General Education Teacher

General education teachers develop a program of education for students that they should receive, usually according to state and/or federal standards. They teach across multiple disciplines to ensure an acceptable level of proficiency for students. Developing learners need a wide array of skills and introductions to many different subjects, these instructors provide those to the students.

Gifted Education Teacher

Gifted Education teachers, often referred to as Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) or Talented and Gifted (TAG), work with students who have been identified as gifted or talented. Typically, these learners are identified as having higher levels of aptitude than their fellow students or having greater competence in one or more domains of learning. The federal government does not regulate these programs, so they can vary drastically by location.

Secondary teachers teacher with high school students

Types of Teachers (Secondary)

The list below contains the types of teachers at the secondary level.

Secondary Art Teacher

Secondary art teachers guide students as they move from a basic understanding and appreciation of art to a very developed sense of artistic expression. The learners are led from basic art concepts into more advanced applications. Students at this level can also begin to improve in a specific artistic area. The learners can then continue to pursue this area either in the workforce, upon graduation, or at the postsecondary level.

Secondary English Teacher

Secondary English teachers can instruct students in a specific area, such as composition, or they may work with students across a variety of subjects. Some of these subjects include English, American and world literature; reading; creative writing; poetry; and prose. These instructors may also teach journalism or specialized writing.

Secondary Foreign Language Teacher

Secondary foreign language teachers work with their students to improve their language skills outside of the English language. For many students in the United States, this is the first level of foreign language instruction. So the courses typically begin with very introductory topics, such as alphabet and numbers. As students complete their secondary education, some of them have moved to an intermediate level of foreign language proficiency.

Secondary History Teacher

Secondary history teachers lead students through a study of past events in the United States and from around the world. Their curriculum can cover a wide range of topics from recent and current events to ancient history. At this level, the instructors begin to ask the students to look at events from differing perspectives. The teachers help students to understand the importance of historical events and figures, both nationally and globally.

Secondary Mathematics Teacher

Secondary mathematics teachers work with students to help them develop critical-thinking abilities through gaining a better understanding of mathematics concepts. These instructors move from the five basic strands to move complicated methods and formulas.

Secondary Music Teacher

Secondary music teachers help students learn about general music, instrumental, voice or choral, or a combination of these topics. The instructors can work with an entire class or at the one-on-one level with their students. Music teachers need a high level of creativity and patience to help students move from a basic understanding of music to practical application.

Secondary Physical Education Teacher

Secondary physical education teachers are responsible for the physical well-being of their students. They lead the physical activities that help students improve their academic productivity and learning. At this level, the instructors also teach the students advanced concepts of sportsmanship, teamwork and athletic ethics. The teachers spend considerable time teaching the students the basic rules and play styles of the most common sports.

Secondary Science Teacher

Secondary science teachers spend the majority of their work hours developing and delivering the curriculum for their classroom. Most secondary science teachers specialize in one specific concentration, such as chemistry or physics. However, at smaller schools or schools with smaller budgets, these instructors can be asked to teach more than one specialty. They help students move from a basic understanding of the world around them to understanding more complex scientific theories.

Secondary Social Studies Teacher

Secondary social studies teachers teach broad areas such as history, economics, civics, government, economics, or current events. Depending on the institution, the instructor can teach in only one of these specialties or in more than one. These instructors are tasked with helping secondary learners move from memorizing facts to gaining a deeper understanding of the interconnectivity of the different people and regions of the world.

Secondary Technology Teacher

Secondary technology teachers help students gain a more in-depth understanding of the technology that they encounter in their daily lives. Of all the types of teachers, this is one of the newest ones. Students have more access to technology than ever before, so these instructors can help them navigate our digital world.

Speech Therapy Teacher

Speech therapy teachers work with students that may have language disabilities, voice impairments, stuttering, articulation, or other issues. These instructors work with the students to prevent communication problems from developing into lifelong issues. Speech therapists also help children with other conditions like auditory processing disorder and dyslexia.

Postsecondary Speaker lecturing in lecture hall at university Students listening to lecture and making notes

Types of Teachers (Postsecondary)

The list below contains the types of teachers at the postsecondary level.

Postsecondary Art Teacher

Postsecondary art teachers typically focus in a specialization in one medium. For example, an instructor may focus in photography or ceramics. Unlike many other subjects, most of the focus during the class will be on the physical construction or creation of something. This can be spread over several smaller projects or over a semester-spanning culminating project. These teachers help their learners prepare to enter the workforce as professional artists.

Postsecondary English Teacher

Postsecondary English teachers help their students transition from their previous focus on grammar and vocabulary to more advanced themes, such as essay writing. Students will be expected to already understand the basics of English, such as syntax and sentence structure, and will be asked to produce more advanced works, like research based writing. Students will use the skills developed in this course, typically taken during the first semester or year, throughout the rest of their postsecondary education.

Postsecondary Foreign Language Teacher

Postsecondary foreign language teachers work with learners at various stages of their foreign language acquisition. Contrasted with elementary and secondary education, some learners now have advanced knowledge of the second language. At the postsecondary level, foreign language teachers can offer everything from introductory courses that teach the alphabet to advanced courses focused on detailed grammar, language history, or content creation.

Postsecondary History Teacher

Postsecondary history teachers challenge their students to begin to understand and interact with history in new ways. At the postsecondary level, history courses are no using state-mandated textbooks or standardized tests. Instead, the instructor will ask the students to move beyond themselves and their understanding of history to envision other people living in other times and places.

Postsecondary Mathematics Teacher

Postsecondary mathematics teachers help their students move beyond a simple plug and play understanding of mathematics. For example, rather than giving students an entire worksheet of problems to solve, they may instead be given a single theory to study for the entire week and be asked to reproduce a proof. These teachers ask their students to focus more on the theories behind our understanding of mathematics instead of simply memorizing routine transactions.

Postsecondary Music Teacher

Postsecondary music teachers typically have a very focused specialty, such as percussion. At the postsecondary level, these instructors help their students to learn detailed information about their subject matter. Students will focus on a certain area of expertise and will delve into theories and advanced applications.

Postsecondary Physical Education Teacher

Postseconcary physical education teachers have a different focus than their elementary and secondary counterparts. Rather than focusing on the physical activity and development of children and adolescents, these instructors are teaching the next generation of physical education teachers. Postsecondary instructors have students who will then go on and work directly with younger students after graduation. This instruction focuses on best practices and methods for leading physical activities for young learners.

Postsecondary Science Teacher

Postsecondary science teachers inspire their students to work in a specific field of science. At this level, the instructors are teaching very specialized courses. At a minimum, these teachers will lead a class focused on a discipline, such as biology, but may also lead a much more focused one, such as advanced micro-biology.

Postsecondary Social Studies Teacher

Postsecondary social studies teachers help their students learn about one or more of the social sciences. The seven areas typically considered a social science are: psychology, sociology, political science, history, geography, economics, and anthropology. Most of these teachers have developed a specialty in one of these areas and can lead classes that range from an introduction to the topic to a very specifically focused upper level course.

Postsecondary Technology Teacher

Postsecondary technology teachers help students learn about the different areas of information technology (IT). The courses can range from an introductory topic to advanced topic for students seeking an IT degree. These instructors prepare their students for careers in many different information technology fields, such as cloud architecture, web development, software engineering, and computer forensic investigation.

Reading Specialist Teacher

Reading specialist teachers have in-depth knowledge about teaching reading to students. These teachers determine which students need their attention. They will then work directly with the struggling learner. The instructors work with them either individually or in small groups. These teachers focus on helping students improve their reading skills.

Further Reading Beyond Types of Teachers

That is a list of some of the most common types of teachers in U.S. education. You can find other articles about education here on Dave4Math.

You may also want to read this article on the types of teaching methods.