Skip to content Skip to Live Chat
Close Nav

Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

Second-Grade Teacher Career Guide

How to Become a Second-Grade Teacher

Responsible for teaching a comprehensive variety of concepts to their students, second-grade teachers maintain a wide range of duties in their classrooms. From curriculum development to parent correspondence, second-grade teachers are directly responsible for the formation of students from a young age.

Becoming a teacher is the right move for individuals with a knack for organization, a passion for elementary education, and patience for students and their parents. While the process to become a teacher might be relatively complex, the goal of a second-grade teacher remains simple: to inform a student’s education, behavior, and aspirations in a changing world.

Group Of Elementary Age Children In Art Class With Teacher

What Does a Second-Grade Teacher Do?

Second-grade teachers are responsible for a variety of tasks, many of which contribute either to in-class education or preparatory lesson planning. The exact duties of a second-grade teacher can include:

  • Preparing lesson plans for daily education.
  • Deciding on technology-integration methods that introduce students to education-based technology.
  • Attending educational workshops that inform second-grade teachers on optimal teaching habits and practices.
  • Encouraging positive in-class interactions between students.
  • Creating and maintaining a classroom environment that creates a non-judgmental setting for all students.
  • Solving student issues as they arise.
  • Communicating with parents of students to discuss a student’s in-class behavior, academic progress, and future goals.

These responsibilities and others represent a majority of a second-grade teacher’s day-to-day tasks. 

What Is a Second-Grade Teacher?

Second-grade teachers wear many hats in modern academics. As primary educators, they are responsible for imparting a basic understanding of math, science, history, language, and other core courses. As protectors, they work hard to keep their students safe from any risks inside or outside of the classroom. As advocates, second-grade teachers dare their students to pursue big dreams.

Modern second-grade teachers are also largely responsible for the appropriate integration of technology into the classroom. Without overwhelming young students with technology at every avenue, second-grade teachers strive to strike a balance between traditional learning and the use of online resources.

What Is Taught in Second Grade?

Students in second grade learn a variety of basic concepts. These may include:

  • Mathematical concepts like identifying and writing numbers to one hundred, two-digit subtraction, and basic calculator functionality.
  • Scientific concepts like the states of matter, characteristics of electricity, common animal and plant features, and the differences between bodies of water.
  • Language-arts concepts like enhanced vocabulary words and sounds, sight reading, and the use of root words to help break down compound words.
  • History and social studies concepts like family trees, famous American figures, and the differences between countries.
  • Artistic concepts like simple hand drawings, charcoal art, and the creation of secondary and tertiary colors with primary colors.

Other subjects—such as music and physical education—also account for portions of a second-grade curriculum.

What Education Does a Second-Grade Teacher Need?

If you are pursuing a career as a second-grade teacher, you will need a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. You’ll need to ensure your degree will lead to licensure in your state and will prepare you for the certification exam and process. Across the country, a bachelor’s degree is required to become licensed to teach. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a master’s of arts in teaching that will similarly prepare you for teaching licensure.

Second-grade teachers will become familiar with the specifics of social and emotional learning, classroom diversity inclusion, and connecting with different types of learners, through eight individual master’s courses designed to help aspiring second-grade teachers master their profession.

Best Degrees for Second-Grade Teachers

Elementary Education – B.A.

An online teacher certification program for aspiring elementary...

An online teacher certification program for...

An online teacher certification program for aspiring elementary teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching certification in your state.

  • Time: 60% of grads earned this degree within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,825 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this program often include:

  • Aspiring elementary school teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This elementary education degree program includes courses in the foundations of teacher education, instructional planning and presentation, assessment, and classroom management. Core teacher education courses focus on diversity, disciplinary literacy, elementary education methods, and pedagogy. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time student teaching. This online teaching degree program helps you to be eligible for teaching certification in any of the 50 states.

Teaching, Elementary Education – M.A.

An online master's of arts in education degree and teacher...

An online master's of arts in education degree...

An online master's of arts in education degree and teacher certification program for aspiring elementary school teachers who already have a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching field.

Leads to a teaching license. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching certification in your state.

  • Time: 67% of graduates finish within 18 months.
  • Tuition: $3,975 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this master's of arts in education degree program often include:

  • Aspiring elementary teachers who currently hold a bachelor's degree but lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This online teacher's degree includes courses in the foundations of teaching, mathematics content, instructional planning and presentation, elementary education methods, and effective teaching practices. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time student teaching.

Next Start Date

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

Apply Today

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!


Learn about Online College Admissions at WGU

Cute pupil getting help from teacher in classroom at the elementary school

What Skills Does a Second-Grade Teacher Need?

Second-grade teachers are equipped with a variety of applicable skills, which help them connect with students and provide necessary guidance inside and outside the classroom. These skills include: 

  • Mastery of education techniques that make lesson plans understandable and relatable for all second-grade students.
  • Ability to appropriately employ problem-solving methods that help students thrive, help correct issues with student-curriculum compatibility, and tackle any other daily challenges.
  • Classroom-management proficiency that keeps student workspaces clean and ripe for creativity.
  • Deep patience for student questions, doubts, and issues during the education process.
  • Conceptual understanding of all content to be presented to students.
  • Daily flexibility to allow for more or less time to be spent on a single subject or concept, based on student needs.
  • Technological proficiency that allows second-grade teachers to effectively use any technology found in the classroom.
  • Record-keeping ability that allows teachers to track student grades, attendance, behavior, achievements, and subject progress.

These skills are foundational in helping second-grade teachers relate to students and improve their understanding of basic classroom concepts.

What Is the Salary of a Second-Grade Teacher?


The exact salary of a second-grade teacher will vary widely, based on the teacher’s years of experience, level of tenure, employer, employer location, school district valuation, and other factors. The median salary of a second-grade teacher is $60,079.

The lowest 10% of earners take home $39,322 per year, and the top 10% of second-grade teachers can make $81,438.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


Overall employment figures for elementary school teachers are expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, roughly as fast as the average growth rate across all occupations.

Student enrollment totals are expected to increase over the next decade, which should result in an organic rise in the need for second-grade teachers. At the same time, school funding is often controlled by state or federal finances. To a certain extent, the continued success of second-grade teacher career options is dependent on the continued availability of necessary funding.

Where Do Second-Grade Teachers Work?


Second-graders can work at a variety of places. The location where a second-grade teacher works is largely dependent on the nature of their employment. 

-Public or private schools

-Charter academies

-Religious institutions

-Special education centers

-Private tutorships 

During the school year, second-grade teachers are typically in the same room as their students when teaching. During the summer months, when students are not in school, teachers will spend time at school or home improving lesson plans for the upcoming year.


Interested in Becoming a Second-Grade Teacher?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.

View Degree Programs