This guide provides a collection of online resources for current elementary school teachers and those aspiring to become elementary school teachers. This online resource guide includes links to elementary level teaching associations, conferences, government education agencies, accreditation agencies, and scholarly resources for educators. It also highlights a number of popular elementary education blogs and social media accounts. Each resource below includes a link and a brief description of the resource and its relation to elementary education. The links are organized by category, to help you find the resources that will best help you to begin or further your career as an elementary school teacher.
Government Education Agencies and Educator Accreditation
United States Department of Education – The Department of Education website contains classroom resources and the latest news in educational reform. Aspiring elementary school teachers can utilize the State Department of Education Listing to find the specific teacher certification requirements for their state.
TEACH – Originally an initiative of the United States Department of Education, and now operated by Microsoft, TEACH aims to increase awareness of and garner support for teaching as a profession. TEACH.org offers practical help in the form of scholarships, certification information, and resume and interview advice, while also offering inspirational videos of real teachers discussing the teaching profession.
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation – The CAEP is the sole accreditor for P-12 educator preparation in the U.S. The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education provides an overview of the CAEP accreditation process as well as a list of accredited institutions.
National Center for Alternative Certification – Founded in 2003 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Alternative Certification offers information and resources for people looking to become certified teachers through alternative routes. These alternative routes to certification differ by state; more detailed information can be found on the NCAC’s website.
National Association for the Education of Young Children – The NAEYC is an organization for the betterment of education for young children. The organization’s mission is to defend the needs and rights of these children primarily by supplying educational and developmental resources for early childhood educators.
Association for Childhood Education International – The ACEI is a charitable organization that focuses on providing new approaches to childhood education and ensuring that these approaches are applied in ways that help children improve and succeed. This international organization also publishes the award-winning journal Childhood Education.
National Council for the Social Studies – The NCSS is a national organization that provides support and leadership for teachers of social studies in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions. The organization’s primary publications include Social Studies and the Young Learner, a journal devoted to the teaching of social studies in elementary schools, and the organization provides resources and holds conferences for social studies teachers of all grade levels.
National Council for Teachers of Mathematics – The NCTM is a national organization that promotes high quality mathematics education through leadership, professional development, vision, and research. The NCTM publishes a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Children and Mathematics, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, and Mathematics Teacher Education. The NCTM also offers regional conferences, as well as a number of online resources for educators.
National Science Teachers Association – Founded in 1944, the NSTA is an organization devoted to the promotion of excellence in science education. NSTA’s over 60,000 members include science teachers and administrators from elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, as well as scientists and business representatives in the field of science.
The Early Childhood Education Assembly – The Early Childhood Education Assembly aims to promote literacy teaching in elementary schools. The Assembly is a subgroup of the National Council of Teachers of English, a national association that promotes high quality English and language arts education at all levels. The ECEA offers a number of scholarships and publishes a yearbook, Perspectives and Provocations in Early Childhood Education, containing scholarly contributions from its members.
National Art Education Association – Founded in 1947, the NAEA is an association for teachers of the visual arts in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, as well as art researches, administrators, and museum directors. The NAEA holds an annual national conference and offers numerous resources for professional development.
Music Teachers National Association – Founded in 1846, the MTNA is devoted to supporting music teachers of all grade levels and promoting the value of music education and performance to society. The MTNA publishes the peer-reviewed journal American Music Teacher, hosts annual conferences, and funds a number of programs to promote “a more musical tomorrow.”
edcamp Foundation – This movement aims to provide free, non-commercial “unconferences” for K-12 educators to present and learn from other K-12 educators. They promote participant-driven professional development and hold “unconferences” worldwide.
National Science Teachers Association – Each year, the NSTA hosts one national and three regional conferences on science education and teaching strategy at all levels of education. Teachers do not need to be NSTA members to attend.
National Council for Teachers of Mathematics – The NCTM hosts regional conferences every year that cover various aspects of mathematics education: common core, 21st century math education, assessment, and more. Anyone can register to attend these conferences, which include lectures, educational resources, and hands-on workshops with leaders in the field. However, NCTM members receive discounted registration fees.
National Council of Teachers of English – The NCTE holds an annual convention dedicated to English teacher education. Anyone can register for these conferences, and discounted registration fees are available for NCTE members and graduate students.
National Council for the Social Studies – The NCSS offers a number of state and local conferences and workshops in history and social studies education.
Databases and Journals
Directory of Open Access Scholarly Journals in Education – This directory, maintained by the Education Research Global Observatory, contains over 250 scholarly, peer-reviewed journals in education that are free to access.
Science & Children Science & Children is a scholarly journal published by the National Science Teachers Association. The journal is available to all NSTA members, but non-members can access select articles from the journal’s current issue via the NSTA’s website.
Teaching Children Mathematics – Teaching Children Mathematics is one of the official peer-reviewed journals of the National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics, focusing on teaching mathematics at the elementary school level. Featured articles from past and current issues of the journal are available online through the NCTM, and full access to digital editions of the journal is available to NCTM members.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education – Another publication of the NCTM, this journal is devoted to the latest research in mathematics education at all levels, from preschool through adulthood. The journal is published five times per year, and featured articles from current and past issues are available on the NCTM’s website.
Homeroom – The official blog of the United States Department of Education, this blog is regularly updated with posts about instructional resources, educational reform, technology use in the classroom, and inspiring stories of real-life teachers and students.
4 the Love of Teaching – This blog features classroom management techniques, lesson plan ideas, and humorous anecdotes from a current fourth grade teacher.
Learning is Messy – This blog is written by an elementary school teacher of over 30 years who is currently a facilitator of the STEM program for elementary schools in Nevada. The blog mainly focuses on STEM legislation, classroom technology, and teaching experiences and lesson plans in the sciences.
5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules – These “ramblings of a fifth grade teacher” include creative classroom ideas, lesson plans, a lengthy listing of teacher resources, and some good-hearted fun!
A Year of Reading – Two teachers run a blog devoted to reviews of children’s books. This is a fantastic resource for teachers looking for new literature to use in the classroom.
Two Writing Teachers – Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz, a writing coach and a literacy specialist, respectively, are both former elementary school teachers. These two women update this blog with tips and insights about teaching writing in elementary schools.
The Teaching Palette – This blog contains helpful resources for teaching art in elementary schools.
The Schroeder Page – This blog explores innovative ideas for teaching science, based on the experiences of a second grade teacher.
Ladybug’s Teacher Files – An elementary school teacher who has worked with ELL students in grades K-5 shares her experiences, lesson plans, and classroom decoration and organization ideas.
A Cupcake for the Teacher – The blog of this first grade teacher contains “sweet” lesson ideas, craft projects, incentive programs, and teacher freebies.
Cool Cat Teacher – Vicki Davis, author and classroom teacher, blogs prolifically about classroom assessment, technology, education news, innovative classroom ideas, teaching anecdotes, and so much more.
Regurgitated Alpha Bits – This blog by an elementary school teacher is full of inspiring anecdotes and insights into the frustrations and joys of working in an elementary school.
@usedgov – Official twitter account of the United States Department of Education
@NAESP – Official twitter account of the National Association of Elementary School Principals
@TeachStrategies – Twitter account devoted to early childhood education strategies
@teachercreated – Geared toward K-8 teachers, this twitter account posts resources and lesson plans created by teachers for teachers.
@TeachHub – The twitter account of another teacher resource website, TeachHUB is run by teachers for teachers.
@WeAreTeachers – An online community of teachers of all subjects grade levels.
@kjarrett – Kevin Jarrett, a K-4 technology teacher, tweets about social media in education.
@L_hilt – Lyn Hilt, a former K-6 principal and current elementary instructional technology integrator, tweets about education and technology.