Education and Training
In order to earn a teaching degree, you will need to complete coursework in areas such as mathematics, physical science, social science, music, art, and literature, as well as prescribed professional teaching courses, such as philosophy of education, psychology of learning, and teaching methods. Many colleges require you to major in either elementary, secondary, or higher education. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require public school teachers to be licensed, but the requirements for licensure vary by state. However, licensure is not required for teachers in most private schools.
In addition to being knowledgeable about the subject area that they teach, teachers must also be able to communicate and motivate students. Teachers are expected to be able to recognize and respond to individual and cultural differences and adapt their teaching style. Teachers must also be able to work cooperatively and communicate effectively with other teachers.
After completing your teaching degree, there are a few different career paths you may pursue. These include:
• Preschool or Kindergarten Teacher
• Elementary School Teacher
• Secondary School Teacher
• Postsecondary School Teacher
A preschool or kindergarten teacher plays a vital role in the development of children. Teachers help these early-age children to learn concepts present in mathematics, language, science, and social studies. These teachers use games, music, artwork, films, books, computers, and other tools to teach basic skills.
An elementary school teacher generally teaches a single class of children, from five years old to twelve years old, in several different subjects. The teacher’s goal is to help further the students’ language and vocabulary development, improve upon their social skills and teach scientific and mathematical concepts. Elementary school teachers complete this task in a few different ways. Teachers read with students, spend individualized time with each student and have the students work in small groups.
Secondary school teachers also known as high school teachers, instruct students ages twelve through eighteen. They expose students to more valuable information about the world and provide the knowledge and skills that are needed in order to attend a postsecondary school. These teachers usually specialize in one specific subject. Class options include English, mathematics, history, Spanish and chemistry. These teachers are also trained to teach subjects that are focused around careers.
Postsecondary school teachers teach students in numerous academic and vocational subjects well beyond the high school level. The majority of postsecondary teachers are college and university faculty. Because of technological advances these teachers need to have advanced technology skills that include computers, e-mail, software programs and the internet.
Job Outlook and Salary
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for individuals with a teaching degree are expected to grow about as fast as the average occupation. The Bureau reports that the median annual earnings for teachers in 2013 was $56383.