All states require public high school teachers to have at least a bachelorís degree. Most states require high school teachers to have majored in a content area, such as chemistry or history. While majoring in a content area, future teachers typically enroll in their higher educationís teacher preparation program and take classes in education and child psychology, as well.
Teacher preparationóor teacher educationóprograms instruct how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching.
Some states require high school teachers to earn a masterís degree after earning their teaching certification.
Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek high school teachers who have a bachelorís degree and a major in a content area.
All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed, which is frequently referred to as a certification. Those who teach in private schools are not required to be licensed.
High school teachers typically are awarded a secondary or high school certification. This allows them to teach the 7th through the 12th grades.
Requirements for certification vary by state. However, all states require at least a bachelorís degree. States also require completing a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average.
States typically require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge in the subject they will teach.
Often, teachers are required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Most states require teachers to pass a background check, and some states require teachers to complete a masterís degree after receiving their certification.
All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelorís degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification.
Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a masterís degree after completing either type of programs. For more information about alternative certification programs, contact the National Center for Alternative Certification.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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