How to Become a High School English Teacher

How to Become a High School English TeacherA high school English teacher plans and executes curriculum that covers literature, language arts and writing. Within the classroom, the high school English teacher must create engaging discussion topics, choose interesting and insightful literary pieces and monitor the progress of students’ writing abilities. An English teacher should show students that writing is relevant in all aspects of education and in nearly all careers, and should demonstrate the importance of honing writing skills. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in teaching, there are several other steps you must take in order to become a high school English teacher.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

$53,230
Bachelor's Degree
None
Internship/Residency
1,037,600
7%
71,900
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
A teacher in the United States must earn a bachelor’s degree before they can begin teaching in a classroom, according to the Houston Chronicle. Specific educational requirements will vary based on the state. For instance, some states require English teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree in English rather than education. Note that students can earn a bachelor’s degree in English or teaching through online learning institutions. Online learning allows future teachers to earn a degree in their own time, without compromising on the quality of education. Regardless of whether a student decides to attend a physical university or participate in an online institution, the student should work with an accredited program that is designed to train teachers for life in the classroom.

Choose an English Focus or Specialty

While many elementary school teachers earn a general education degree and gain experience in a variety of academic subjects, high school teachers must be experts in a given field. High school English teachers should choose an English specialization while working toward their bachelor’s degree. This will allow future English teachers to take specific coursework that is geared toward writing development, English curriculum, high school literature programs and grammar proficiency. When you graduate from your degree program, you will need to be an expert in English in order for you to provide high school students with a comprehensive language arts and literature education.

Complete a Year of Student Teaching

Simply completing education and English coursework and graduating from a degree program will not qualify a person to teach in a classroom. Most teachers must complete a year of student teaching once they finish their coursework with a university or online learning facility. This allows you to work within a classroom setting on a daily basis and understand the various responsibilities that you will have once you get that first job. You will work closely with an experienced teacher who will provide you with opportunities to work directly with students, create lesson plans and manage the classroom.

Pass the Certification Exam

Every teacher must receive a teaching license in the state that they are working in at the same. For instance, if you graduate from a school in Michigan but plan to teach in Ohio, you will have to be certified in the state of Ohio. Each state has different requirements for which certification exams must be completed, but a common certification exam is the Praxis test. Typically, a high school English teacher has to pass the Praxis II Principles of Teaching and Learning exam, which is geared toward teaching students in grades 9-12. In addition, the teacher usually has to complete the Praxis exam in the subject they wish to teach in the classroom.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average high school teacher earns an annual salary of about $53,000. The job field for teachers is expected to grow by about 7 percent throughout the next decade, which is slower than many other career paths. To find out more information on how to become a high school English teacher, fill out our form today.

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