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Whether you are a blue collar or white collar worker, a computer programmer or a marketing executive, a construction worker or a doctor, you probably had an English teacher who helped shape the person you are today. English teachers are the ones who help us sort out and understand the complexities of our language, giving each of us a unique voice that continues to evolve as we learn, grow, and make our way in the world.
If you have a love of the English language and a profound understanding of the importance of good written and spoken communication skills, maybe your true calling is that of a middle school or high school English teacher. It can be an extremely rewarding career (or second career), and it’s achievable with an accredited teaching degree and a license to teach in your home state.
A great place to start is finding an institution with NCATE accreditation that offers a Master of Arts in Teaching English degree that leads to teacher licensure. A modern, innovative curriculum will empower you to complete much of your coursework online, so you’ll be able to fit your studies into your current schedule without disrupting your personal and professional responsibilities. A comprehensive programs will also require you to complete a demonstration teaching (student teaching) component, be evaluated by a Host Teacher, and monitored by a Clinical Supervisor, providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate your teaching knowledge and skills in an actual classroom setting.
Think about the ABC’s of a rewarding career, and you might realize the next chapter in your professional future is as an English teacher!
In most states, English teachers are required to be licensed and have at least a bachelor’s degree. However, many school districts seek teachers who have earned a master’s degree with a more advanced and detailed level of instruction specific to the teaching of reading, English, literature and writing composition.
By earning your MA in teaching English, you’ll not only acquire advanced knowledge and specialized training, you’ll be developing skills that are transferable to a wide range of occupations. Should you ever decide to take your credentials outside the classroom, you might consider a position like:
Learning the English language is essential to student success in all areas of study, so the demand for English teachers will be a constant in the U.S. school system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of middle school and high school teachers will grow 6 percent from 2014-2024, in part due to the fact that many older teachers are expected to retire by then. If you’re good at connecting with kids and think you could make a difference helping adolescent students develop a command of the language that will serve them for the rest of their lives, maybe it’s time to consider becoming an English teacher. Who knows whom you might inspire to become tomorrow’s next great novelist, entertainer, or political leader!
As a social science teacher, your classroom will likely be filled with lively discussions about current events, interesting people and their places in history, modern culture, and how society works. In fact, you might think of your classroom as a microcosm of society itself… different people with different backgrounds learning how to adjust to each other and function as a unit.
As their teacher, your role will be to foster an active learning environment that offers them a real-world understanding of the connections between subjects like history, economics, political science, and geography. More than likely, you’ll help your students dive into subject matter by reading newspapers and magazines, either online or via classroom reference materials.
A social science teacher’s daily schedule typically includes time before and after school to meet with parents, students, and other teachers, so good communication skills are essential. You may also spend time on evenings and weekends reading and keeping up with world events, grading papers, and preparing your lessons.
If you like the idea of becoming an English teacher but don’t know how to get started, the following organizations can provide support and guidance to help you achieve your goals.
There’s always a demand for English teachers, and with the right education and credentials from a top-notch teacher’s college, you can become one! Check out some of the current opportunities for dedicated educators across the country.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $57,200 in May 2015, while middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $55,860. English teachers in rural or urban areas often command higher salaries, as do those who have bumped up their credentials by earning a master’s degree.
The decision to become an English teacher is oftentimes personal and not necessarily based on financial gain or market needs. Many people gravitate towards teaching English because language is at the very heart of everything we do. Effective communication is a critical function of our society and is highly valued in the workplace, regardless of industry. Many English teachers feel a deep sense of satisfaction knowing they are helping to shape the minds of future scholars, writers, business leaders, and yes… English teachers!
Maybe you’re thinking about a career change that will leave you with a greater sense of purpose, or perhaps you’re already a teacher looking to elevate your credentials and take the next step towards personal and professional satisfaction. Either way, an industry-relevant MA in teaching English can help pave the way!
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