How to Become an English Teacher
An English teacher helps their students to learn literacy skills. When you become an English teacher, you will be working with young people to help them learn to read, write, and communicate well. Working as a teacher can be challenging, you'll need to interpret the educational and emotional needs of your students, while making plans to best help them in their learning.
To work as an English teacher, you will need to have an excellent understanding of written language yourself. You'll also need to have good communication skills, especially when it comes to speaking and teaching young people. Working as a teacher can be a very rewarding experience, especially when you are able to make a different in a child's education and life.
If you love the English language, enjoy reading and writing, and also have fun when you spend time with children and teenagers, then becoming an English teacher could be the perfect career for you.
Education Requirements to Become an English Teacher
To become an English teacher, you'll need to complete a four year bachelor's degree. Start by taking a major in English, along with complementing subjects within the humanities. Most colleges will allow you to apply for a teaching specialization within your sophomore year. At this stage you will be able to learn teaching methodology, as well as start a teacher internship program.
All states require that teachers be licensed to teach in a public school. However, if you are working within a private school, this is not the case. In most states, to be granted your license you will need to have completed a four year degree, a minimum amount of hours in supervised teaching practice, and also complete tests for basic numeracy and literacy. Another part of your license is continuing education, you will be required to complete ongoing training as a part of your career. In some states, you will need to complete a master's degree within a specified amount of time.
English Teacher Job Description
As an English teacher, you will spend just as much time working outside of the classroom as inside of it. While you will have a lot of contact with students, you will also need to spend time preparing lesson plans, marking work, as well as other administrative tasks. Here are some of the tasks an English teacher may find themselves doing:
- Plan lessons
- Help students with reading and writing
- Prepare homework and assignment topics
- Grade work
- Discipline students
- Write report cards
- Recognize students who need extra help
English Teacher Salary and Career Path
The median wage for a teacher is around $50,000 a year. New teachers could achieve around $40,000, while those with more experience or in roles with more responsibility might earn closer to $60,000. Teachers with a master's degree or national certificate will earn more. Teachers within private schools generally earn less, but may receive other benefits, such as low cost housing.
Teaching a sports team, or other after school activity is a good way of earning extra money as a teacher. There are other responsibilities that can be taken on also, as your career progresses. For instance, you might take on an administrative role.
Some English teachers may move on to more specialist roles. For instance, they might work as a special needs teacher, work with children who speak English as a second language, or move on to senior positions such as a school principal.
If you're considering working overseas, a teacher's qualification is an excellent tool to have. You will be able to find employment teaching English as a second language in many different countries around the world. Those with a four year teaching degree are highly sought after in many places around the world. You may be able to secure a job package where you receive a wage and accommodation for your work. Alternatively, there are many volunteer opportunities to teach English overseas.
When you become an English teacher, it may be stressful at times, but it is also a very rewarding role. Employment is secure, teaching English brings many more opportunities than other fields may. A good salary is available for qualified teachers, as well as other benefits in private schools. Continued education, such as a master's degree, will bring more opportunity and a higher salary later on.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics