History Teacher: Career Summary, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements

As a teacher of history, which is often part of a social studies curriculum, you'll instruct students on important past events, cultures, geography and important historical figures. You must have a state teaching license to teach high school students. To learn more about typical job duties, the process for earning a teaching license and the career outlook for history teachers, continue reading. Schools offering Teaching - Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a History Teacher?

Past events shape our current culture and society. When you're a history teacher, you'll inform students about these events and help them see the effect they have on current societies. You'll develop presentations, lectures and curriculum to instruct students about history. Along with assessing students' understanding of material, you may provide individual instruction to those who need the extra help. Since no two groups of students are alike, another important part of this job is being able to adjust lessons plans to meet the needs of your students. You may also need to communicate and work with students parents. Some schools ask history teachers to offer electives, such as criminal justice or economics courses.

What Should I Know about this Career?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that middle school teacher employment opportunities would grow by about six percent over the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). A similar estimate of six percent was predicted for high school teachers. These statistics were based on general teachers and did not specify employment opportunities by the subject taught. In 2015, the median annual salary for middle school teachers was $55,860 and high school teachers earned an median wage of $57,200.

What Should I Study?

According to the BLS, a bachelor's degree in education is sufficient for teaching. If you want to teach history, you should consider a program in secondary education with a concentration in history. Some colleges offer programs in history education. Both programs blend education and instruction courses with history information and concepts. You'll study classroom management, curriculum development, communication skills and teaching ethics.

Another route you can consider is a bachelor's degree in history followed by a master's degree in education. Some states require the completion of a master's degree for licensure, so this route allows you to meet additional educational requirements. No matter the option you choose, you'll complete a student teaching program where you'll gain classroom and teaching experience.

How Do I Obtain Teaching Credentials?

If you want to be a public school teacher, the BLS states that you must obtain teaching credentials. Every state has its own requirements and titles for these credentials. Many states accept the Praxis Series tests as confirmation of your teaching knowledge. These tests are created and administered by ETS testing centers across the nation (www.ets.org). The first Praxis exam tests you on basic skills and can be used for entry requirements into an education program. The second exam tests you on teaching skills and specific subject matter, such as history content.

Besides the state teaching license, you may want to consider voluntary certification offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). They certify 13 areas of knowledge, and they include history within the social studies certification (www.nbpts.org). This certification is valid for ten years, and the renewal process starts within the last two years of certification.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Aside from teaching other topics, there are a few careers related to those of history teachers. A person who is interested in history and education may also be interested in a career as a librarian. As librarians, individuals help patrons find books, articles and internet resources that provide information. If you have a passion for history, you could also try a career as a historian. Historians study historical documents, analyze historical patterns and present their findings to expand our understanding of the past. Those with a passion for teaching may also want to consider becoming a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants help teachers maintain classrooms and offer extra instruction to students who need it.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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