How Do I Become a High School Spanish Teacher?

Research what it takes to become a high school Spanish teacher. Learn about degree requirements, job outlook, licensure and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a High School Spanish Teacher?

A high school Spanish teacher provides foreign language education for students between ninth and twelfth grades. They usually provide beginning, intermediate and advanced courses, depending on the student's previous education. In addition to covering speaking, listening and writing in Spanish, teachers also provide education in the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Some Spanish courses also cover Spanish literature. For advanced students, high school teachers may offer a preparation courses for standardized tests, like the AP Spanish exams.

Learn more about this career, including skills, licensure and potential salary, by reviewing the table.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Education, Spanish
Key Skills Leadership, speaking, patience, communication
Licensure/Certification Licensure and/or certification is required to work in public high schools
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all high school teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $57,200 (for all high school teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need for a Career as a High School Spanish Teacher?

To become a high school Spanish teacher, you could enroll in a bachelor's degree program in Spanish education. You could expect to take Spanish language courses that cover reading, grammar and composition. You'll also learn about Spanish and Latin American culture. Many programs will even offer you the opportunity to study abroad in Spain or Latin America.

Additionally, you'll take teacher education courses that cover such topics as teaching techniques, classroom management and lesson planning. You'll also take educational or developmental psychology courses, learn to identify and deal with at-risk youth and explore diversity issues in the classroom environment.

Do I Need to Be Licensed?

To teach in a public high school, you'll definitely need to be licensed. Specific licensure requirements vary depending on the state you're in, but all states require you to hold a bachelor's degree and to have completed a certain number of education courses and training. All but a few states also require you to pass licensure exams. State licensure doesn't apply to private or parochial schools, so you might be able to find employment at one of these such schools.

Many states also require you to have completed some amount of supervised practice teaching. You can gain supervised practice teaching experience as a teacher education major in college or through a professional development school. Professional development schools provide you with the opportunity to teach at a local school for a year, under the supervision of experienced educators.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

As a high school Spanish teacher, you'll have to prepare lesson plans, teach classes, grade tests, assess student performance and meet with parents. You might also have to help students who have academic, personal or disciplinary problems. You could also take students on field trips or sponsor a foreign language club.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Spanish teachers can also find jobs at the elementary and middle school levels. Like high school teachers, these professionals need to have a bachelor's degree, strong language skills in both English and Spanish, and a license to teach if they want to work in a public school. Another option for Spanish experts is a job as an interpreter or translator; jobs are available in school settings as well as in hospitals, courtrooms and other institutions. A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for this job.

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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