How Do I Become a Middle School History Teacher?

Explore the career requirements for middle school history teachers. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary, and job duties to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Teaching - Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Middle School History Teacher?

Middle school history teachers deliver lessons about historical figures and events to students who are in sixth through eighth grade. Depending on the era they are teaching, teachers try to help students understand how civilizations were formed and countries were shaped, as well as how historical figures and occurrences relate to current events. In addition to writing lesson plans and grading student assignments, middle school teachers may be required to supervise students at recess, lunch, study hall and detention. They also help students build the reading and critical thinking skills needed for educational success in high school and beyond. The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study History, education
Key Responsibilities Prepare lesson plans; teach lessons, give assignments and tests; grade schoolwork and tests; supervise students in classroom and other school settings
Licensure and/or Certification Public school teachers must be licensed
Job Growth (2018-2028) 3% growth (for all middle school teachers)*
Median Salary (2018) $58,600 (for all middle school teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become a Middle School History Teacher?

It is important that you are trained as a teacher and also trained in history. Teachers usually need at least a bachelor's degree, and you may earn a degree through a general education program or an education program with a focus on history. Some employers may accept a degree in history. You may be required to earn a master's degree under some state laws or to meet some employers' requirements.

As part of an education degree program, you usually complete student-teaching training. You are sent into a classroom and teach for part of a quarter or semester under the guidance of the classroom teacher. This allows you to gain practical experience in the classroom.

Am I Required to Be Licensed?

All public school teachers are required to hold a license in all 50 states. Private school teachers are not required under state law to hold a license, but some employers may still require one. Each state sets its own licensing requirements. You may be licensed under a general teaching license or licensed as a middle school teacher.

Many states require you to pass tests in reading, writing and mathematics. Some states require passing drug screening and a criminal background check. Be sure to research the specific state where you wish to work, since there may also be different licensing options depending on your education, your intended career path and whether you have ever held a license in any state.

What Job Duties Will I Have?

Your general teaching duties include creating lesson plans, documenting students' grades, administering tests, assigning homework, planning special projects and conducting daily lessons. You may also attend faculty meetings, monitor students in the hallway, lunch room or study hall, conduct parent-teacher conferences and tutor students.

Your lessons may cover specific periods of history or the history of a particular country, place or group of people. You may teach about historical events such as the Holocaust, the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the Civil War. You may discuss human rights issues such as women gaining the right to vote or segregation. Lessons may cover countries around the world or focus on the United States; you may also teach the history of a particular U.S. state.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A closely related career option is a job as a high school history teacher. The job duties for high school teachers are similar to those for middle school teachers, but they may be able to teach higher-level subjects. Also, they may teach advanced courses that prepare students for standardized tests like the College Board's AP European History, United States History or World History Exam. Another possibility for history enthusiasts is a job as a museum curator or technician. These professionals acquire and design exhibits of historical objects, and they may offer tours and workshops to the public and/or school groups.

Like middle school teachers, high school teachers need a bachelor's degree to begin their careers and may need to go on to earn a master's. Museum technicians need a bachelor's, while curators need a master's degree in a field like art history or museum studies.

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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