How Do I Become a Spanish Teacher?
Requirements for becoming a Spanish teacher vary depending on where you wish to work. Read more about the specific qualifications, including Spanish teacher certification and licensing.
As a Spanish teacher, you'll help students learn to speak the language, understand grammar rules, learn vocabulary words, and study the cultures of those who speak Spanish. To become a Spanish teacher, you'll need to complete at least a bachelor's degree program in Spanish and complete a teacher's education program.
The requirements for becoming a teacher in high school include completing a student teaching assignment to meet licensing requirements. This involves working in a classroom under the guidance of a licensed teacher. You'll learn the ins and outs of running a classroom, interacting with students, and designing and teaching class assignments.
To work as a public high school Spanish teacher, you will have to meet licensing requirements, which specify the education and training needed. To work in a private high school or at the postsecondary level, where licensing is not mandatory, you need to meet requirements set by your prospective employer. If you're interested in teaching Spanish at the college or university level, you'll usually need a master's or doctoral degree in Spanish. Student teaching is typically not required.
Important Facts About Spanish Teachers
|Median Salary (2018)||$67,640 per year (for all postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers)|
$60,320 per year (for high school teachers)
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||12% growth (for all postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers)|
8% growth (for high school teachers)
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent for college programs|
|Key Skills||Patience, communication, interpersonal, detail-oriented|
|On-the-Job Training||Student teaching/internship|
|Online Availability||Coursework online, in-person student teaching|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How to Become a Spanish Teacher
To become a teacher in Spanish, you must know the language. Some may grow up speaking Spanish, while others may learn it later in life, in which case they would need to take classes and possibly live in a Spanish speaking area. Some classes and Spanish certifications may be offered online.
Earn a Bachelor's Degree
To be a Spanish teacher, you must be qualified to teach, which requires the completion of a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degrees in teaching are available throughout the country, but an undergraduate degree in Spanish with teacher training at the graduate level is also acceptable.
Obtain Teacher Licensure
If you wish to teach at the high school level, you must be licensed by the state in which you will teach. Licensure is usually not required to teach in private schools. Frequent requirements for licensure include holding a bachelor's degree, completing a teacher's education program, having student teaching experience, and passing a licensing exam. Many states also require passing a criminal background check.
Some states may ask for special licensing or endorsements to teach Spanish, which might include passing proficiency tests. Obtaining a master's degree may be necessary in some states, and you could be given a time period within which you must earn your master's degree to keep your license.
Complete Alternative Licensure Programs
Alternative licensure programs are an option if you have a bachelor's degree in Spanish, but you haven't completed a teacher's education program. Online training programs in teaching are available to prepare you. Earning a provisional license is an option in some states. A provisional license allows you to work under the supervision of a licensed teacher for a set time to gain teaching experience before earning your teaching license.