Spanish Teacher

If you speak Spanish and would like to share your knowledge of the language, a career as a Spanish teacher might be right for you. Continue reading to learn more about academic and licensing requirements for Spanish teachers, as well as what you might earn in the field.

Is Teaching Spanish for Me?

Career Overview

Spanish teachers are responsible for bringing the Spanish language, culture and history to their classrooms. As a Spanish teacher, you train middle school, high school and college students to read and speak fluent Spanish and take their place in our increasingly global world. Useful skills for teachers in general include creativity and a sense of organization; you should also be able to gain your students' confidence and get them motivated.

Employment and Salary Information

In 2012, there were nearly one million high school teachers and more than 600,000 middle school teachers employed in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Between 2012 and 2022, employment of middle school teachers was expected to increase by 12% nationwide, with a 6% growth in jobs projected for high school teachers. As reported by the BLS, opportunities for college and university professors in general were expected to increase by 19% during the same 10-year period.

According to the BLS in May 2013, the median annual salary for middle school teachers was $53,940. As of the same month, high school teachers made a median of $55,360, and college professors who taught a foreign language earned $58,620 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Become a Spanish Teacher?

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A bachelor's degree in Spanish education, or a degree in Spanish with a graduate certificate in education, is the minimum requirement necessary to teach Spanish at a middle school or high school. Through an undergraduate degree program in Spanish education, you'll take classes in Spanish pronunciation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary. You'll also study the history and culture of Spanish-speaking nations and read Spanish literature; study abroad experiences in Spain or Latin America may also be available. In a teacher preparation program, you'll learn how to plan lessons, assess your students' progress and incorporate modern technology into your classroom. Additionally, most schools require that you spend a semester completing a student teaching experience.

Master's Degree Programs

Earning a master's degree can lead to increased pay at a middle school or high school, as well as open the door to teaching opportunities at a community college. In a master's degree program in Spanish, you'll study language theory, develop advanced foreign language skills and explore literary works, including plays and novels, in foreign languages. Some schools require that you conduct research in foreign language education to complete your degree.

Doctoral Programs

A doctorate in Spanish is the only degree that enables you to teach at a 4-year college or university, and it can also lead to academic opportunities in research. Some programs allow for concentrations in Spanish literature or Hispanic culture. You'll also have to conduct original research and write a dissertation.

Licensing Requirements

To become a Spanish teacher, you must have a degree in education and be fluent in Spanish; public schools require a teacher's license. Although licensing requirements can vary by state, secondary Spanish education programs at most colleges and universities can usually help you prepare you for your state's licensing exam.

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