Degrees and Education
- At least a bachelor’s degree is needed.
- Major requirements vary from state to state; some require a major in the future teacher’s field of expertise while others require an education major.
- Advancement is contingent on performance but a master’s degree may also be a requirement.
Typical fields of study for teachers include concentrations in the student’s content area. In addition teachers focus on coursework specific to teaching.
What you study:
- Elementary education
- Secondary education
- Child psychology
- Adolescent psychology
What courses you’ll take
Below are examples of a few of the courses that you’ll likely take as a middle school teaching student.
|Foundations of Education||Basic introduction to teaching covering: contemporary education philosophies; history of US education; administration; legal issues; social issues; use of technology; teaching standards and current trends in the profession.||Give teaching students basic knowledge of the profession that will be built upon in further studies.|
|Educational Psychology||Presents the science of human behavior in the context of student education including topics such as: cognitive and emotional development; learning; memory; intelligence; motivation; measurement techniques; peer development; family relationships; and differences between individuals.||Provide core understanding of the psychological aspects of successfully educating middle-grade students.|
|Middle School Instructional Strategies||Covers basics of instruction in the middle school grades including: middle-school philosophy; curriculum development; classroom instruction and organization; teaming; scheduling; family connections; and use of interdisciplinary themes within a curriculum. Builds understanding of middle school students’ needs from life-cycle development cognitive behavioral and emotional perspectives. Considers issues with at-risk kids.||Prepare teaching students for more advanced middle-grade education studies and for field training in actual middle-grade classrooms.|
|Teaching Reading and Writing in Middle School||Reviews the foundations and current techniques of literacy education for middle-grade students. For writing a variety of instructional options are presented with a focus on writing being both a process and end result. Considers the needs of diverse literacy learning styles common to classrooms made up of multicultural backgrounds.||Ready teaching students to plan and teach a literacy curriculum to their middle-grade classes.|
|Teaching Mathematics in Middle School||Covers the teaching of middle-level mathematics topics such as: sets; symbolic logic; manipulating whole integer and rational numbers; algebraic reasoning; and geometry. Other topics can include: use of calculators and other information technologies; lesson planning; student assessments; and techniques for making lessons interesting and understandable for all pupils.||Prepare teaching students for creation and teaching of middle-grade mathematics coursework.|
|Student Teaching Field Experience||Observation and practice of teaching skills in an actual classroom with a certified cooperating teacher. During session student teachers can try plans and ideas while analyzing their experiences and results.||Fully prepare student teachers for certification and for entering the middle-school teaching profession full-time.|
|Electives||Middle school teachers can often choose from a variety of elective coursework for educators such as: Principles of Biology; Advanced English Composition; American Literature; Physical Science; Earth Science; History of Science and Technology; Chemistry; Science Teaching Methods for Middle Schools; Probability and Statistics; Zoology; Botany; Ecology; History; Geography; World Civilizations; Economics; Public Speaking; Theater for Youth; and American Democracy and Citizenship.||Give teaching students additional subject matter expertise to enable them to concentrate on specific areas of interest.|
Certifications and Licensing
Teachers must also be certified a process that involves taking a test and may include additional coursework for students who graduate with a content area major. The state issues certification so teachers who move to a new state may need to re-take the battery of tests. In some states the certification process for students with a bachelor’s degree in a content area other than education is slightly different than the procedures for those with education degrees.
Full-time versus part-time:Teaching is typically a full-time job. School hours are non-negotiable; a teacher must be there when the students are. However most schools are only in session for six or seven hours a day and teachers can spend the additional hour or two of grading papers and preparing lesson plans whenever they choose. Unlike most other professionals teachers do not work during the summer. Unless they teach summer school teachers are off from early June to late August.
Work location:Teachers have traditionally worked exclusively in schools but a rise in home-schooling has led to more opportunities for accredited teachers to team-teach in non-traditional schoolrooms. For most teachers though the classroom remains the primary work site.
These sites offer a wide range of informational topics and resources for those considering a career in the field of early childhood education.
- U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook ? This site gives a broad overview of the current state and future outlook for middle school teachers. It summarizes the fundamental information that potential teachers should consider such as salary job preparation and education.
- U.S. Department of Education ? This site is an excellent resource for the latest news about legislation involving teaching and teachers. It can also help prospective teachers find out about financial aid for college and accreditation. Teachers and education students will find classroom resources here. For aspiring middle school teachers it’s a useful resource for understanding the laws and regulations governing the profession.
- National Education Association ? With more than 3 million members the National Education Association is the premier employee organization for teachers at every level. Visitors to the site can explore the Tools and Ideas section to find classroom resources. Full lesson plans are an excellent way for education students to see the inner workings of the profession.
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ? With a focus on teacher accreditation NCATE’s site gives students in-depth information about the process of becoming a middle school teacher. The site also includes information on how schools become accredited to administer an education program; while this isn’t information every education student needs to know it provides a fascinating glimpse into what it takes to found an accredited school.
Salaries by City
See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.
|State||City / Region||Typical Salary||Salary Range||Job Count||% of All Jobs|
|AL||Anniston – Oxford||$43740||N/A||N/A|
|AL||Auburn – Opelika||$50160||190||0.40%|
|AL||Birmingham – Hoover||$51390||2070||0.43%|
|AL||Florence – Muscle Shoals||$52370||300||0.57%|