In order to become a Spanish teacher you must be proficient in the language and bilingual in both English and Spanish. In addition you must meet the requirements for teacher certification in the state where you would like to teach. This means that you must hold a Bachelor’s degree and graduate from a teacher-training program. The only state where a teacher-training program is not required is Florida. However, the main part of being able to get a job teaching Spanish is to pass the teacher certification exam.
You can choose to do a degree program with a major concentration in Spanish or if you already speak the language fluently, you can take the test for the Spanish teacher certification without having taken the courses in university. This broadens your options for getting hired for a position. In most states, you do have to have the proper teaching certificate before you apply for a teaching position, but in Florida, you get hired for the job first and then you receive your initial teaching certificate. You do have to have taken the exam first though.
The Praxis exam you need to take to get hired as a Spanish teacher is called the Spanish: Content Knowledge exam. In this exam, you will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of Spanish grammar by answering multiple-choice questions on the various aspects of the grammar. There are four sections to the exam and you have a time limit if two hours to complete it. One of the sections is a listening test and some of the listening passages are not available in printed form. This will test your knowledge of the language on how well you understand the spoken word.
Other aspects of Spanish in which you need to be proficient in order to be hired as a Spanish teacher include you ability to write an essay in Spanish. You will have to read passages and answer comprehension questions on what you read. As part of your teaching job, you will have to grade student papers and therefore this is one item of the test in which you have to identify the errors in sample student writings from students who are learning Spanish and not completely familiar with the language.
The process of hiring a person as a Spanish teacher in a school involves looking for the most qualified candidate. As part of the interview process, you may be interviewed by a Spanish speaker and have to demonstrate your knowledge of the language. Once you do get hired and receive an initial teaching certificate, there is an expectation that you will continue to enhance your language and teaching skills. In order to renew your license after the initial period, which is usually five years, you will have to take additional courses and engage in professional development in order to meet the requirements of a professional teaching certificate.
The number of students that you have in your class once you begin teaching depends on the policy of the school district. In some districts, Spanish courses are a graduation requirement, while in others students can elect to take Spanish. When students decide that they want to learn Spanish, your job is much easier because you have a class that is willing to learn. This is not to say that you won’t have any problems, but they will be fewer than in those classes where students must take Spanish.