Teaching students English can involve both literature and grammar. Often one class encompasses both subjects, especially at the middle and high school levels. Teachers have the opportunity to get students involved in reading classics across the board. Literary references are everywhere and if students do not learn about where those references come from they will miss out on a lot in their lives. Learning good writing, spelling, grammar, and punctuation is also essential and becoming more difficult to maintain as technology advances and things such as email, instant messaging, and texting take over. Speed often overrules accuracy, and good spelling and punctuation is becoming a lost art.
Requirements for teachers remain fairly high. It can take a lot of schooling for oneself before one is allowed to teach others. Most classes which are required are teaching the teacher how to effectively teach. Of course a teacher must also be qualified in the specific subject they teach (like English), but it is also extremely important that teachers learn effective techniques to be able to reach children at all levels. This could include students with learning disabilities, students who speak a language other than English as their first, students who have behavioral issues, and students who excel beyond the normal level of the class and need special attention in order to progress at a faster rate.
All of this requires that teachers become certified. Certification can differ from state to state, but for the most part, once you are certified you can teach at public schools across the board. However, private schools are also an option for teachers. However, private schools may have more specific or higher requirements for their staff than public schools, so before applying for private school jobs, make sure you meet all of their requirements. This could be worth your while, though, because private schools offer some of the highest paying jobs in education.
Becoming certified to be a teacher requires at least a bachelor’s degree. Some certifications or certain subjects may require an applicant to hold a master’s degree. After becoming certified, teachers must continue their education through seminars, classes, symposiums, etc. These classes often involve innovative ways to reach students. They may have a particular focus like some of those mentioned above (i.e. teaching students who speak English as a second language).
Many schools would prefer their applicants have prior experience, but because there is such a shortage of teachers it is likely you could find a job right out of school yourself if you are in the right area. However, you will still be required to complete student teaching before becoming fully certified or being able to apply for a full-time job. This time period can be very useful for you. You will be closely monitored, which may be a little nerve wracking, but you will also have close guidance along the way.
The outlook for English teaching jobs is good. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics growth in this sector will remain average over the next six years or so. There is a constant shortage of teachers, however, so this really means that there will still be many jobs available.
Salaries for teachers vary widely depending on area, subject, and experience. In 2006 high school teachers averaged between $38,000 and $60,000 per year. This amount varied by experience and location.
Teaching English can be a very rewarding career. If you have a passion for English and are good with young adults then you could be very valuable in this career. The nation is in dire need of good teachers. Become qualified today and start affecting the lives of the future leaders of our country.