How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More
Middle School Teachers
Middle School Teachers teach one or more subjects to students at the middle, intermediate, or junior high school level.
Table of contents
|Degree field||Education or Elementary Education|
|License or certification||Required. Teaching licenses must be applied in the state where you plan on teaching|
|Duration to become one||Four to five years|
|Difficulty to become one||Hard|
Middle School Teachers need at least a Bachelor’s Degree before seeking work. Aspiring Middle School Teachers typically major in Education or Elementary Education, as Education Degrees cover the training needed to earn a teaching certificate. Middle School Teachers require certification in their state.
Middle School Teachers Requirements
Step 1: Study the Subjects You Want to Teach
Aspiring Middle School Teachers who are interested in teaching a specific subject may want to focus on that subject. For example, take additional Math courses to become a Middle School Math Teacher.
Students should also try to develop a well-rounded education in all subjects, as they will likely take more advanced classes during college. Maintaining a good GPA is also recommended. Good grades increase the chances of getting accepted to preferred schools.
Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Middle School Teachers who work at public schools must meet state requirements. Most states require Middle School Teachers to hold Bachelor’s Degrees. However, the requirements vary from state to state.
For example, some states require Middle School Teachers to major in Elementary Education while others require teachers to major in a specific school subject, such as Science or Math. Some states also require a Master’s Degree instead of a Bachelor’s Degree. Aspiring Middle School Teachers should review the requirements in their state before choosing a college program.
While Middle School Teachers at private schools do not need to meet state requirements, a Bachelor’s Degree is the minimum educational requirement.
Elementary Education is the most common major in states that do not require Middle School Teachers to focus on a specific subject. Elementary Education programs typically include 120 credits of classes and require four years of full-time study. Some of the core classes for Elementary Education include educational assessment, elementary reading methods, and instructional planning.
Elementary Education programs may award students a teaching certificate. The certificates awarded by colleges and universities should not be confused with the state-issued teaching certificates needed to teach.
Step 3: Complete a Student Teaching Program
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree, aspiring Middle School Teachers need to complete a student teaching program. The program may also be called a “teacher education program.”
Most programs last two to three months. During the program, candidates act as a teacher’s assistant. They sit in the classroom and assist with every area of the class, including grading assignments and answering questions from students. This hands-on training prepares teachers for their careers and is a requirement for obtaining a teaching certificate.
Students will be placed in a teaching program after finishing their Bachelor’s Degree program. Students may request specific schools or geographic locations. Most schools attempt to accommodate special requests, but the assignments are based on availability.
Step 4: Apply for a Teaching License in Your State
After completing a student teaching program, aspiring Middle School Teachers can apply for teaching licenses. You must apply in the state where you plan on teaching. The requirements vary from state to state. Most states require the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree program in Education or Elementary Education and a student teaching program. Applicants must also pass a background check and an exam.
Each state has separate testing requirements, but the exam typically assesses a candidate’s knowledge of various teaching subjects. After completing the exam and meeting all other requirements, candidates receive licensure or certification to teach.
Step 5: Consider Earning a Master’s Degree
A Master’s Degree is not required for Middle School Teachers in most states. California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania are a few of the states that require a Master’s Degree while most others require a Bachelor’s Degree.
Earning a graduate-level degree provides further education that may help in this career. The additional training can lead to increased earning potential, better teaching skills, and the opportunity for advancement.
For example, Middle School Teachers interested in eventually holding administrative positions may benefit from a Master’s Degree. Principals, Vice Principals, and other senior school staff often require a Master’s Degree.
A Master’s Degree can also help with employment, especially when applying for jobs at private or charter schools. There are fewer positions available at private and charter schools, creating more competition for job openings.
Step 6: Apply for Teaching Positions at Middle Schools
After obtaining a state-issued teaching license or certificate, candidates can start applying for teaching positions. Certified Middle School Teachers may apply for jobs at public, private, or charter schools.
Public schools in the United States employ over 3.3 million teachers. Private schools employ about 400,000 teachers. Due to the availability of teaching positions, most Middle School Teachers start at public schools.
Each school has different job requirements, but applicants often need to provide written recommendations, a list of references, and sample lesson plans. Compiling a portfolio of the required documents and materials can help prepare aspiring Middle School Teachers for their job search.
Schools also tend to have low turnover rates compared to other professions, which may lead to limited job openings in some areas. Aspiring Middle School Teachers who cannot find work in the immediate area may need to extend their job search to a wider geographic area.
Applicants who cannot find full-time employment may consider looking for substitute teaching positions. Accepting a substitute teaching position provides experience and pay while waiting for other job opportunities.
What degree do most Middle School Teachers have
We did a survey to ask other Middle School Teachers what degree they had when they first became one. Here are the results.
How long does it take
Most Middle School Teachers obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, which typically takes four years to complete. After finishing college, Middle School Teachers need to complete a teaching program, which may take one to two semesters to complete.
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