Becoming a High School Teacher in the USA

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by TheResidentAlien, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. TheResidentAlien

    TheResidentAlien New Member

    Hey all, first post and it is a tough one (for me anyway).
    I am curious about becoming a High School Teacher in the United States. My background is theology, especially related to biblical studies. I am keen to be become a History Teacher at High School, and if it possible, an Ancient History and Religious Studies teacher. Where I come from in Australia, a lot of High Schools have teachers just teaching Ancient History, Religious Studies or History or whatever. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Theology with Honours and I am wrapping up my Masters of Theological Studies... So you may notice I have no Education background. In Australia, if you had a Bachelor's Degree or a Master's Degree, all you would need really is a Graduate Diploma of Education, which is one extra year of post-grad study, and then following the normal route you can get your Teaching License and purse a job. However, I am not sure if anything like this exists in America. I really have no desire to spend another 4 Years Pursing an Education Bachelor's, because by then I will be 30 years old!

    So my question is mainly, if someone has a Bachelors and Masters, how do they get into a High School Teaching Program? Do schools in America teach "The Study of Religion" and "Ancient History" as their own classes? Any feedback would be very helpful!
  2. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    In short, it will really depend on the state, as in the US the states handle teacher licensure.

    I taught high school in Virginia and still hold a valid license. My endorsement was in History & Social Sciences, which in theory, permitted me to teach History, Government, Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Economics. Do I think I was qualified to do all that? Heck now. I would've been attrocious at teaching Economics, but it was lumped in with my license.

    I have a BA in History. I had to pass the state test, the Praxis II, to get a license, along with completing a series of courses in Educational Foundations, Classroom Management, Curriculum & Instruction, Reading in the Content Area, and Developmental Psychology. You have to student teach for a semester, too.

    If you want to become certified in the US, check out the state you're thinking of working in and go from there.

  3. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    First of all, since you already have a bachelor's degree, a second bachelor's is not going to take four years; rather, you could finish your second bachelor's in one year of full-time studies. On top of that, you could gain your teaching qualification at the master's level by seeking out an MAT degree (Master of Arts in Teaching). That, too, could be done in one year of full-time studies.
  4. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Post-baccalaureate teaching programs are very common. Most colleges that offer bachelor's-level teaching preparation programs should offer these either as a formal certificate or diploma, or a course of study. This is apart from the fact that Ted points out that you could complete a bachelor's or master's in teaching reasonably soon with transfer credit. You have many good options!

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