A secondary education degree provides you with the training and credentials you need to teach specific subjects to children at middle schools and high schools. Programs in secondary education provide students with a strong foundation in both content and teaching knowledge, instructing you on how to present information to students, as well as work with students from varying backgrounds. Explore secondary education schools if you would like to teach the subjects you are passionate about and help young adults prepare for a fulfilling life.
Secondary Education Programs: What to Expect
Available at the bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral level, secondary education programs prepare you to teach math, science, English, social studies, art or foreign languages. Although requirements for becoming a secondary school teacher vary, all states require secondary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in order to teach at a public school. Some states even require secondary school teachers to obtain a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification.
The prerequisites for admission to four-year bachelor’s degree programs in secondary education are typically a GED or high school diploma, minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA, and minimum standardized test scores. In some states, students may also be required to pass basic skills tests and/or subject tests in order to qualify for admission to teacher preparation programs.
Graduate programs in secondary education allow current secondary school teachers to build upon their skills and knowledge so that they can take on supervisory roles. A master’s degree takes about two years to complete, whereas an education specialist program is generally 40-45 credits beyond the master’s degree. Doctoral degrees can take from three to five years to complete and typically require a research dissertation. Some master’s programs in secondary education are also designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a secondary content area and would like to obtain a teaching certification.
Secondary Education Curriculum
While studying secondary education, you will take courses in your specific content area, as well as courses related to education and child development. Topics might include:
- Principles of teaching and learning
- Curriculum and teaching in urban areas
- Speech performance
- Secondary school curriculum development
- Creating classroom climates
You will also complete a student teaching practicum in a classroom environment so that you can gain hands-on experience and learn alongside experienced teachers. After graduation, you will be required to pass state certification tests in your respective field, as well as obtain a general teaching license. Although it will vary by state, a secondary teaching license allows you to teach the 6th through 12th grades.
Job Opportunities for Secondary Education School Graduates
Effective secondary school teachers are vital to the health and future of our nation. Working alongside the entire faculty, a secondary school teacher is responsible for planning lessons, teaching class, assessing students’ abilities, grading projects and assignments, preparing students for standardized tests, and communicating with parents regarding the students’ progress, among other duties.
Teachers should have excellent communication skills and the ability to forge a good working relationship with a variety of people. In order to be successful as a secondary school teacher, you should not only have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter you teach, but you should also be someone who likes children and enjoys helping young people learn.
Due to declining student-to-teacher ratios, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of high school teachers is expected to grow 7% s from 2010 to 2020. However, the growth is slower than average compared to other occupations and will be dependent on state and local government budgets. Opportunities are expected to best in the South and West, while the Northeast should experience declines.
Secondary school teachers receive a competitive salary and get summers off, making teaching a desirable career option. In 2012, the median annual wage of high school teachers was $55,050 per year. Teaching secondary school students is a challenging yet rewarding career. If you would like to help students prepare for adulthood and get on track for academic and professional success, start working towards your secondary education degree today.
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