How to Become a Secondary Teacher

If you wish to enter the teaching profession and teach on the Secondary Level, typically grades 7-12, Read on..


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    Research what teachers are paid in your area. Teacher pay will vary from cities, counties and states and between school districts. Substitutes also will earn a rate of pay different from salaried teachers. Once you have a firm grasp on what the profession pays, you will need some formal education.
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    Get teaching credentials. Teacher Credential are typically offered by 4 year institutions. The State qualifies schools to offer credentials for teaching. Look for schools that have a solid classroom instruction, but also, keep in mind that often you will be required to observe other teachers as part of a class. There is also typically an intern portion of the schooling where you will be teaching in a classroom with a master teacher. The internship, or student teaching, can be as long as 6 months to 16 weeks depending on the institution.
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    Be forewarned that during your student teaching, your school will advise you not to have even a part time job. It will require all of your time. It is not impossible to have a part time job while student teaching, but it sure will feel like it.
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    Take a basic skills test. Once you complete your coursework and your student teaching, the State, depending on where you live, will have you complete a basic skills test. States frown on giving teaching degrees to people who don't know much. You may also need to complete a background check with the FBI or other government agencies.
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    Have some type of background/experience in what you plan on teaching. Secondary teachers differ from Elementary teachers in that they have a specific background in a subject that they will teach. For instance, Mathematics, English, Physics, Science, etc. This usually requires a Bachelor's degree in the particular subject that you wish to teach. One can get a Master's degree in Education with which many states consider equal with a teaching degree or credential.


  • Consider the cost of the schooling vs. rate of pay in a salary position.
  • Choose your school wisely to obtain your Teaching Credential or degree.
  • Think of a School District as the company you will be working for and research them accordingly.


  • It has been said, to be a teacher one must take a vow of poverty... It is not entirely accurate, but close.

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Categories: Teacher Resources