Secondary school teachers are trained to teach students in grades 6-12. Teacher training programs call for courses in topics such as teaching theory, child development, and classroom management and have extensive student-teaching requirements.
These programs typically last 4 years and require a high school diploma or GED for admission.
All states require teachers have at least a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher training program in order to be certified, or licensed, to teach; they also must pass competency tests.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Secondary Education
Public and private school teachers at the 10th grade level specialize in a particular subject, such as English, algebra, biology, French or chemistry. Most aspiring secondary school teachers earn a bachelor's degree with a major in the subject they wish to teach and acquire teaching credentials separately. Prospective teachers may either enroll in teaching courses beginning in the second year of a bachelor's program or earn teacher certification after graduating.
Coursework in all programs leading to teacher certification provide a foundation in education theory as well as practical teaching skills. Common classes include:
- Philosophy of education
- Teaching multicultural students
- Psychology of learning
- Teaching methods
- Student-teacher internship
- Communication methods
Certification Programs in Secondary Education
Secondary teacher certificate programs are offered to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Undergraduate teaching programs are completed simultaneously with a bachelor's degree, while postgraduate programs can be completed after students have earned a degree.
At most schools, the programs are identical, incorporating training in teaching methods, curriculum planning, and educational psychology. Additionally, students participate in a one-semester student-teaching internship, in which they teach alongside a licensed teacher at a secondary school. Most internship programs do not allow students to specify which grade level they'd prefer to student-teach, but students may elect to gain high school teaching experience.
Students with a bachelor's degree who are interested in comprehensively studying education, as well as earning secondary school teacher certification, may enroll in a Master of Arts in Teaching program. Master's degree programs typically include more credit hours than certification programs, require full-time study and engage students in several student-teaching field experiences.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teacher jobs (which included 10th grade instructors) were expected to grow only 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is about the same as for other vocations (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage of secondary school teachers in 2015 was $57,200.
A bachelor's degree in secondary education is the most common route for someone interested in teaching at the 10th grade level. Once they graduate, they can go onto a secondary teacher certificate program.