German Teacher Career Profile

If you like the German language and are interested in sharing it with others, you might want to consider the following career profile of a German teacher.

Education

Since German is not a very commonly taught language, you might want to consider majoring in not only German but also in another foreign language in college. You also might find it beneficial to minor in education. You will need a bachelor’s degree in order to teach in public school, and if you want to teach at the college level, you will want to get either your master’s or doctorate degree.

In order to teach in public schools, you will have to get a teaching certificate for the state where you plan to teach. Each state has its own requirements, but most will want you to pass a test in your field of study. Usually you will be expected to do at least one semester of student teaching as well. Since many teachers are required to do ongoing education, you may want to take the opportunity to earn a higher degree, especially since it usually means you will get paid more.

Basic tasks

As a teacher, you will be expected to create lesson plans that will engage students and get them excited about learning German. You can try different games and activities to help students learn vocabulary, pronunciation, verb conjugation, and other grammar rules. You’ll want to make sure your students have a chance to practice German in conversation along with reading and writing the language. You may also want to discuss the developments in German culture and civilization.

Hours, Salary and Outlook

If you work at a school or university, you will probably work Monday through Friday anywhere from 7 am to 5 pm. However, some institutions of higher learning may have you to teach night or weekend classes. The job outlook for most teachers in the next ten years should be good, but German isn’t one of the most commonly taught foreign languages in U.S. schools. As a result, you might want to get certified in more than one subject area to maximize your chances of getting hired.

Public school teachers earn, on average, between $45,000 and $50,000 a year; on the other hand, college instructors and university professors earn about $65,000 to $70,000 annually.

Tips

Besides teaching in a school or university, you could also become a part-time German tutor or teach continuing education classes. But if you can’t find a job opening in your area, you may have to relocate to get the job you want.

 Also, network as much as you can by joining professional organizations and attending conferences like the ones held by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. While teaching can be a very challenging career, it can also be one of the most rewarding ones you can choose.