How to Become a Spanish Teacher
If you are fluent in Spanish and want to share your knowledge with others, you may be wondering how to become a Spanish teacher. The job is both rewarding and challenging, the following will provide you with more information.
Although not all Spanish teaching jobs require formal education, if you want to teach at a public school or university, you will need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in Spanish or education. Usually the last semester of a teacher preparation program will require you to student teach at a public school in order for you to gain experience at a particular grade level. Once you have completed your education, you will usually be required to show you are proficient in your subject area in order to become a certified teacher.
Each state has its own certification requirements. Some will require only a general teacher certification while others will require additional subject area credentials. You will also be required to pass a state certified exam before you can obtain your certification. While it is possible that a school might allow a Spanish speaking individual to teach Spanish on a temporary basis, if there is a shortage of qualified applicants, you will most likely be required to complete your certification within a specified period of time in order to keep your job.
For more information on accreditation for Spanish teachers within your state, check with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Many school districts will want you to fill out an online application. If so, follow up with a phone call or email to make sure that they received your information. Other districts will have you send your resume before having you come in to fill out an application in person. Once they determine you have the qualifications to do the job, Human Resources may call you in for an interview. You can also expect to receive a competency test and asked to produce your teacher certification.
Types of Jobs
The most common teaching jobs are those in public and private elementary, middle school junior high, and high schools. There are numerous opportunities for teaching at both two and four year colleges and universities. Just be aware that in order to teach at post secondary schools, you may need to have a master’s degree. In addition to these jobs, you might also be able to find employment at a wide variety of language schools and programs. Often the students at these schools are business professionals who need to learn another language in order to work with people in other countries. In addition, you can also work as a private tutor and set your own schedule.
Spanish teachers teach vocabulary, grammar, spelling, composition, and pronunciation. You will also be expected to provide students with information about Spanish literature, history, and culture. You will be expected to create lesson plans, classroom activities and other teaching methods as well as evaluate students’ progress in the class.
Make sure you can read, write and speak Spanish fluently. You will find it beneficial to study in a Spanish speaking country. You may also get some good advice about where to find employment by checking with the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
Salaries for Spanish teachers vary greatly depending on how much experience you have and where you live, but the mean salary is around $50,000. Just realize that teachers often work more than 40 hours per week and that they spend some of their summer taking training classes and preparing for the upcoming year.