How To Become An English Teacher

If you are able to read this article, you have an English teacher to thank for that. English teachers provide students with formal education of the English language in a high school setting. They teach English literature, language, writing skills, and more.

In order to become an English teacher, you must have a bachelor’s degree in education, as well as a license to teach in your state.

Why Become A English Teacher

English teachers have a variety of responsibilities that keep them busy. They assess their students, since each student will have individual abilities and strengths in the classroom, and be at a different level in English. English teachers plan the lessons that they will give in class.

They teach students in a full class setting, which may involve activities such as giving lectures, having students have discussions amongst themselves, work on group activities, or read books together in class. English teachers prepare students for standardized tests as required.

They give homework assignments, including quizzes, tests, book reports, and more. English teachers grade homework and submit it to show a student’s progress. Teachers may teach just one grade level, or several, or they may teach several subjects, such as creative writing, Advanced Placement English, English as a Second Language, and other courses.

English Teachers should possess the following qualities and skills:

English Teacher Work Environment

English teachers work in a high school setting. They work in a classroom, directly with students. Their class sizes can range widely, depending on the school district and classes they teach. Class sizes can range from 5 to more than 50 students. The day involves standing in front of class and teaching their subject, discussing the material with students.

There is a lot of lesson planning involved with being an English teacher. Teachers must be able to integrate all kinds of learning styles in their classrooms in order to appeal to many different kinds of student learners. Some students may be disrespectful, unmotivated, or not particularly interested in the subject.

A regular workweek for teachers is Monday through Friday, during school hours. However, teachers often work many more hours than this, grading papers, preparing lessons, at parent meetings, teacher meetings, and so forth. Teachers typically work a 10-month school year, with summer vacation and other shorter breaks in between.

English Teacher Salary

The median annual wage for English teachers was $59,000 in 2017, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many factors that determine the wages for teachers. Many teachers work in a school district that has a union, which sets their salaries in a contract. Each teacher has a predetermined salary.

Teachers can earn a higher salary by working additional years and gaining more experience. Different school districts will offer different wages for teachers, with wealthier school districts offering higher salaries usually. Public school teachers earned a median annual salary of $60,000 in 2017, while private school teachers earned a median annual salary of $53,000.

Average English Teacher Annual Salary


The average annual salary for english teachers is $77,660 a year. Salaries start at $36,770 a year and go up to $135,630 a year.

Stats were based out of 69,140 employed english teachers in the United States.

Highest Paying States For English Teachers

Top Paying Cities For English Teachers

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

English Teacher Career Outlook

Employment for high school teachers in general, including English teachers, is expected to increase by 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is about as fast as other occupations in the United States. This will result in the demand for 77,000 jobs over the next 10 years, including English teacher positions. Teachers are funded by state and local government budgets.

Budget constraints may result in the lack of hiring of teachers, or may result in laying off teachers. Many high schools have experienced layoffs due to government budget cuts. Some may wish to search for employment in private schools, where government budgets are not a factor.

Those who have a specialty field, such as English as a second language, or who have multiple certifications, or are willing to work in high-needs areas such as rural locations or urban locations, will have the best chance at finding a job.

English Teacher Degree

In order to become an English teacher, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree. English teachers will be required to major in English, in order to teach that subject. You will need to enroll in your college or university’s teaching program. It is a good idea to research colleges and universities that are well known for their excellent teaching programs.

During your teaching program, you will take lecture courses on education and working with students. You will be placed in a student-teaching program, where you will be put into a classroom and work with a teacher in their classroom, learning how to become a teacher in a class setting. Slowly you will work up to teaching classes on your own.

Teachers are required to be certified in the state where they want to teach. After you complete your teacher preparation program, you will take examinations and receive certification to become an English teacher.

English Teacher Coursework

Teachers will take many different courses during their teacher preparation program. Listed below are a few sample courses teachers may take.

Foundations of Literacy: Students will explore the components of early reading instruction. The will learn the knowledge base of early reading, its importance, and how to apply it within a classroom setting. They will learn teaching strategies for early reading instruction.

Classroom Management: Classroom management is one of the essential skills of becoming a teacher. Students learn how to properly manage a classroom, promote learning, engage students in learning, and minimize student misbehavior.

Teaching English Language Learners: A practical course in how to teach students who do not have English as their native language. The course will focus on academic content, and delivering appropriate instruction to second language learners.

English Teacher Career Path

Career Overview Responsibilities Education Required Benefits
Principal A principal is the manager of either an elementary or high school. A principal oversees all operations of an elementary or high school, including overseeing the operating budget, hiring and firing staff, and setting the vision and mission for the school. Principals are required to have several years of experience working as a teacher, and then receive their master’s degree in educational leadership and administration. This is a great position for a person who loves working in an education system, and would prefer to work in the administrative side of things, overseeing the operations of the school, rather than working inside of the classroom.

Related English Teacher Careers

Elementary School Teachers: Elementary school teachers teach young students in the beginning stages of their learning, generally from grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

Principals: A principal oversees all operations of an elementary or high school, including overseeing the operating budget, hiring and firing staff, and setting the vision and mission for the school.

School Counselor: A school counselor provides a wide range of counseling services for students, from academic counseling as well as psychotherapy.

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