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Become An English Language Arts Teacher

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Working As An English Language Arts Teacher

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Make Decisions

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does An English Language Arts Teacher Do

Middle school teachers educate students, typically in sixth through eighth grade. Middle school teachers help students build on the fundamentals taught in elementary school and prepare students for the more difficult curriculum they will face in high school.

Duties

Middle school teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans to teach students a subject, such as biology or history
  • Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class or to smaller groups
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams to monitor their progress
  • Communicate with parents about their child’s progress
  • Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, at lunchtime or during detention

Middle school teachers generally teach students from sixth to eighth grades. However, in some school districts, they may teach students as early as fourth grade or as late as ninth grade.

In many schools, middle school teachers are responsible for only some of the subjects their students learn. For example, one teacher may be responsible for teaching English and social studies while another may be responsible for teaching math and science. Some middle school instructors teach specialized classes, such as art, music, or physical education. 

Students typically change classrooms several times a day to attend lessons in different subjects. As a result, middle school teachers see several different classes of students throughout the day. However, in some middle schools, teachers teach all the subjects for one class of students the entire day. In either type of school, teachers use time during the day when they do not have classes to plan lessons, grade assignments, or meet with other teachers and staff.

Some middle school teachers work in teams that teach the same group of students. These teachers meet to discuss students’ progress and to plan future lessons.

In some schools, teachers of English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) work exclusively with students who are learning the English language. These students are often referred to as English language learners (ELLs). ESL and ESOL teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and to help the students with assignments for their other classes.

Middle school teachers may also work with special education teachers to adapt lessons taught in traditional classes to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders. In some cases, middle school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.

Some teachers maintain websites to communicate with parents about students’ assignments, upcoming events, and grades. For their students, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information or to expand a lesson taught in class.

Some middle school teachers coach sports teams and advise student clubs and groups, whose practices and meetings frequently take place before or after school.

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How To Become An English Language Arts Teacher

Middle school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

All states require public middle school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many states require middle school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. Other states require middle school teachers to major in elementary education. Middle school teachers typically enroll in their college’s teacher preparation program and take classes in education and child psychology in addition to the classes required by their major.

Teacher education programs teach prospective middle school teachers how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork such as student teaching. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.

Some states require middle school teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.

Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek middle school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and a major in elementary education or a content area.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Those who teach in private schools are not usually required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Certification of middle school teachers varies considerably from state to state. In some states, they are certified to teach elementary school grades, which are typically first through sixth grades or first through eighth grades. In other states, they are certified to teach middle school grades, which include sixth through eighth grades. Other states provide middle school teachers with a secondary school or high school certification, which often includes seventh through twelfth grades.

Requirements for certification also vary by state. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, they are also required to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, which is typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. States typically require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Teachers are often required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either of these programs.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to perform fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with other teachers and special education teachers. In addition, they need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Middle school teachers must be patient when students struggle with material.

Physical stamina. Working with middle school aged students can be tiring. Teachers need to be able to physically, mentally, and emotionally keep up with the students.

Resourcefulness. Middle school teachers need to be able to explain difficult concepts in terms that students can understand. In addition, they need to be able to get students engaged in learning and adapt lessons to each student’s needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to serve as mentors to newer teachers or to become lead teachers. In these positions, they help less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.

With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals, both of which generally require additional education in education administration or leadership. For more information, see the profiles on school and career counselors, librarians, instructional coordinators, and elementary, middle, and high school principals.

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English Language Arts Teacher Career Paths

English Language Arts Teacher
Social Studies Teacher Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Social Studies Teacher Math Teacher Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Social Studies Teacher Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Owner Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Project Manager Principal
High School Principal
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Manager Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Assistant Director Director Of Admissions
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Coach Administrator Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Coach Faculty Associate Dean
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Coach Faculty Department Chairperson
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Middle School Teacher Special Education Teacher Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Middle School Teacher Education Consultant Student Dean
High School Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Training Manager Manager, Learning & Development
Leadership Development Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Middle School Teacher Education Consultant Elementary School Principal
Curriculum Director
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Vice President Planning Committee Member
Professional Development Director
6 Yearsyrs
Coach/Instructor Curriculum Developer Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
Mentor Faculty Associate Dean
Instruction Dean
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an English Language Arts Teacher?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
2nd Grade Teacher 3.3 years
6th Grade Teacher 2.7 years
5th Grade Teacher 2.7 years
8th Grade Teacher 2.5 years
4th Grade Teacher 2.5 years
Humanities Teacher 2.5 years
Literacy Teacher 2.3 years
7th Grade Teacher 2.2 years
Top Careers Before English Language Arts Teacher
Teacher 25.5%
Tutor 5.4%
Internship 5.2%
Instructor 3.4%
Volunteer 2.3%
Top Careers After English Language Arts Teacher
Teacher 27.2%
Tutor 4.2%
Instructor 4.0%
Principal 3.2%
Coach 3.0%
Internship 2.2%

Do you work as an English Language Arts Teacher?

English Language Arts Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

64.3%

Male

21.7%

Unknown

14.0%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

13.8%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.9%

French

15.1%

German

5.9%

Arabic

5.9%

Italian

2.6%

Chinese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Hungarian

1.3%

Turkish

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Portuguese

0.7%

Serbian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Albanian

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Greek

0.7%
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English Language Arts Teacher Education

Schools

Grand Canyon University

9.8%

Walden University

9.6%

University of Phoenix

9.6%

Eastern Michigan University

6.5%

Texas A&M University

6.0%

New York University

5.8%

Liberty University

5.5%

Prairie View A & M University

4.5%

University of Houston

4.3%

Lamar University

4.0%

Teachers College of Columbia University

3.8%

College of Saint Rose

3.8%

National University

3.5%

Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry

3.5%

Saint John's University - New York

3.5%

Wayne State University

3.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.3%

Webster University

3.3%

Capella University

3.3%

University of New Orleans

3.0%
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Majors

English

19.1%

Education

17.1%

Elementary Education

13.2%

Educational Leadership

9.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

6.5%

Secondary Education And Teaching

6.0%

Curriculum And Instruction

4.8%

Special Education

3.6%

Business

3.0%

Communication

2.5%

Teaching Assistants/Aides

2.1%

School Counseling

1.9%

Psychology

1.8%

Writing

1.8%

Educational Technology

1.5%

Teaching English As A Second Language

1.4%

History

1.3%

Literature

1.3%

Political Science

1.1%

Interdisciplinary Studies

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

50.0%

Bachelors

29.0%

Other

10.6%

Certificate

5.2%

Doctorate

4.0%

Associate

0.5%

License

0.4%

Diploma

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$52,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Frederick County Public Libraries
Highest Paying City
Paterson, NJ
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does an English Language Arts Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for an English Language Arts Teacher in the United States is $52,418 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $74,000.

Real English Language Arts Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
English and Language Arts Teacher Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School New York, NY Sep 07, 2013 $73,430
English and Language Arts Teacher Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $71,990
English/Language Arts Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Clinton, MD Aug 13, 2010 $66,486
English/Language Arts Teacher Northeastern Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists New York, NY Aug 15, 2011 $63,099
English/Language Arts Teacher Northeastern Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists NY Apr 01, 2012 $63,099
English Language Arts Teacher Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls Albany, NY Feb 19, 2016 $59,915
English Language Arts Teacher American Dream Charter School New York, NY Aug 30, 2016 $56,568
English Language Arts Teacher/Physical Education Calcasieu Parish School System LA Jan 12, 2014 $51,202
Secondary English Language Arts Teacher Garland Independent School District Rowlett, TX Jun 16, 2011 $48,606
English Language Arts Teacher Calcasieu Parish School System Iowa, LA Jan 12, 2011 $46,177
English Language Arts Teacher Guilford County Schools Jamestown, NC Jul 01, 2012 $45,565
English Language Arts Teacher Calcasieu Parish School System Iowa, LA Jan 12, 2011 $45,300
English Language Arts Teacher Longview Independent School District Longview, TX Oct 01, 2014 $41,480
English Language Arts Teacher Somerton School District #11 Somerton, AZ Dec 29, 2016 $40,492
English Language Arts Teacher Longview Independent School District Longview, TX Oct 01, 2011 $40,280
English Language Arts Teacher Precision Academy System Phoenix, AZ Oct 01, 2011 $39,413
English Language Arts Teacher Precision Academy System Phoenix, AZ Aug 13, 2011 $39,413

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Top Skills for An English Language Arts Teacher

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Language
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Attended a variety of professional development workshops centered on gifted classroom resources, curriculum development/differentiation, and teaching English language learners.
  • Administered successful proactive classroom management plan using REFOCUS method demonstrating effective behavior management with 6th and 7th graders.
  • Developed and implemented my own English Language Arts Curriculum Pre-Kindergarten Teacher.
  • Collaborated with administration, teaching teams, parents and community members to facilitate student learning.
  • Organize curriculum development seminars and lesson plans to increase students' academic success.

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Top 10 Best States for English Language Arts Teachers

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Alaska
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Michigan
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New Jersey
  8. New York
  9. Oregon
  10. Minnesota
  • (4,149 jobs)
  • (294 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (449 jobs)
  • (741 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (590 jobs)
  • (449 jobs)
  • (183 jobs)
  • (380 jobs)

Top English Language Arts Teacher Employers

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Jobs From Top English Language Arts Teacher Employers

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