A position as an English teacher requires a bachelor’s degree in English, a state teaching license and teacher certification. While specific requirements vary between states, all three qualifications are required to teach at most schools.
All teachers must possess at least a bachelor’s degree, while some states prefer a master’s degree. While English teachers most commonly hold English degrees, some states allow for any type of bachelor’s degree provided the candidate can pass an English licensure exam. In addition to an English degree, teachers are required to undergo teacher training courses that focus on classroom management, pedagogy and student teaching experience. Teacher training programs are available in college or as stand-alone programs.
Teachers in most states must pass a licensure examination to be hired at state public schools. This exam tests teachers on both subject matter and teaching techniques. English licensure exams typically contain questions on language arts, literature and reading skills, along with other questions on pedagogy, classroom management and classroom procedures.
Teacher certification is also a requirement for all public school teachers. A certificate typically requires proof of education, the completion of a teacher training program and a passing score on the state licensure exam. Because the position involves working with children, most states also require prospective teachers to undergo criminal background checks before receiving certification.