The number of student enrollments in public schools is also on the rise, and the demand for teachers is directly impacted by this. Enrollment varies by region, with states in the South and West having the largest increases, while enrollments in the Midwest remain steady, and enrollment in the Northeast declines. School districts in poor, densely populated areas and in sparsely populated rural areas are in greater need of teachers. There are also school districts looking to hire teachers who are qualified in particular subject areas, like math, science, bilingual education and foreign languages. As the number of non-English-speaking students and students of ethnic minorities continue to grow, efforts to recruit bilingual and minority teachers will increase as well.
Public School Teacher Salary
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the average salaries of public school teachers ranged from $30,970 to $80,970 in May 2008, with the median being between $47,100 and $51,180. The majority of public school teachers belong to teaching unions, primarily the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, that bargain for salaries, hours and other conditions of employment. There are however, other ways that teachers can increase the amount of money they make. Some schools will pay teachers extra for facilitating extracurricular activities and sports, while others receive additional compensation for advanced degrees and certification.
How to Be a Public School Teacher
Becoming a public school teacher generally requires completing your Bachelor’s degree in a teacher education program and obtaining a license. Many states offer alternative certification for those who do did not pursue a degree in teaching. There are also voluntary, nationally recognized certifications that allow teachers to demonstrate advanced expertise. Many schools provide special benefits to teachers who earn national certification such as higher salaries and reimbursement for education fees. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is one organization that offers national, professional teaching certification in such areas as Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), mathematics, English and many others.