In the United States, hiring for government or public school positions, including English teacher roles, is typically done at the local level by individual school districts. Each state has its own certification requirements for teachers, and candidates usually need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, have completed a teacher preparation program, and have passed the necessary state certification exams.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- Develop and implement engaging lesson plans that meet the educational standards and the needs of students.
- Teach students how to analyze, interpret, and evaluate texts from a variety of genres and time periods.
- Instruct students in the composition of written work, including essays, reports, and other forms of writing.
- Conduct assessments to monitor student progress and provide feedback for improvement.
- Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students’ varying needs and interests.
- Prepare students for standardized tests and other assessments.
- Maintain accurate and complete records of students’ progress and development.
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among the students for whom they are responsible.
- Participate in department, school, and parent meetings.
- Communicate necessary information regularly to students, colleagues, and parents regarding student progress and student needs.
- Engage in ongoing professional development to improve personal teaching practices and stay current with educational research and pedagogy.
- A Bachelor’s degree in English, Education, or a related field.
- State teaching certification for teaching English at the appropriate grade level.
- Strong understanding of curriculum standards and teaching methodologies.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to engage students and inspire a love for literature and writing.
- Commitment to continuous learning and professional growth.
- Patience and flexibility in working with students of different backgrounds and levels of proficiency.
- A Master’s Degree in Education, English, or a related field.
- Previous teaching experience in a public school setting.
- Proficiency with educational technology and digital teaching tools.
- The English Teacher will work in a classroom environment within the school premises.
- Regular standing, walking, and engagement with students and faculty.
- Participation in occasional outdoor supervisory duties, such as monitoring recess or school events.
- Exposure to the noise and activity of an active school environment.
- Must be able to move around the classroom to interact with students and assist with their work.
- Ability to occasionally lift items such as books and classroom supplies up to 20 pounds.
- Salaries are determined according to the district pay scale, considering experience and education level.
- Benefits typically include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid sick and personal leave.
Here’s a general process on how you could apply for English teacher positions at government (public) schools in the USA:
- Education and Certification:
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree, preferably in English or Education.
- Complete a teacher preparation program.
- Pass state-required exams for certification (like Praxis).
- Apply for a teaching certificate in the state where you wish to teach.
- Gain experience through student teaching, which is often part of the teacher education program.
- Consider substitute teaching or working as a teaching assistant to gain classroom experience.
- Job Search:
- Search for job openings on school district websites, state department of education websites, or on national job boards like SchoolSpring or TeachAway.
- Attend teacher job fairs and recruitment events often held by school districts.
- Application Process:
- Submit your application through the school district’s employment portal or as instructed in the job posting.
- Your application should include a resume, cover letter, professional references, and copies of your teaching certification and academic transcripts.
- Interview Process:
- Prepare for interviews by researching the school district and its philosophy on education.
- You may have to undergo several rounds of interviews, including a teaching demonstration.
- Background Checks:
- Once selected, you will have to pass background checks as required by the school district.
- Continued Professional Development:
- Most states require teachers to engage in ongoing professional development and to renew their teaching licenses periodically.
For non-U.S. citizens, the process involves additional steps, such as obtaining a work visa, which often requires sponsorship from the hiring school district. The J-1 and H-1B visas are commonly used for educational professionals coming to work in the U.S. However, visa sponsorship can be competitive and is subject to various legal requirements.
The Assessment Test
Assessment tests for prospective English teachers in government schools in the USA are part of the certification process. These assessments are designed to ensure that teacher candidates have the necessary content knowledge and teaching skills to be effective educators. The exact assessments can vary by state, but there are a few that are commonly used across many states:
- Praxis Series:
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Tests the basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.
- Praxis Subject Assessments: Measure knowledge of specific subjects that K–12 educators will teach, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge. English teachers might take the “English Language Arts: Content Knowledge” test or others related to teaching English, depending on state requirements.
- State-Specific Subject Assessments:
- Some states have their own specific tests that teachers must pass in order to become certified in that state. For example, the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE), the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), or the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES).
- Content Knowledge Assessment:
- These tests assess knowledge of English language and literature, including knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and the ability to analyze and interpret literary texts.
- Performance Assessments:
- Some examples include the edTPA or the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT), which are used in various states. These assessments often require the teacher candidate to submit a portfolio of materials including video recordings of teaching, lesson plans, student work samples, and reflective commentaries.
- Foundational Skills and Pedagogy Tests:
- These evaluate a candidate’s teaching strategies, classroom management skills, and ability to plan lessons and assess student progress.
- English Language Proficiency Test:
- If the teacher candidate is a non-native English speaker, they might be required to demonstrate proficiency in English through tests like the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- Background Checks:
- While not an assessment test, a clean criminal background check is required for teaching in most states.
- Continuing Education:
- Teachers may also need to take continuing education courses and additional assessments to renew their teaching licenses throughout their careers.
Before taking these assessments, it’s important for candidates to thoroughly prepare and study the relevant content areas and teaching methodologies