Career Profile: Social Science Teacher

What Is A Social Science Teacher?

What is a social science teacher? This person is generally a secondary school educator who can teach several diverse subjects, including history, economics, political science and geography. Especially at the elementary level, these professionals are simply known as social studies teachers. By integrating many disciplines, social science teachers help children understand about society and their place within that society.

Degrees and Training Needed

To become a social sciences teacher, it is necessary to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Many states require teachers to have a master’s degree or be working toward their master’s while they are employed. A good percentage of elementary school teachers earn their bachelor’s degree in education, with an emphasis in social sciences. Most secondary instructors earn a degree in their preferred subject area such as history, geography, sociology and even religion or philosophy. If a student chooses to first earn their degree in a specific field, they must continue their education by enrolling in teacher education courses. These courses impart valuable skills such as classroom management, understanding diversity, teaching to various learning modalities and working with special needs. Students interested in an education career should have prior experience working with children. Teaching religious education classes, working as a tutor or volunteering with youth organizations are excellent ways to get this kind of experience. Once all the required schooling has been achieved, a teaching candidate must pass the licensing exam for the state in which they desire to work.

How much does a Social Science Teacher Make?

The pay scale for social science teachers varies widely from state to state and district to district. On average, a first year secondary teacher can expect to earn $36,000 annually. Many school districts reward teachers for length of service. Salaries are often increased after four, nine and twenty years. In addition, teachers holding a master’s degree earn at least $2,000 more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. The median salary for all teachers is about $52,000, including benefits. Teachers in underserved areas such as inner city districts or on Native American reservations can also earn more. Another incentive for teachers to work in these high need districts is the possibility of having their government-based student loans forgiven.

Demand for Social Science Teachers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for social science teachers will increase by 7 percent between 2012 and 2016. The majority of those jobs will be at schools in large cities. Bilingual teachers will have an easier time securing a position both now and in the future. As the need for well-educated citizens continues to rise, the demand for teachers who can help students understand their role in society will grow.

A social science teacher is one who assimilates information about the world and its people and makes it relevant and interesting to students. A person who makes history come alive, presents civics in a meaningful way and broadens minds with philosophy is the perfect answer to the question, “What is a social science teacher?”