Christian Educator Job Requirements and Salary
Although many private schools do not require licensed teachers, most Christian schools do require the same credentials and educational level as some private and all public schools.
While teachers at pre-schools are not always required to be certified or have a degree, depending on the school’s program, the vast majority of elementary and secondary grade teachers will need to have at a minimum a bachelor’s degree, as well as certification. However, keep in mind that pre-school teacher educational requirements vary widely from school to school. Call schools you are interested in and ask administrators what credentials are needed to be considered for teaching preschool. Otherwise, how you become certified depends on your state’s requirements. In some states, teachers are required to pass a test before they receive certification. In other states, a teacher is required to earn a master’s degree. To determine what your state requires for you to become a certified teacher, visit your state department of education Web site, or give them a call. Once you are certified, most teachers are expected to take continuing education classes, keeping themselves up to date on the latest techniques and teaching methods, and incorporating them into their classrooms.
If you are interested in becoming an instructor at the college level as a staff member, or sometimes on an adjunct basis, you will need to have at least a master’s degree in the subject area you wish to teach. To become a professor and earn tenure you will need to earn a PhD in your subject area.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Teachers are expected to have a very solid base of knowledge in the subjects they teach. They are also expected to understand children’s developmental stages and needs, as well as have a high level of knowledge of effective learning techniques. Additionally, teachers are expected to know how to work with kids with behavioral issues, and in fact have some knowledge of what behaviors are typical of the ages they teach. Often, children with special needs are placed in regular classrooms, and teachers should have some knowledge of how to work with these special needs. Today’s teachers use technology as part of their teaching tools, such as the Internet and Smart Boards. Teachers will need to know how to use and integrate these tools into their lessons. Discipline is a part of every teacher’s vocabulary, and knowing discipline techniques that motivate students to change and improve their behavior, is essential. Most schools administer standardized tests which enable administrators to see where students need to improve. Teachers are expected to prepare their students for these tests. Additionally, teachers must know how to organize their time and communicate well with administrators and parents.
People who work with children and young adults need to genuinely enjoy being around them. Working with kids can be very rewarding, but also emotionally and physically tiring. Enjoying kids as well as teaching them is important if you wish to enjoy a long-lasting career as a teacher. Not only should you enjoy being around kids, but you need to be able to work with them in a patient and consistent manner. It is important that teachers have excellent communication skills, and are great listeners as well as talkers. Understanding students’ non-verbal “body” language helps teachers recognize when a student is struggling or needs assistance. In some schools, teachers work in teams, and must have the ability to adapt to that structure. Even when teachers are not part of a team, they need to have the ability to work as a team with other teachers and service providers (speech pathologists, school nurses, school counselors), as well as administrators.
Christian Educator Average Salary
Christian schools may offer salaries that are higher, lower, or comparable to standard teachers’ salaries in area public schools. Salaries depend on the size of the school, how it is funded, and the school’s reputation for academic excellence.
Salaries given in this section are to be used as guidelines only, since actual salaries will vary widely.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that preschool teachers earned an average yearly salary of $23,870 in 2008. In the same year, the average annual salaries of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180. The lowest 10 percent earned $30,970 to $34,280, while the top 10 percent earned $75,190 to $80,970. College level instructors and professors earned an average annual salary of $58,830. The middle 50 percent earned between $41,600 and $83,960. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,870, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $121,850.
Potential Career Path
Teachers have many possible career paths. They could choose to specialize in a certain area of education, and become certified school librarians, reading specialists, instructional coordinators, and guidance counselors. Teachers can also become administrators, getting promoted to supervisor, director, or principal of a school. Some school systems provide opportunities for teachers to mentor new teachers, and earn higher pay rates and gain new responsibilities that way. Administrators of Christian schools can move to larger schools, or grow their current school.