How To Become A History Teacher

How to become a history teacher – The study of history goes beyond a mere compilation of dates and events; it is a dynamic tapestry that interlaces the narratives of humanity. Central to unraveling this intricate narrative is the history educator, a committed mentor whose enthusiasm for the past serves as a guiding beacon for the next generation. In this piece, we delve into the diverse responsibilities of a history educator and elucidate why prospective educators should contemplate embarking on this intellectually fulfilling journey.

Read: A Guide To An Online Degree In History | 10 Best History Schools

The Role of a History Teacher

  1. Narrator and Storyteller:
    A history educator excels as a storyteller, breathing life into the past through vivid narratives that captivate the imaginations of students. Through compelling stories, historical figures and events transform from mere abstractions into relatable characters and experiences that mold our present and future.
  2. Critical Analyst and Thinker:
    History educators cultivate critical thinking skills by motivating students to question, analyze, and interpret historical evidence. They guide learners in navigating the intricacies of the past, aiding in the development of a discerning eye for understanding diverse perspectives and motivations.
  3. Cultural Diplomat:
    A history educator serves as a cultural diplomat, introducing students to diverse civilizations, traditions, and belief systems. By fostering an appreciation for cultural diversity, these educators contribute to cultivating informed and open-minded global citizens.
  4. Link Between Past and Present:
    History educators play a pivotal role in connecting the dots between the past and present, helping students comprehend the roots of contemporary issues. This connection empowers learners to make informed decisions, critically engage with current events, and contribute meaningfully to society.
  5. Inspirational Guide:
    Beyond the classroom, history educators often become mentors who inspire and guide students toward personal and academic growth. Their passion for history can spark a lifelong love of learning, motivating students to explore the world with curiosity and a thirst for knowledge.

Why You Should Consider Becoming a History Teacher

  1. Impact on Future Generations:
    History educators have the unique opportunity to shape the minds of future leaders, thinkers, and change-makers. By imparting a profound understanding of the past, these educators contribute to constructing a more informed and enlightened society.
  2. Intellectual Stimulation:
    Teaching history offers a continual source of intellectual stimulation. History is not static; it evolves as new discoveries and perspectives emerge. As a history educator, one is consistently engaged in the dynamic process of learning and sharing newfound knowledge with students.
  3. Fulfilling a Passion:
    For those with a genuine passion for history, becoming a history educator allows them to share that passion with others. It transforms a personal interest into a fulfilling career dedicated to preserving and disseminating the richness of human history.
  4. Contribution to Social Understanding:
    History educators contribute to fostering empathy and understanding by helping students recognize the common threads that connect diverse societies. In a world that often faces challenges rooted in misunderstanding, the role of a history educator becomes pivotal in promoting tolerance and cooperation.

How to Become a History Teacher

To become a history teacher, the typical requirements include earning a bachelor’s degree in history or a related field and completing a teacher preparation program. Here are the detailed steps and qualifications based on the search results:

Education and Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree: Aspiring history teachers need to earn a bachelor’s degree in history or a related field. Some sources mention that a major or minor in history or social science is required, while others emphasize the importance of completing a state approved teacher preparation program.

Teacher Preparation Program: After completing a bachelor’s degree, aspiring history teachers must enroll in a teacher preparation program, which includes coursework in both history and education. This program provides the necessary training and often includes a period of supervised teaching.

Certification and Licensure

State Certification: After meeting the educational requirements, aspiring history teachers must obtain state certification or licensure to teach in public schools. This typically involves passing certification tests, such as the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) in Florida.

Alternative Certification Programs: Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in history or a related field may pursue alternative certification programs designed for career changers or those seeking to transition into teaching.

Career Paths and Opportunities

High School Teacher: Many history teachers work in high schools, where they teach history courses to students in grades 912. They are responsible for creating lesson plans, delivering instruction, and assessing student learning.

Middle School Teacher: Some history teachers work in middle schools, teaching history to students in grades 68, and introducing them to key historical concepts and events.

 Postsecondary Educator: For those with advanced degrees, such as a master’s or doctoral degree in history, a career as a postsecondary educator at colleges and universities may be an option.

To become a history teacher, individuals typically need a bachelor’s degree in history or a related field, completion of a teacher preparation program, and state certification or licensure. The specific requirements may vary by state, so it’s important to check the guidelines in the relevant state.

History Teacher College

When considering colleges for history teacher education, several institutions offer programs tailored to aspiring history teachers. Here are some options based on the search results:

  1. University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)

    UIC offers a program in the Teaching of History, preparing secondary school history teachers for nearly four decades. The program emphasizes a strong foundation within the historical discipline and provides students with learning historical content and inquiry. The program also includes methods courses that focus on the philosophy and politics of historical pedagogy, as well as actual classroom practice.

  1. Illinois State University

    Illinois State University’s education program produces the most history social sciences teachers in the state of Illinois. The program prepares students to teach history and other social sciences at the high school level, including AP courses. It offers real teaching experiences, observations, microteaching, and a semester of student teaching. The Department of History at Illinois State is one of the largest producers of History, Social Sciences teachers in the state and one of the largest in the country.

  1. Other Options

    The search results also mention institutions such as Connecticut and Bradley University, which offer programs in related fields, but the specific details about their history teacher education programs are not provided.

When considering a college for history teacher education, it’s important to review the specific program requirements, faculty expertise, and opportunities for practical teaching experience. Additionally, prospective students should consider factors such as application deadlines, available focuses, and the institution’s track record in producing successful history teachers.

What are the Career Prospects for History Teachers

The career prospects for history teachers are promising, with a projected 5% growth in demand from 2018 to 2028. Here are some key points about the career prospects for history teachers based on the search results:

Job Growth: The demand for history teachers is projected to grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028, indicating a positive outlook for individuals pursuing a career in this field.

Salary: The average salary for history teachers is $53,780, with an 8% increase in salaries for history teachers in the last 5 years. The salary may vary based on factors such as location, level of education, and years of experience.

Employment Opportunities: As of the latest data, there are over 270,455 history teachers currently employed in the United States, with 65,399 active history teacher job openings.

Career Paths: History teachers have various career paths, including teaching at high schools, middle schools, community colleges, and universities. Postsecondary educators, such as professors, typically require advanced degrees, such as a master’s or doctoral degree in history.

The career prospects for history teachers are favorable, with steady job growth, competitive salaries, and diverse opportunities for teaching at different educational levels. Aspiring history teachers should consider obtaining the necessary qualifications, such as a bachelor’s degree in history or a related field, completion of a teacher preparation program, and state certification, to pursue a rewarding career in this field.


Becoming a history educator is not merely a career choice; it is an opportunity to become a guardian of the past, a mentor for the future, and a catalyst for positive change. In the hands of a passionate and dedicated history educator, the study of history transforms into a transformative journey, equipping students with the tools to navigate the complexities of the world with wisdom and insight. Consider joining the ranks of history teachers. 

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