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How to Become a Sociology Teacher

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Sociology is the study of society: how humans conduct their social life, form communities and develop civilizations. Sociology is a useful area of study for people of all ages, including middle and high school. It delves into many of the issues challenging communities around the world, such as race, cultural differences and gender. Understanding these issues and their effect on how people live, work and play is vital in today’s global society. Sociology teachers equip young minds with this knowledge.

Attend a college that offers teaching courses. Most colleges offer sociology majors. You can find schools in your state on the United States Department of Education website.

Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in teaching with a sociology major. You can also graduate with a major in sociology and an additional year of teaching classes. You cannot become a licensed teacher without at least a bachelor’s degree.

Submit your transcripts to your state and follow your state’s procedures for a background check. These vary from state to state.

Take and pass your state’s general teaching exam. Many states use the Praxis test.

Take an additional state exam that proves you possess a competent knowledge of sociology. Your state may not have a specific exam for sociology, so you may have to take the exam for social studies, which covers sociology. If this is the case, you will need to have a competent knowledge of other social studies-related issues, such as history, geography and political science.

Find a school to work in that offers sociology or a social studies program that highlights it within the curriculum. You may need to look for schools that have Advanced Placement programs. The American Sociological Association has sponsored high school AP sociology programs in cities such as Chicago and Princeton, N.J.

Complete a year of monitored teaching, if you did not complete student teaching during college. You must have demonstrated your ability to handle a classroom.

Tip

If you have a degree in sociology, you may not need additional teaching courses or as many teaching courses to teach sociology in areas with a teacher shortage. These areas include urban or extremely rural areas. Check with your state education board for a list of these areas, as well as their requirements for teachers for these areas.

Depending on the need for a specialized sociology teacher in your school, your school may wish for you to teach other social studies classes in addition to sociology.

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