Better Chinese Teacher - How to become a Chinese teacher in the U.S.?
In order to teach Chinese in elementary and secondary public schools in the U.S., teachers must be certified by their State. Unlike China where Teaching Certification is regulated by the Ministry of Education and recognized nationwide. In the U.S., procedures for certification vary by state and are usually regulated by the state Department of Education. So what are the general steps to become a Chinese teacher in the U.S.?
1. General steps
Normally, the minimum requirement for a teacher is a bachelor’s degree with a major in certifiable area. The general procedure includes 4 steps, which are: 1) Apply to a district to become a teacher 2) Take tests 3) Take courses as required and complete student teaching (this might not be necessary if you graduate from a related master program) 4) Submit application.
[caption id="attachment_4021" align="aligncenter" width="524"] Picture courtesy of www.teach.org.[/caption]
2. Praxis Testhttps://www.ets.org/praxis
A Praxis test is one of a series of American teacher certification exams written and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Various Praxis tests are usually required before, during, and after teacher training courses in the U.S. Praxis test is a requirement for becoming a teacher in most states. It usually consists of two separate tests, Praxis I, and II. In some states there are alternative teacher certification programs, which allow teachers to obtain licensure without taking Praxis.
The Praxis I, or Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), consists of three exams: reading, writing, and mathematics. A passing score must be earned for admission to most colleges and universities’ teaching programs. Most states require a passing score before teacher can apply for the teaching certificate.
The Praxis II assessments cover many different subject areas. Each state requires a different combination of Praxis II exams for certification. In many states, these include a content knowledge and a pedagogy exam. Many states use the Praxis II tests as a way to determine highly qualified status under the No Child Left Behind Act.
3. Some great resources online
1) Eudcation and job opportunities: http://www.csulb.edu/~txie/advising/teacher.htm
Dr. Tim Xie, Professor Emeritus of Dept. of Asian and Asian American Studies, California State University, Long Beach created a webpage that contains a lot of useful information like: a) TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language) graduate programs available in the U.S. b) List of Chinese teaching job opportunities c) The procedure to get certified in California.
2) Ranking for best education schools: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings (U.S. News and World Report)
The 2014 rankings of U.S. News and World Report placed the following schools of education in the top ten of all graduate colleges of education in the United States. They follow in order of one through ten: #1. Johns Hopkins University #2. Peabody College (Vanderbilt University) #3. Harvard University #4. Stanford University #5. University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin–Madison #7. University of Wisconsin #8. Teachers College at Columbia University #9. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor #10. University of Texas-Austin.
Teach for America, The New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey Program and the Mississippi Teacher Corps are three highly competitive, alternate-route teaching programs, for college graduates who are not education majors.
3) More job hunting websites:
https://www.teach.org/teaching-certification Teach is a forum to help people become teachers in the U.S. It offers a general idea of the pathway to teaching
http://clta-us.org/job-announcements/ CLTA (Chinese Language Teachers Association) posts Chinese teaching job announcements every week
http://jobcentral.actfl.org/jobs ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages)