What is the Best Degree for Becoming a High School Art Teacher?

Becoming a high school art teacher is a great choice for persons who are highly creative and who enjoy working with young people. But being creative and enjoying working with young people are just two important characteristics of successful art teachers. To obtain a position as an art teacher on the high school level, it is also important to acquire the appropriate training and education as outlined below.

Choose the Best Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the best degree choice for this career, but there are two different bachelor degrees that students can choose from. Perhaps the quickest route to becoming a high school art teacher is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in art education. This degree is a comprehensive program that includes training and education in both art as well as teaching. Another route is to earn a bachelor’s degree in art. Students who choose this route will need to enroll in a teaching education program as well which will be discussed briefly in the next section.

Complete a Teaching Education Program

As mentioned above, students who choose to obtain a bachelor’s degree in art rather than a bachelor’s degree in art education will need to also enroll in a teaching education program. These programs typically award students with a certificate or diploma in teaching education and include training in such areas as creating lesson plans, managing classrooms, and understanding teaching methods. Hands-on training or an internship in a real high school classroom is usually required to graduate from a teaching education program as well.

Acquire a Teaching Certificate

Art graduates who want to teach in public high schools will need to apply for a teaching certificate before they can begin working as an art teacher. The main requirement for teaching certification is successful completion of a program in art education as described above or completion of a program in art and completion of a teaching education program. Other requirements may vary by state, but most states require applicants to pass a basic skills exam that covers such topics as art, design, media, reading, and mathematics. The National Educational Association sets the standards for teaching certifications

Related Resource: 30 Great Small Colleges For A Teaching Degree

Obtain Practical Work Experience

Acquiring practical work experience can help art grads obtain top positions as a high school art teacher. One great way to accomplish this is to participate in an art or teaching-related internship while attending college. Students who would like to complete such an internship can check with their college or university’s job placement office or financial aid office to see if any positions will suit their career goals.

What is the Best Degree for Becoming a High School Art Teacher

Another terrific way to obtain practical work experience is for grads to begin their careers as assistant teachers to a fully certified art teacher. Volunteering to work with young children in the community is also a good way to gain practical work experience. Many communities offer children’s programs that often include classes in arts and crafts. Daycare centers often seek out creative persons as well to teach children the basics of various types of arts and crafts.

Teaching art to high school students is a perfect career choice for people who excel in the field of art. But to become a fully certified high school art teacher, the first thing prospective students will need to do is earn a bachelor’s degree in art education or art as described above.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris