History teachers educate students about the values that shaped nations. When students learn about wars fought to protect ideals, leaders who guided countries through times of crisis, and mistakes made by former societies, they gain a greater understanding of the past and how it affects the future.   History teachers can inspire the next generations to know more about past events to make a difference in the world.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the history teacher job outlook is favorable at the middle and high school levels. Candidates possessing an advanced degree are likely to have more job opportunities and enhanced earning potential.

The curriculum in Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in Military History (MMH) program helps students cultivate a deeper knowledge regarding key national and international conflicts. Graduates become more versed in various topics suitable for a history curriculum including global military history, Chinese military history, and non-western military history.

What Does a History Teacher Do?

The daily duties of a history teacher are similar to those of other educators. Elementary, middle, and high school history teachers often perform the following tasks:

  • Create lesson plans and instruct students.
  • Assess students’ strengths, weaknesses, and abilities.
  • Grade homework, tests, and exams.
  • Develop classroom rules.
  • Prepare students for state-required standardized tests.
  • Communicate students’ progress with their parents and other educators.
  • Supervise students in the lunchroom, detention room, and study hall.

Educators may teach a wide range of history subjects on different levels of comprehension based on the classroom age group. For example, elementary school teachers might teach students about the Aztec culture by having them create paper masks. Middle school teachers might use food props to teach students about the agrarian era when agriculture was the main focus of societies across the planet. High school teachers might require students to write essays on contemporary American history, including the events leading to the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the Iraq War.

Teaching professionals who enroll in Norwich’s MMH program gain a deep understanding of military conflicts to help their students develop a more well-rounded worldview.

What Are the Steps to Become a History Teacher?

The BLS indicates that elementary, middle, and high school teachers must possess at least a bachelor’s degree and completed a student teaching program.  States have their own, licensing and certification requirements.  In addition, teaching applicants must pass a background check and a general certification test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they wish to teach. 

Educators must possess various core competencies such as an ability to interact positively with students and design effective lesson plans. Teachers must know how to accommodate students who learn at different paces.

Teachers who complete a graduate degree often find that a master’s program can help broaden their knowledge base and deepen key skills for greater success in the classroom and advancement. For example, enhanced communication and interpersonal skills can help teachers effectively receive and relay information from students while organizational competencies help them maintain an organized classroom.

Teachers who enroll in Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in Military History program can develop a firmer grasp of key military concepts throughout history. Completing Norwich’s MMH program helps teachers create more dynamic lesson plans and effectively teach a larger selection of specialized courses such as Chinese military history, amphibious warfare, and race and gender in military history.

Graduates of Norwich’s MMH program often find that the gained knowledge makes them more effective in the classroom and qualified for growth in their careers.

History Teacher Salary and Job Outlook

Various factors impact teachers’ salaries including education level, years of experience, the state and the city of employment, and type of teaching institution.

The BLS reports that the median annual wages for elementary and middle school teachers were $58,230 and $58,600, respectively, in 2018. The highest 10th percentile of elementary school teachers earned more than $95,270, whereas the highest 10th percentile of middle school teachers earned more than $93,180.

BLS data from that same reporting period found that high school teachers earned slightly more. The median annual wage for high school teachers was $60,320, with the highest 10th percentile of earners receiving more than $97,500.

The BLS projects overall employment growth of elementary school teachers of 7% between 2016 and 2026 and an overall employment growth of middle and high school teachers by 8% in the same period, about as fast as the average for the overall labor force.

The BLS also reports that teacher job opportunities will grow more in urban and rural school districts than in suburban school districts.

Learn How a Master of Arts in Military History Can Help You Become a More Effective History Teacher

Established in 1819, Norwich is a nationally recognized institution of higher education, the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), and the first private military college in the U.S. the curriculum of  Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in Military History helps students gain greater knowledge of global military history and become better teachers.

Recommended Reading

What Is Military History?
Military History Careers
Making Your Education More Affordable: Take a Closer Look at the Range of Scholarships Norwich University Online Offers


Why Teach History?, Education.com
Master of Arts in Military History, Norwich University
High School Teachers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Middle School Teachers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
List of Core Competencies for Educators, Houston Chronicle
Historians in Classrooms: Schools, Colleges, and Universities, American Historical Association 

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