Help with Careers in Classics: K-12 Latin teaching

Today’s post is shorter than usual, but it has an amazing table.

If you know anyone who was on the job market this year, you know that it was a ‘bad year’ for Latinists (you can judge for yourself at the public Placement Service site; there haven’t been that many new additions in the past month). In response, the Society for Classical Studies pointed out that Latin, unlike Greek, has many precollegiate teaching opportunities. (Sorry, Canadians: this message applies to the US only.)

The SCS has been running advisories for a while about the increasing number of jobs in middle and high school Latin instruction. In North America, listings are centralized at the American Classical League’s free Placement Service (in the UK, a similar centralized job repository is Stephen Jenkins’ Classics Library). But most public schools in the US have strict requirements around who can teach young adults. In many states, having an advanced degree and classroom experience is not enough — hence the talk of Latin teacher shortages.

The SCS gathered some data about teacher licensure, but the report dates to 2011. Since K-12 education in the US has changed a lot since then (replacement of NCLB with ESSA, the rise of the CCSS — and you should know these acronyms if you’re interested in pre-collegiate teaching), we cross-checked the SCS material with the ongoing updates at (warning: the site is run by 2U, an online education provider that runs a distance-based MAT program out of USC). We then cross-listed the teaching requirements with the jobs in the ACL listings (current as of May 7, 2016).

To use our table, locate the state(s) you’re interested in. The next column lists teaching certification requirements: do you need a degree of any level in education? The third column offers details on licensure, with a specific focus on alternative licensure. (Alternative licensure is for people who have advanced degrees and/or applicable experience, such as Latin teaching, but no education degree. Several states allow you to start teaching while enrolled in an MAT program.) The final column lists the number of open Latin/Classics positions in the state, regardless of grade level or experience. Once you’ve located the state that you want, you can head to the ACL site (linked above) and “Sort by state [A-Z]” to locate the position(s) that interest you.

Teaching Latin in the USA

State Formal Training Required? Further Details Jobs Available
Alabama Yes More Information 3
Alaska Yes More Information 0
Arizona Yes More Information 7
Arkansas Yes More Information 0
California Yes More Information 3
Colorado Yes More Information 5
Connecticut Yes More Information 1
Delaware Yes More Information 1
District of Columbia Yes More Information 2
Florida Yes More Information 9
Georgia Yes More Information 8
Hawaii Yes More Information 0
Idaho Yes More Information 0
Illinois Yes More Information 4
Indiana Yes More Information 3
Iowa Yes More Information 0
Kansas Yes More Information 0
Kentucky Yes More Information 2
Louisiana Yes More Information 2
Maine Yes More Information 0
Maryland Yes More Information 3
Massachusetts Yes More Information 4
Michigan Yes More Information 3
Minnesota Yes More Information 2
Mississippi Yes More Information 0
Missouri Yes More Information 1
Montana Yes More Information 0
Nebraska Yes More Information 0
Nevada Yes More Information 0
New Hampshire No, but must demonstrate teaching ability. More Information 1
New Jersey No for CE. Yes for CEAS. More Information 8
New Mexico Yes More Information 1
New York Yes, 21 credits. More Information 12
North Carolina Yes More Information 8
North Dakota Yes More Information 0
Ohio Yes More Information 2
Oklahoma Yes More Information 2
Oregon Yes More Information 0
Pennsylvania Yes More Information 7
Rhode Island Yes More Information 0
South Carolina Yes More Information 1
South Dakota Yes More Information 0
Tennessee Yes More Information 5
Texas Yes More Information 11
Utah Yes More Information 0
Vermont Yes More Information 1
Virginia Yes More Information 10
Washington Yes More Information 0
West Virginia Yes More Information 0
Wisconsin Yes More Information 1
Wyoming Yes More Information 2
As you’ll see from the list, most states require certification before starting your job. A few exceptions: Massachusetts, which allows you to teach while enrolled; New Jersey, which has two separate teaching streams for certified and uncertified teachers; and New Hampshire, which doesn’t require certification. These requirements mean that if you want to teach in a public school system (including ‘alternative’ public schools, like charters), you should look into MAT programs — and preferably do it before you’re ready to go on the job market.  If you really want to teach in a private school, requirements may be different; private schools don’t have to follow state education guidelines, and may be willing to overlook formal education in favor of experience.
Note, too, that there aren’t all that many jobs available (sorry, SCS). Yes, there are several dozen positions, many posted from March to April, but there’s also increased competition. None of these jobs requires an advanced degree, so a fresh-faced double-major in education and Latin would in fact be more qualified than many doctoral students.
We’re not suggesting that anyone rule out K-12 teaching as a career if it’s something they really want to do, but there’s more to getting the job than just finishing graduate school. If you’re interested in teaching in a particular state or area, it’s worthwhile to go through the ‘details’ of getting certified. You may not be too late to enroll in education courses for the fall.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s