A history teacher is an individual who teaches students about past events, generally at a high school or lower academic level. This individual teaches students about past civilizations, historical events, cultures, and political structures. He informs students about such things as the languages and religious practices of people who lived long ago. He also introduces and explains past wars, rulers, and major changes in society. A history teacher also covers such things as past styles of dress, work, food, celebrations, and home life.
Some history teachers choose to teach at the elementary school level. In some places, history teachers may teach elementary school students such subjects as ancient history, world history, and local history. They may cover important wars, rulers, and historical events that changed the world or a particular region. In other places, however, elementary school teachers do not teach just one topic to their assigned class. Instead, they must teach other basic subjects, such as science, math, and writing, in addition to history.
Often, history teachers who instruct in middle or high school teach history and nothing else. For example, a history teacher may teach several history classes per day at this level rather than remaining with one group of students for the entire day. Some teachers may teach just one history subject, such as world or ancient history, while others may cover several different history subjects over the course of one day, switching subjects each time a different group of students enters the classroom.
Some history teachers instruct students on a higher level, teaching history in college or graduate school. This type of history teacher is usually referred to as a history professor and covers highly specific history subjects. For example, a college-level history professor may teach medieval history, history of the Middle East, or European or American history. Some professors focus on one type of history or a specific time period while others teach a variety of courses and cover a range of historical time frames.
In most places, an individual needs a college degree in order to become a history teacher. For teaching in elementary school, an individual may need an education degree or a history degree with a minor in education. To teach in middle school or high school, teachers are usually expected to earn college degrees in a history-related subject. College professors typically earn advanced degrees in history, with many beginning their careers with Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Some colleges may also hire instructors who have master’s degrees, especially if they will be assisting other professors or teaching part time.