Article

What does a Social Studies Teacher do?

Learn all about Social Studies Teacher duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Social Studies Teacher.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A social studies teacher is someone who teaches students about different aspects of society and how it works. This can include topics like history, government, economics, and geography. Social studies teachers help students understand the world around them and how it has changed over time. They also teach students about different cultures and how people interact with each other.

Social Studies Teacher job duties include:

  • Plan and deliver instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences
  • Develop lesson plans and instructional materials and provide individualized and small group instruction in order to adapt the curriculum to the needs of each student.
  • Use relevant technology to support and differentiate instruction
  • Manage student behavior in a positive and effective manner
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by law, district policy, and administrative regulations
  • Communicate effectively with students, parents, and other professionals
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to remain current with best practices
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the school administrator

Social Studies Teacher Job Requirements

Most social studies teachers have a bachelor’s degree in social studies, education, or a related field. Many states require social studies teachers to have a teaching license or certification. Some states have alternative certification programs that allow people with a bachelor’s degree in a non-teaching field to become certified to teach social studies. Most social studies teachers have at least some teaching experience, although some states allow people with no experience to teach if they are certified.

Social Studies Teacher Skills

  • Classroom management
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Differentiation
  • Flexibility
  • Growth mindset
  • Higher-order thinking
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Knowledge of content and pedagogy
  • Organization
  • Passions for social justice and equity

Related: Top Social Studies Teacher Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Social Studies Teacher

There are many steps to becoming a social studies teacher. The most important step is to get a degree in social studies from an accredited college or university. Many states also require that you have a teaching license in order to teach social studies in public schools. Once you have your degree and teaching license, you can begin applying for jobs at schools.

Most social studies teachers work in middle or high schools, although some may work in elementary schools. Social studies teachers typically teach one or more specific courses, such as world history, U.S. history, civics, or geography. In addition to preparing and delivering lectures, social studies teachers also develop and grade assignments and exams, advise students, and meet with parents.

To be an effective social studies teacher, you must be able to engage students in learning and help them understand complex concepts. You should also be able to foster critical thinking and encourage respectful debate. If you are passionate about social studies and enjoy working with young people, then becoming a social studies teacher may be the right career choice for you!

Related: Social Studies Teacher Resume Example

Related: Social Studies Teacher Interview Questions (With Example Answers)