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Will I need to observe all grade levels if I only plan to teach band in high school or above?

I plan on becoming a band director in a high school and possibly a private school or boarding school later on in my career. I’m curious when I am getting my teaching degree if I will have to observe younger classes like elementary and middle school if I don’t plan on teaching in those environments. #music #teaching

Thank you comment icon One of the biggest things to consider when pursuing a teaching career is how and with whom you want to build relationships. "No matter what level a teacher teaches, building relationships with students is the key to being successful," says Nancy Barile, a veteran English and language arts high school teacher and a contributor to Western Governors University's Hey Teach! content hub where she has documented her experience building relationships with students. Tiffany Mathis

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Maeve’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Makaylan,

Usually requirements for observing/student teaching align with the specific certification you are aiming for. I got a certification for classroom teacher in 1-6 grade. I was able to work 1 grade above or below my certification level (I worked with kindergarten for a while). This is typical for most classroom teacher certifications.

However, I also know that people who do a specialized track like music are often required to teach at many different grade levels. I believe a teaching certification in music is for all grades K-12, so that means you would visit all different grade levels while working towards your degree even though eventually you would pursue a job at a high school.

I would reach out and email a contact from the education programs you are interested in and ask what the typical experience is for someone who wants to be a high school band teacher.

Requirements also vary by what state you want to teach in, so make sure to look into music teaching degree requirements based off the state you plan on working in! This link could be helpful for that: https://www.teaching-certification.com/teaching-certification-requirements.html

I hope this was helpful!


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Michael’s Answer

Im not quite sure what you’re referring to. Student teaching? My ex wife is a music teacher, and she only had to student teach at one school, for 10 weeks at one school. She didn’t travel around to different schools and grades. Also remember that planning to teach only high school band doesn’t mean you’ll get that. What if wherever it is you want to live, or wherever you apply, does not have any high school music teacher (band or otherwise) openings? You could apply to every high school in your state, but if their current band director (or any other music teacher opening at the high school) is not retiring, leaving, or being let go, you’re not getting the job. Ensure you make contingency plans such as also applying at junior high and elementary schools. You could be there while waiting for the high school to have an opening.

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