So you want to be a teacher? Do you want to impart knowledge on the impressionable minds of the future leaders of the world and shape them into intelligent, productive, and critically thinking adults? There are many choices when it comes to picking what area to teach, so how do you decide?

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If you have a love for learning new things, sharing your life experiences, and strong multi-tasking abilities, a career as a social studies teacher might be perfect for you.

What is social studies?

One of the best things about being a social studies teacher is that you won't be teaching the same thing everyday. Social studies teachers teach a variety of subjects and wear many different hats.

Social studies teachers teach:

  • History

  • Geography

  • Civics

  • Economics

  • Government

  • Psychology/Sociology

They can even end up teaching a little philosophy, ethics, art, literature, and anthropology.

A woman with a stack of hats on her head flying on and off.

What does it take to be a social studies teacher?

Education and Experience

  • A bachelor's degree (typically in education or one of the fields within social studies)

  • A teaching certificate or license


  • Strong communication skills to communicate with students, coworkers, and parents

  • Patience to help students when they struggle or can't focus

  • Cultural sensitivity and the ability to hide personal bias — you'll often need to present both sides of an issue and let students decide what they believe and think

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What bachelors degree could a social studies teacher pursue?

What does a social studies teacher do each day?

While every day is a little different as a teacher, here are the types of activities you will do on a regular basis.

During Classes

  • Present lectures and lessons

  • Work with students one on one and in small groups

  • Monitor students' behavior and correct it

  • Check that students understand the lesson and reteach it if they do

Outside of Class

  • Meet with parents and students

  • Attend professional development seminars, team meetings, and faculty meetings

  • Correct assignments and enter grades

  • Respond to emails and phone calls from students, parents, and coworkers

  • Plan lessons and assignments


As a social studies teacher, what can you expect to do every day? Select all that apply:

What do social studies teachers earn?

Teaching salaries can vary a lot depending on where you live and the type of school you work in, as well as your experience and qualifications.

In the USA, the average base salary for a social studies teacher is $51,883.

A map of the USA in an atlas. Photo by Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash

In Canada, the average base salary for a social studies teacher is $85,343.

A map of Canada. Photo by British Library on Unsplash

Take Action

Does teaching social studies sound like it might be the perfect job for you?

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