What is an Intermediate Teacher?

The preparation to become an intermediate teacher includes several options. Depending on what specialization of education and training a future teaching professional chooses, several career paths are also available.

Intermediate Students

In education, grade levels are most often categorized as elementary or secondary. Elementary buildings most often include classrooms for grade levels from preschool through fifth grade. Secondary, or high school, buildings are most likely to house ninth through twelfth grade students. In many districts, there are sixth, seventh, and eight grade students in separate school buildings, usually either called a middle school or junior high. In some school districts, fifth grade and ninth grade classrooms are also included in intermediate level buildings.

These are the intermediate levels of education, and teaching professionals have a few options for obtaining the necessary skills and prerequisites to qualify for classroom positions.

Elementary Education Degrees

Future teachers who pursue elementary education degrees take a variety of courses in order to be prepared to teach a range of subjects. Most elementary school curriculum programs require for one classroom teacher to instruct math, science, social studies, reading and writing, and history. Other prospective teaching candidates might choose to specialize in an area such as music or physical education, which typically requires a different path and completion of separate state requirements.

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Some universities also have options to complete a generalist teaching program from kindergarten through up to the eighth grade level. In these programs, there could be requirements to also major in a specific academic subject area.

Secondary Education Degrees

Like elementary teaching degrees, future educators who are interested in working in secondary level classrooms will complete a variety of courses in teaching methods, psychology, and other general education classes. Additionally, degree-seekers in secondary education programs will be required to declare a major and minor area of study from areas including English, mathematics, science, psychology, business, and more.

To ensure qualification for teaching at intermediate grade levels, secondary education students should choose programs that are designated as seventh or eighth grade through twelfth grade.

Teaching Certification

In order to fully qualify to be a teacher in districts throughout the United States, education professionals are required to successfully pass examinations in teaching areas. Elementary teachers must pass a test based on either general classroom subjects or a specialized area such as music, physical education, art, or a foreign language. Teaching professionals who are seeking opportunities in secondary level classrooms must complete a test in a major and minor area of study to earn certification. Additional requirements, such as student teaching, are also necessary, depending on district and location.

Certification is granted for kindergarten through sixth grades or seventh through twelfth grades. Both certifications can help a teaching professional meet the requirements to teach at the intermediate level, depending on the grade level. There are also options for kindergarten through seventh or eighth grades and seventh through twelfth. Full requirements for teacher certification by state can be found at the U.S. Department of Education website.

Depending on subject matter expertise, interest, and goals, a future education professional can choose to specialize in teaching specific age groups and grade levels. With the right education and certification, an intermediate teacher will be prepared to lead students in fifth through eighth grade classrooms.