Teaching is one profession that has never really gone out of style. Many children profess their love for their teachers when growing up and claim that one day they’d like to be a teacher, too. Believe it or not, many of them do pursue that career field. It’s a booming one with few jobs to go around in some regions leaving many new graduates serving tables at local restaurants and settling for substitute teaching to get their foot in the door with the local Board of Education. However, some grads take it upon themselves to think outside the box and pursue an even more complex career move—teaching on an Indian Reservation.
It sounds ideal. It might even sound like a job that would be easier to get. After all, most of your peers would never even think to apply for such a job, right? Well, yes. In fact, there are so few of your peers applying to these jobs that there aren’t enough teachers on reservations in the United States. The shortage has existed for a while and continues to grow each year—the opposite of what Indian communities are hoping to see.
So, how can you land a job teaching students on an Indian Reservation? Start with the Bureau of Indian Education. The Bureau manages teaching positions that stand to benefit nearly 50,000 students living on reservations across the country. While they certainly need the traditional, run of the mill teaching professions for subjects like English and mathematics, they also need help with less common subjects such as industrial arts.
Teachers may also qualify to fill other slots, such as educational aides and academic tutors. There is also a strong demand for special education services just as there is in the non-reservation teaching community. Indian Reservation schools encourage the development of a wide variety of skills and they don’t slack on bonus programs that other schools offer. You’ll find the same structure at these schools that includes programs like Gifted and Talented and the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp. A teaching position on an Indian Reservation can earn you roughly $50,000 a year.
Going off the grid a bit more, tribal schools are also an option and they need teachers just as badly. Individual districts post these positions. So they can be more difficult to find. It’s easiest to simply search for reservations and tribes and then search the Internet for positions in those specific areas. One of the biggest bonuses that come in tow with working as a teacher on an Indian Reservation is the perks that come with many of the jobs. You may not only garner an impressive wage that is on par with your peers from college, but you can also find positions that offer housing allowances or even supply housing. That would be hard to find anywhere else.