Amish teachers, trained in Amish schoolhouses, are not certified by state boards. They are the brightest and best of the Amish scholars. In their late teens and early twenties they return to the schoolhouse to teach. Amish teachers prepare their students to be productive members of their community. Instruction occurs in English which is often the first time a child is exposed to the language.
Amish schoolhouse teachers are selected by a local board of 3 to 5 fathers. The school directors select teachers for their ability to teach, their commitment to Amish values and their availability. Amish teachers are usually single women. Once they are married they must terminate their position.
Amish men can become school teachers although it is typically a female occupation. It is uncommon for men to become teachers because men are expected to be the main income earners in Amish households. Men who are teachers generally get paid at a higher rate then female teachers because they need to support a family.
Amish schoolhouse teachers are in charge of nearly 30 students across 8 grades. To help the teachers with the task they have meetings with other teachers and have access to a monthly teacher magazine called Blackboard Bulletin. This magazine contains articles addressing teaching methods, problems and solutions .
Teachers are usually self trained Amish women with no formal training beyond the eight grade. Most Amish do not utilize standardize test to measure success. The real test is how well Amish youth are prepared for success in the Amish culture.
In the past, many states have tried to insist that Amish teachers have a college degree. The Amish have refused to send their teachers to any formal training. The Amish teachers have full support of the Amish community.
One of the biggest challenges of a school board is finding capable teachers. In some rare cases a local mother will have to add teaching to her list of responsibility until another teacher is found. On occasion, an Amish schoolhouse may have more then one teacher.
Amish highly distrust what the outside calls education. The idea of public education is contrary to Amish beliefs and faith. It is important that the teachers be strong in their faith and stick to the Amish way of thinking as she teaches the children.