Becoming a Teacher

Have you always thought about becoming a teacher? It truly is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. But, there is certainly more to it than just standing in front of a classroom. Professional training is a required so that you know how to be the best teacher you can be. So, before you commit to a teacher preparation course, make sure that you thoroughly investigate all of your options.

  • Decide What Type of Teacher You Want to Become – There are many different options to choose from within the field of education. For example, do you want to become an elementary education teacher, or would you prefer to specialize in technology, library and media science, or special education? Make a list of your interests and strengths, and consider how they might influence which type of teacher you wish to become.
  • Talk with Teachers About the Profession – Take some time to interview a few professionals who are currently teaching in your area and in the discipline you wish to pursue. These individuals can give you a wealth of information and answer many of your questions about becoming a teacher.
  • Research Teacher Certification and Licensure Requirements for Your State – You'll want to know from the very beginning what will be expected of you. For example, will you need to take the PRAXIS exam in order to become certified? Is there a new teacher mentoring process that you must pass in order to become fully certified? And are there periodic requirements that you must meet in order to maintain your teacher certification?

Becoming a Teacher through Traditional College Courses

College students who know early on that they dream of becoming a teacher should specialize in education courses. Most teacher preparation programs require students to choose either elementary (K-8) certification, or secondary education. In addition, there are some specialties within education that you can pursue during your undergraduate training, such as special education, art education, music education, physical education, and technology education.

Becoming a Teacher through Online College Courses

Online education courses offer an alternative to traditional college courses. Students who choose online teacher preparation courses have the advantage of being able to study from anywhere. However, students studying online must be careful to adhere to their state's guidelines for completing student teaching within a local school district.

Becoming a Teacher through an Alternate Route Program

In some states, the need for qualified teachers is so great that candidates who have earned degrees in fields other than education may become certified teachers through an "alternate route" program. Candidates for alternate route programs usually must possess real life experience in their chosen field, and must also participate in additional education courses, along with peer mentoring, before they can become fully certified.

Becoming a Teacher through Graduate School Training

Individuals who already possess undergraduate degrees in fields other than education can also become certified teachers by pursing a one-year graduate degree in education. One benefit of this option is that graduates who possess a master's degree in education typically earn more money as first-year teachers.

Becoming a teacher is a worthwhile pursuit for those who feel called to influence the lives of others through education. Regardless of which path to becoming a teacher you choose, know that, as a teacher, you will be making a worthwhile difference in the world around you.

Schools Offering Curriculum and Instruction Courses:

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