Selecting a Teaching Program
Once you've decided that you'd like to become a teacher, the next step is selecting a teaching program that will give you the necessary credits so you can become a certified teacher. There are many different teaching programs out there, and finding the right one can be challenging. Here are some areas to look at when evaluating various teaching programs:
Depending on what your life is like you may want to choose a teaching program that offers a certain type of schedule. Those who are able to attend school full-time may want to pick a jam packed schedule that lets them get it over with as quickly as possible, while those who like to have a bit of a life may prefer a longer, more relaxed schedule.
If you work full-time or are a parent you will likely want a program that offers classes on nights and weekends so you can still manage your regular schedule. Finally, there are some of us out there that have such a hectic schedule that we can only study sporadically, in which case a distance education or online teaching program would be ideal.
The last thing you want to do is spend hours each day commuting to and from school, especially if you have other priorities like a job and a family.
Try to find a school that is either close to home or work so you can cut down your commute. If you live alone, you could move closer to the school and perhaps cut down on expenses by living with a roommate.
Some locations may not have a good school in the area. Instead of uprooting and moving to a big city to get your teaching program, consider taking online courses instead.
Each state has different requirements, so you want to research what types of programs you need before you decide on a school. Ensure that your program is recognized and accredited by the appropriate certification bodies before registering for a program.
The U.S. Department of Education offers a list of regional and national institutional accrediting agencies. You can visit each agency to see if your school is listed.
Finding a job after you've completed school is most people's least favorite activity. Luckily some teaching programs will offer to help you in that regard. Instead of searching want ads and calling school boards, you can receive a list of schools who are hiring from your program. Some schools will even set up interviews for you.
If you want to teach a certain discipline, such as Math or History, you may want to choose a teaching program that is specialized. Different subjects can be taught in different ways (i.e. you wouldn't lecture during an art class, or get hands-on in history) and you can learn to be a more successful teacher if your program offers specialization in your discipline.
In order to remain certified as a teacher, you are normally required to complete a certain amount of education credits each year.
If your school offers classes that can earn you these credits, in addition to your teaching program, this can save you the time of having to find another school to return to when you need to earn educational credits.
To learn each state's Department of Education teacher certification requirements, visit these directories:
Schools Offering General Teaching Courses:
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