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Types of Teachers

When you're thinking about pursuing a degree in education, you may want to consider what type of teacher you'd ultimately like to be once you graduate. Doing so will help you to choose the right types of courses. Whether elementary, high school, or special education, teachers are in great demand. By specializing early, you'll ensure that you have your pick of jobs once you graduate.

Preschool

Preschool teachers can work for school districts, but they can also run private organizations. As a preschool teacher, you'll have a basic lesson plan that covers early learning. To be a preschool teacher, you should have a focus on early childhood education.

PROS CONS
Flexible curriculum Very little time spent teaching
Kids stay with you for a few years (usually) Most of time spent getting kids to clean up, get along together, etc.

Elementary School

In an elementary setting, you'll be responsible for a class of students aged 5- 12 years old. You'll handle most of the curriculum they learn, meaning that you'll need a thorough knowledge of curriculum in all subject areas.

PROS CONS
Complete access to students Many classrooms underfunded and overcrowded
The ability to thoroughly manage a curriculum and help those who need it School administrators/ school board setting limitations on what curriculum can be taught

High School

High school teachers can choose to specialize in one or more subjects, and can teach a range of ages from 13-18 years of age. High school teachers may get the same students year after year until they graduate, which can have a reasonable impact on their knowledge of the subjects you teach. As a plus, you're dealing with more mature students (hopefully) at the elementary school level.

PROS CONS
Inricate knowledge of a few subjects Less time interacting with the same students
Getting to know your students and making a difference in their education Less chance to help those who need it

Private School

Besides teaching in a public setting, many teachers choose to teach in private schools and institutions where they have access to better funding and a wider range of curriculum choices. Private schools can teach a few grades, or go all the way from K-12.

PROS CONS
Wider range of subjects to teach Some curriculum limitations in religious-based schools
Better equipped schools Pressure for students to get good grades so parents keep them enrolled

Continuing Education

There is always a high demand for teachers who help teach adults in continuing education. These classes may be on high school topics, university level, or may be outside of regular curriculum – such as teaching about using computers, etc.

PROS CONS
Teach a few/ many classes, depending on your schedule Usually paid on a class-by-class basis
Can teach continuing education in addition to a regular teaching job Job depends on enrollment

Instructor / Professor

In time, you may have the experience to move into a teaching role at a college or university. As an instructor, you'll teach anywhere from a few students to a few hundred, and you'll likely have student teachers or teaching assistants to help you. Additionally, you may be able to get grants for studies you wish to do outside the classroom on whichever subjects you are proficient in.

PROS CONS
Great pay Need a Master's or doctoral degree
Good hours Takes many years of experience to be qualified
Freedom to teach how you want  

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