Why Become a Teacher?
Being a teacher is a challenging and rewarding job that offers great opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children and teenagers in your area.
Teaching jobs are readily available across the country. Once you've found a position, you will have great job security. When you grow more accustomed to teaching and have developed solid lesson plans, your job will be a matter of following your lesson plans and measuring the results in your students.
Many people who become teachers do so because they're inspired by a teacher they had in elementary school or high school. Others become teachers because they love learning new things and have fun teaching others. Even others become teachers to indulge and share their passion for a particular subject, such as history or art.
While becoming a teacher is rewarding, it does not always pay well, particularly in the public sector. After many years of tenure or after a move to a private teaching environment you may find your pay becomes more equitable. But if you're looking for a high-paying job, you likely need to keep looking, because teaching won't fulfill your needs.
Average Annual Wages (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition)
|Preschool||Kindergarten||Elementary||Middle School||Secondary School||Adults|
|General Teachers||$23,870||ranged from $47,100 to $51,180||N/A|
|Vocational Educational Teachers||N/A||$47,870||$51,580||N/A|
|Special Education Teachers||$50,020||$50,810||$51,340||N/A|
Challenging Yet Rewarding
Teaching is not an easy job, although over time it will become less difficult. It also requires that you continually upgrade your education with workshops and courses. Additionally you may occasionally be asked to teach classes that you have no background in if the school needs someone to fill in. But it can be a fun job, and will keep you busy.
Love of the Learning Process
People who become teachers need to have a vested interest in helping kids learn. They have to identify with the kids they are teaching and understand their various difficulties. Teachers need to spend a lot of time and energy making the learning material interesting and relevant to their students, because otherwise they will simply be facing a classroom of bored kids every day.
Fulfill Educational Requirements
If you already have a bachelor's degree then you may only be a few courses away from becoming a teacher. Once you have the necessary credentials it is simply a matter of finding an opening and applying for it.
Each state has their own requirements for teacher certification, so it is a good idea to investigate the requirements in the state you want to live:
- Directory of each state's Department of Education
- 50 States' Teacher Certification Requirements
Many school districts have a pool of substitute teachers that they call when a regular becomes ill – if you can get on one of these lists it will help you establish a relationship with schools in the area and they may call on you when a permanent position needs filling. It can also give you exposure to various age groups and subjects so you can have an idea of what types will suit you.
Being a teacher is rewarding, offers great job security and is never boring. For those who are looking for a new career that actually makes a difference a job as a teacher may be just what they need. Check out teaching jobs in your area, talk to teachers about how they feel about their jobs, and see what courses you need to get started in a great career as a teacher.
Schools Offering General Teaching Courses:
- B.S. in Early Childhood
- B.S. in Elementary Education
- B.S. in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
- Undergraduate in Early Childhood
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education*
- BS in Early Childhood
- AS Teaching
- BS Elementary Education