Teaching is a highly rewarding career option for those who are interested in shaping young minds and contributing to the society. According to US News, there is a real shortage for teachers and many positions remain unfilled. Now is the best time than ever before to become a teacher. In this article, we help you understand the process for becoming a teacher and the requirements for certification for you to be able to pursue this career option.
Step 1: Get a bachelor?s degree
The best way to get trained in the skills that are demanded of teachers is to enroll in a bachelor?s degree program. There are a number of universities that offer a variety of programs for education majors. Choose your college carefully after studying their curriculum. Check if they offer opportunities to specialize in any particular area of teaching that you are passionate about.
There are multiple degree programs that you can choose from ? special education, physical education, secondary education, education administration, early childhood education etc. Choose one that is tailored to suit your preference and future career aspirations.
Even if you pursue an undergraduate degree in something other than education, you can stull pursue a graduate degree that will arm you with the skills and knowledge to take a licensing exam in your state.
Step 2: Get some real experience
Getting real life experience in the classroom is as important as getting a degree, because you will soon find that being in a classroom as a teacher is totally different from being there as a student. No amount of learning can match the real experience you get from physically being in a classroom and teaching students. Apart from getting a sense of what the job actually is like, teachers are also required to take a minimum number of hours supervising students in an educational setting in order to be eligible to take the exam for a teaching license.
Check for internships at schools around the area. This can be done during your undergraduate program of after graduation before you take up a full-time job.
Step 3: Earn the certification
If you want to teach at a public school, you need to earn a license or get certified. Licensure and certification requirements can vary between states so it is important to look into the specific rules of the state where you wish to teach. Many states require that the teachers pass a general teaching certification test in addition to tests in the different subjects that they are looking to teach.
Private school teachers are not required to have a state license to teach, but many private schools demand that their teachers have a valid state certification. It is recommended that you get an appropriate certification or license of the state so you don?t have to limit yourself in employment opportunities.
Step 4: Pursue a master?s degree
Furthering your education is not a required step in becoming a teacher, but it is always an added bonus because a master?s degree can bring in extra skills and knowledge no matter what you want to teach.
Public school teachers are also required to complete a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain their state licenses. You may even go ahead and pursue a doctoral degree if your aim to enter the topmost levels of education administration.