If you are among those who like sharing their knowledge with others and if teaching new concepts gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction, then you ought to try your hand at teaching. You can build a career as a teacher to help young students learn a specific subject. As a professional teacher, you can work for public or private educational institutes. Depending on your aspirations and qualifications you can choose to teach in a school or college. If you are motivated to take up a teaching job, the following article will discuss about the crucial steps involved in becoming a teacher.
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1. Determine Your State’s Requirements for Teachers
The first thing to do is to find out the requirements for becoming a teacher in the area where you wish to teach. Every state has its own special requirements and so it is necessary to understand what you are headed for. While at some places an aspirant holding a graduate teaching degree like B.Ed. is welcome, institutes at other places may demand an advanced degree if you wish to teach a specific subject or a particular grade level. These states may even set their own special requirements for certifications and examinations for becoming teachers. You must also remember that being certified to teach in a particular state does not certify you to teach you in another. However, many states recognize out-of-state licenses with Interstate Certification Reciprocity. You just need to determine which all states are ready to accept your license.
2. Get the Right Education
The minimum qualification required to become a professional teacher is a Bachelor’s degree in teaching. It allows you to major in the field that you wish to teach your students. Even though it is not mandatory to hold this degree, it is essential for laying a strong foundation in teaching that will eventually help you while entering the classroom and imparting wisdom. B.Ed. courses tend to differ all across the globe but the curriculum remains similar. It covers topics like pedagogy which is the science of education, specific concentrations and learning methods. The programs also include a component of student teaching that lets you get an insight into the classroom experience to help prepare for your teaching career.
When you talk of being prepared, there is no better way of doing so than by securing an advanced teaching degree. A master’s degree in teaching will boost your career and establish you as an adept professional in this field, increasing your worth and appeal for potential employers, enhancing your chance for promotion and landing a meatier pay package. You can aim for one of the two primary degrees of teaching –
- Master of Arts in Teaching (which allows you to proceed on the journey of becoming a teacher)
- Master in Education (which prepares you for an administrative role in an institution)
3. Pass All Qualifying Examinations
Even though the examination requirements and criteria may vary state by state, you should successfully clear a few competitive exams to prove your worth. These examinations test you on basic principles of education, your skills and the know-how of important areas. There are also many subject-centric exams that you must clear in order to demonstrate mastery in a special academic discipline.
The Praxis Series is a series of tests administered by the Education Testing Service. It is used by more than 40 states and includes the PPST or the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test. The PPST is used a license and is also like an acceptance into certain teacher (B.Ed.) courses
. The series also consists of the Praxis I Reading, Mathematics and Writing tests.
4. Secure the Right Teacher Certification
Obtaining a license or teacher certification is the final and the most important step to start a teaching career. This step is heavily dependent on the previous stages. The teaching license is essential as it will give you the authorization to teach in your state. They shall require you to have different stages of professional training and development, diverse educational backgrounds or different tests. You can be certified in a few core areas like childhood education, TESOL or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, special education or separate subjects. You can also secure multiple certifications.
5. Find Yourself a Teaching Job
Once you are ready to teach, your next stop should be a school or college to find a suitable teaching job. Teachers are usually in high demand and you shall be able to find a job as a teacher with decent work hours and handsome remuneration. Specific subjects like the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM and TESOL are mostly in high demand. Certain institutes are on the look-out for qualified teachers because of low rates of retention and similar challenges. These institutes are high needs schools and are situated in underserved district areas. To find a lucrative teaching job you can surf the Internet as it provides a vast pool of information. You can surf job boards and other job search sites to find work in your area. or you can simply go through the classifieds in your local newspaper.
There are different types of teaching. You can aim to teach any one of these levels –
- Early Childhood Education
- Primary/Intermediate School
- High School
- University as a Professor
Before you will know, you will be ready to take up your first teaching job. For the interview, you must establish in-depth knowledge and show different approaches that you will use for imparting knowledge, apart from the traditional classroom teaching methods. You must demonstrate your aptitude and keenness to effectively use technology as an instructional tool.
Teachers form a priceless part of our education system and as long as you are educated and qualified, you should be determined to set up a successful career in teaching. It is a highly rewarding career, both in terms of pay and gratification.
Devika Arora is a prolific writer who compiles relevant facts and analyzes the current state of affairs pertaining to the domain of education. She is currently writing informative articles, news stories and blog posts on teaching courses. The above article discusses about how to build a career as a teacher