Do you think you want to be a teacher? Do you think you can handle delivering valuable information to a group of students who have a broad range of ability levels? Do you consider yourself patient, as well as willing to persevere even in the toughest of situations? As a teacher you will be responsible for preparing effective lessons for the subject(s) that you teach, instructing children in a manner that will allow them to experience academic success, and evaluating each student’s performance with specific topics and skills. In order to be qualified to teach you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and have gained certification through the state you reside in. These days many of the top colleges in the US allow students to take their curriculum online. Outside of the student teacher part of your curriculum, which takes approx. a semester you have the ability to take your education online.
It is important to understand that before you begin working on your degree requirements you will need to decide which age range you plan to work in: early childhood, elementary, secondary, or post-secondary. Should you decide to pursue a secondary or post-secondary teaching career, you can expect your requirements to be directly aligned with your choice of subject area. For instance, if you want to be a high school math teacher, your requirements will vary quite a bit from those of someone who is working to become a high school physical education teacher.
In order to be qualified to teach you will at least need to obtain your bachelor’s degree, which will likely take you four years to complete. Your degree program will consist of general education classes much like any other major degree program. In your junior and senior years of your bachelor’s degree program you will primarily take education courses. During these two years of study you will take specific content classes that will prepare you to teach your chosen subject area, as well as pedagogy classes that will arm you with practical teaching skills and the necessary teaching techniques. Take a moment and peruse the schools on our site, feel free to request a complimentary information packet from any that interest you.
As a degree holder in teacher education you will be able to seek employment to teach within any school district. However, you may have to obtain different teaching licenses and different requirements for different states. In addition, it is common for someone with a degree in education to only be qualified to teach within a specific age range. For instance, someone who is certified to teach elementary age children may not be qualified to teach high school students without furthering their education.
Steps to Earning your Teachers License
If you are interested in becoming a teacher you must follow the certification rules set forth by the state in which you want to teach. Regardless of where you attended school you’ll need to follow the state guidelines in order to get your license. Below are the most common steps to pursue your license but before enrolling in any college it is recommended that you check your state’s guidelines first to make sure the curriculum and school you are enrolled in qualifies you to earn your certification.
1. Education: The first step is to start conducting your research into which school will be the best fit. Given the number of online schools where you can earn your teachers certificate it is advised that you choose a college that is not only fully accredited that will satisfy your states requirements but affordable. With Bachelor’s degrees ranging from $20,000 to over $50,000 we see a lot of choices for students these days. We list a lot of online schools to choose from. Once selected and you enroll in their Bachelor’s programs you’ll take a curriculum that is focused on the type of teacher you want to be.
2. Student Teaching: Once you are almost completed with your Bachelor’s degree you’ll spend a semester actually teaching. You are usually assigned a school to attend and work directly with the main teacher as a teacher’s aid. Here you’ll be involved I the actual classroom, helping out as a student teacher. You’ll gain valuable experience and many student teachers end up working for the school they student taught at.
3. State Exam: Once you are done with your educational requirements you’ll need to take your state exam. This exam is taken in the state you are going to be teaching in. Once you pass your exam if you ever move out of state and want to teach you might need to take a few updated courses to qualify for that states exam requirements. It is recommended that you also enroll in a prep course for your state exam to make sure that you pass it on the first time.
4. Fingerprinting: The last thing that you’ll be required to do in order to get your license is to get fingerprinted and get a background check. Not all states require this so please check with your state requirements.
Outside of your regular teachers license what they call endorsements. These endorsements are typically up to 30 hours and are the first year of your Master’s program. They are intended to focus on a specific area of education.
K-12 – In this concentration you’ll take courses that will cover a lot of different areas including: secondary teaching, learning environments and skills for the 21st century.
Secondary Education – You’ll cover social studies, technology and even trades.
Special Education – Students who have special needs also require special instruction and you’ll learn how to handle and help grow/develop those who need additional attention in the classroom. You’ll cover behavioral analysis and intervention, reading instructions and strategies.
Elementary Education – These general education courses are typically covered in all areas of concentration and these include: English Composition, Mathematics, World History and Critical Thinking Skills.
Do you have what it takes to become a teacher? Outside of your credentials teachers possess special qualities and a desire to help others. Teachers are often not the highest paid, spend lots of hours outside of class and are always willing to go that extra mile to help children.
Kindness – It goes without saying that teachers need to have the ability to be kind to others. Not only does the kindness need to be with the children that they teach but to the parents as well as other teachers. You’ll be setting an example to the children that you teach.
Likable – Do you a personality that that is likable? Teachers are outgoing and have great personalities not only in the classroom but also as a team player.
Always Learning – Once you get your teacher’s license you might think that all of your training and education is behind you…not so fast. Good teachers go that extra mile to take extra classes and always stay on-top of industry changes and teaching methods.
Respectable – As a teacher you always need to be respectable to others. Acting like a processional to the kids, adults and others will help you within your career.
Enthusiastic – It has been proven that kids learn better when they are taught by an enthusiastic teacher. Good teachers deal well with others and is always a good listener and have great listening skills.
Diverse – As a teacher you’ll need the ability to be diverse and teach a wide variety of kids regardless of their background. Every child is different and everyone deserves special attention.
Specialty – Becoming a teacher is a great career path that thousands are employed each year. One area that will allow you to find employment would be in the specialty areas of education. These areas include technology/IT and special education. These two areas require additional training in areas that most teachers don’t learn in school. As technology becomes more advanced so do the needs to teach our children about technology.