Read these 6 Requirements for Teachers Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Teaching Degree tips and hundreds of other topics.
Many people take on second careers after being in the same field of study for “too” long. Having the potential to “give back” to their communities and fellow man can be more rewarding than their present job and it also may be more conducive to family life.
Just like someone first starting their research on where to obtain the skill required for educators, the best way to make sure teaching is the right route is to do the homework.
A great place to start is Teachers Now (teach-now.org). This organization helps those who want to bridge over from another, non-education degree to the teaching profession. The website offers state-by-state information on how to earn the teacher training and development skills required for educators. It also lists what states have reciprocity with teaching degrees, thus saving time if changing states. Many colleges offer credit for life experiences, thus speeding up the time frame for becoming an educator.
Other resources are the local schools (private, public, and universities), online programs, and national organizations (teacherscount.org).
Like most things in this world, there is no way to know if teaching is the best job opportunity for anyone without hands on experience. This is why volunteering comes in handy. Choose an age, grade, and subject that most interests you and volunteer with that demographic. A great place to start is with the local schools. They may offer volunteer opportunities or know a group who needs help with projects or events. Don't limit it to the schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scouts (www.scouting.org), Girl Scouts (Girlscouts.org), Special Olympics (SpecialOlympics.org), and a multitude of other organizations are always looking for help. This can be the best way to obtain practical classroom experience and actual interaction with students.
Although you may feel teaching is your absolute goal in your professional career, it doesn't hurt to volunteer. There just may be a lesson you learn when you do.
With the great need for teachers, it would seem finding a job would be an easy one, right? Wrong. Many teaching positions aren't even posted and are filled through word-of-mouth applicants.
There are several websites to check for teaching positions. Monster.com, HotJobs.com, and CareerBuilder.com are a few general websites to enter for teaching employment possibilities. For those wanting employment sites specific for educators, there are several to choose from. Teachers Count (teacherscount.org) has an entire page of links to job website including National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse, Education Week, Jobs in Schools, Teachers-Teachers, and multiple other links allowing a huge of opportunities for those seeking employment as a teaching professional. If possible, contact teachers in the district or institution in which you wish to instruct and ask them about possible job openings or future job opportunities.
Network as much as possible. There are multiple workshops and conferences across the country and local meetings with educators. Meeting colleagues can be a great way to get your foot in the door and have your resume stand out for employment.
Once you've decided on your teaching speciality, it's time to decide on the college program what will offer the most potential for learning and diversity of information. Talk to the counselors, the students, and anyone who's graduated from the program about the teacher training and development. If you're interested is a sub-specialty, ask about specialized courses (I.E. Special Education, Music Instruction, Drama Instruction, Science Instruction), the opportunities to get practical experience, and the job assistance programs sponsored by the schools. Go to the local school districts and inquire about any work-school courses with the college program you've chosen.
Word of advice, don't settle on a program because it's close, because your cousin went there or you like the school colors. Do the research and find a program that is going to offer the best education for earning the skills required for educators.
It can be frustrating to complete the skills required for educators, only to find they weren't enough of the right kind for the school district of choice. The best way to avoid this is to do the research before deciding on a program. Teachers Count (teacherscount.org) has links to each state, their programs and what is required to be certified and teach in that state. Additional teaching certificates may be required if you've moved to a different state or district. Again, the best way to avoid unnecessary hold ups is to check with the other areas long before the move.
The pay scale and benefits for teachers range from state-to-state, district, and institution and can vary widely. Teachers' benefits are always a great platform for politicians seeking re-election but to know what each district actually offers in regards to pay, benefits, and tuition assistance for those seeking additional teaching certifications, you're going to have to do your homework. Elementary education may not make as much as a college professor, but the employment requirements will be different and the education levels will vary. The more experience and teaching certifications an educator has earned will more than more likely bump them up in the pay scale, but this can depend on the school district and state funding. It isn't unusual for a teacher to take on a part-time job in addition to teaching but again, these situations are individual.
Teaching is one of those jobs people do for the love of the job. It isn't a way to get rich or retire to
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|