The field of education is very welcoming to teachers who love learning and like to share with their pupils.

From teaching kindergarteners about shapes and colors to instructing high school students about writing and literature, teachers help prepare young minds to achieve their goals.

Getting a degree in teaching lets, you specialize in a particular area, educational setting, or age group.

The training and licensing requirements do vary by state.

Still, many states have a minimum requirement of a bachelor's degree for teachers and have experience under an experienced teacher's teaching.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teaching jobs are projected to increase by 8% between 2020 to 2030.

However, the Economic Policy Institute is still struggling to find quality teachers countrywide due to diminishing enrollment in teacher preparation programs.

Alt-text: A boy raising his hand in class while the teacher and other students look at him

Meta-description: Becoming a teacher is a long process, and it involves multiple steps, including getting the right degree, going for various certifications, attaining a master's degree, and then applying for a license. (Source: Unsplash)

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Deciding To Become A Teacher

Following a career in teaching can be both challenging and satisfying for you. Good teachers continually have positive impacts on young minds.

They do this by teaching their pupils how to succeed academically, the art of socialization, and how to make achievable goals.

If you are searching for a career in which you can in a small way contribute to society by making a real difference, then becoming a teacher might be ideal for you.

However, before you put in the energy and time to receive the certifications needed to land a teaching position, it is crucial to ensure that this job is right for you.

Assess yourself through the following factors before deciding on a career path in teaching:

Assessment Of Your Talents And Interests

To understand if a career in education is right for you, ensure that you know what makes someone a good teacher and possess those characteristics and skills suited for teaching.

To become an effective teacher, you must like being around new people and have no trouble interacting with them; significantly younger people.

Teaching is essentially a social job involving continuous interactions.

Another quality possessed by a good teacher is patience. If you have a short temper, then a school setting might not be your cup of tea.

Teachers are quick decision-makers, and they are pretty flexible. You must be able to adjust when things do not go your way because let us face it, they often do not.

As a teacher, you must be strict to a certain extent to enforce a rule, but you also have to learn to pick your battles.

But an essential trait of any good teacher is that they care. They care about their pupils and their success. If you do not have this characteristic, then being a teacher will feel like a chore to you after some time.

If you are passionate about a specific content area or about learning in general and you care for others, then you carry the potential to become one of the great teachers.

Observe Classes

To better understand the job and decide whether it is right for you, find some way to get in the classroom.

Experienced teachers will tell you about their careers, and it is a great place to start. If you are still interested after that, contact your local school to find if you can volunteer there or spend some days shadowing a teacher.

If you volunteer, you may get the chance to help out in the classroom.

In addition, while shadowing, you may get an opportunity to visit multiple classrooms and grade levels to gain a general idea of what different teachers do.

You also have the option to consider substitute teaching to introduce yourself to the profession.

Practical Considerations

Once you have observed the teacher's characteristics and them in action, consider some practical considerations.

Think of the salary, education, and certifications required. Furthermore, also look for jobs available in your target area before deciding to become a teacher.

Alt-text: A class taking place

Meta-description: Typically, teacher training programs combine the elements of field experience with classroom teaching. This creates a more effective method to help tomorrow's teachers understand every aspect of education before entering a classroom. (Source: Unsplash)

Teaching Requirements And Degrees

Even though the minimum level of education to become a teacher is a bachelor's degree in education, you will have multiple options for where and what you will teach.

You can either specialize in secondary education, early childhood education, special education, or middle-level education.

When you opt for a secondary education certification, it also prepares you to teach in a high school to choose specialized fields like math, science, or history.

According to the US News, even though there is a need for qualified and competent teachers in every field, there is an increasing requirement in math, bilingual studies, science, and special education.

In many cases, getting a bachelor's degree is just a stepping stone to becoming a teacher.

Many school districts and states require their teachers to pass the teacher certification exam known as Praxis before starting their employment.

Once you have landed your dream job in the classroom, you can also earn an advanced degree by continuing your education.

Getting a master's degree not only increases your knowledge but also increases the base annual salary. So it is always a good idea to go for higher studies in education.

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Steps To Becoming A Teacher

Becoming a teacher might take several years.

First, you have to earn a suitable degree, pass the required exams, complete your field teaching experience, and get a state license from where you want to teach.

After this initial hurdle, you have to continually progress in your development, advance to a professional teaching license, and ultimately land tenure in a school system.

If you already possess a degree in a different field than teaching, you might have to take programs dedicated to professional ethics, instructional methods, and student assessment.

This process typically requires four or more years to get an initial teacher license and around five years more for a professional teaching license.

Here are specific steps you would have to go through to become a teacher and get a job in education:

Get A Bachelor's Degree

Many teachers start their training by signing up for a bachelor's program in education. Schools might also offer concentration or specializations within their curriculum.

Ensure that your selected school has authorization from the department of education for teacher preparation.

If you want to teach in a different state after graduating, ensure that their education department recognizes your degree.

It is better to enroll in a school with programmatic and regional accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Undertake Appropriate Training

Teacher training programs combine field experience with classroom work.

As a student, you must follow your school's curriculum.

You must also take courses in classroom management, student knowledge identification, creating learning plans, and recognizing societal and cultural influences on the learning process.

Many schools provide streamlined programs for career changers leading to initial teacher certification via master in teaching or a post-baccalaureate program.

Complete Your Work Experience

One may shadow mentors from several weeks to a year.

After observing, the prospective teacher gets tasked with supervision. They track student progress, manage classroom behavior, and implement planned lessons.

Many schools also require a complete background check before entering a classroom; whereas, some states need the candidates to take and pass the Praxis exam before their teaching internship.

Applying For State License

Every state requires the teacher to apply for a license from the Department of Education before becoming a public school teacher.

Some states require some processing fee, and they provide initial licensure after graduation from approved programs.

If you reside in a state that uses a tiered license system, you must complete your professional development before becoming eligible for an advanced license.

A professor standing in front of the class and teaching concepts of optical physics
Becoming a professor takes much more dedication and education than becoming a teacher. A teacher must have a doctorate in the field even to be considered for a position as a professor. (Source: Unsplash)

Searching For Jobs In Education

Before you start to search for a job, there are certain things you must do. Firstly, know the state requirements.

Every state has its teacher certification standards, and you have to ensure that you have the proper credentials.

Compile Your Documents

Ensure that your resume is fully updated. Confirm that it includes all the educational information and any awards, distinctions, or honors you may have attained.

List all the appropriate employment experiences while weeding out any insignificant, older positions you have had.

Make sure to include any knowledge you gained as a student teacher, your licensure, and certifications. Finally, keep your contact information up to date.

Some employers also need a clear and concise cover letter, no longer than a single page. Modify your cover letter to the job you are applying for.

Teaching Statement

Often, teachers are asked to write their teaching statements. This essay points out your goals, pedagogy, standards, methodology, and reasons for teaching.

Ensure that the statement is as concise as possible, specific, and avoid too much extraneous details.

A teaching statement is a chance to make yourself stand out, so ensure that you present yourself as an ambitious and passionate teacher.

List Of References

Many employers require a list of references but submit one only if requested.

This list must include the name, employer, title, contact information, and business address of people having an in-depth knowledge of your performance, experience, and professional abilities.

Becoming A Teacher In The US

Training to become a teacher can be an exhaustive process if you are not passionate about it.

Consequentially it can also be the most rewarding profession for you if you care for others and have a knack for passing on your knowledge.

Becoming a teacher can be difficult if you do not know where to start.

How about you connect with Superprof and get in touch with professional tutors near you to begin your journey towards this rewarding career.

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