Becoming a teacher is one of the most common childhood dreams, yet only 4% of adults achieve their goals, while 64% wish they could still do the job they dreamt of. As a student, you determine what to pursue during this stage of your life.
4 Tips for Students Who Want to Become Teachers
If you know you want to become a teacher, what should you do to ensure you get your dream job? The first step is knowing what to do, and the following tips are what you can do next.
1. Explore Potential Degrees
The most essential step of becoming a teacher is determining what educator you want to be. There is a plethora of options to consider when entering this field, and you must choose a degree that best fits your future plans. Before you choose any program that you wish to pursue, think about where you see yourself in the future. What grade are you teaching? Which subject will you enjoy teaching the most? Are you a special education teacher? Asking yourself these questions is crucial in helping you pursue the right courses and certifications that will align you with your dream career.
You may wish to teach specific age groups because you are more comfortable with them or because of the positive career outlook. Take being an elementary school teacher, for example. The BLS predicts a 4.0% employment growth for this sector and estimates 54,900 new job openings. Not only will you have numerous job opportunities, but you will also contribute to society by shaping young minds. By getting a Bachelors degree in elementary education, you can equip children with the building blocks of education and useful skills they will need in life. You can expect to learn about early childhood education and psychological development with your training to prepare you for this field. If you love working with kids, a job as an elementary teacher will never let you get bored. A degree in elementary education can also open new career paths, such as a child care teacher or administrator and an Instructional Coordinator.
2. Evaluate Your Temperament
Teaching is a challenging field that requires a lot of patience, stamina, and resilience. It consistently ranked in the top three most stressed occupations next to healthcare and police work. In fact, teachers are twice as likely to suffer from the tensions of their job compared to other working adults. According to a recent survey, 73% of educators frequently experience extreme pressure from their job. On the other hand, only 35% of adults with other jobs report feeling that their job is strenuous.
Educating young minds is not a task to be taken lightly, especially in elementary education. Being an elementary school teacher is even more stressful than being a secondary school teacher, with 93% reporting high tension levels. So, it would be best to prepare yourself for these challenges and the weight of your responsibility before you finalize this career path for yourself.
Your students may not always listen to you. Sometimes, you must decide to be firm or kind. Still, you must be able to keep discipline and maintain a positive classroom environment. As a teacher, you must also excel in communication and time management. However, patience is essential in an occupation and cutthroat as teaching. You must ensure or develop these traits and groom your personality into one that can thrive as a teacher. The role of an educator goes far beyond simply completing coursework. Rather, you have the momentous task of shaping future productive members of society.
3. Gain Teaching Experience While You Learn
Teaching experience is one of the most crucial aspects of pursuing a teaching career. If you are getting a degree in education, you need more than theoretical knowledge. Getting teaching experience while you are a student can not only help you land jobs right after you graduate but also help you gain practical insight into your program. Considering that 37% of teachers have at least 10 to 20 years of experience, you must start teaching as soon as possible to stand out.
However, how do you get teaching experience without a degree and license? You can gain experience through student-teaching initiatives by volunteering in local schools or signing up for mentorship programs to assist peers who need extra support. You can also consider commencing a student-teaching segment in your curriculum during your final year, which involves teaching a class while being supervised by faculty. Though, you must meet the following requirements to qualify:
- You must be in the final year of your program
- Have a minimum GPA, which ranges from 2.0 to 3.0, depending on the university
- Pass a background check and medical exam
- Must complete at least 100 hours of field observation before teaching
- You must not have a grade lower than C in your courses
- Have the approval of faculty members
By taking advantage of these teaching opportunities, you can start your teaching career early by gaining experience as a student. Not only does this early experience help in finding jobs, but it also hones your teaching abilities, as you can ask for student feedback.
4. Get A Teaching License
After graduating, you must get your teaching license to ensure you meet the standards of providing education. It allows you to legally work as a teacher within your state and is a primary requirement set by schools. The process may vary from state to state, but the general process involves:
- Getting a bachelor’s degree
- Completing a nationally recognized teaching program
- Gain at least two years of student-teaching experience
- Pass the necessary teacher examinations, such as the Praxis tests
Once you clear all these requirements and pass a background check, you can get the proper teaching credentials that will allow you to pursue your teaching career in public or private sector schools. Some states also require a final fingerprinting requirement and offer a path for alternative certification, which is a non-traditional way to get a teaching license.
Knowing what to do as a student is a great way to prepare yourself for entering the professional world. Teaching is a noble profession in which you can excel if you have the passion and determination to spread knowledge and shape the future. By following the tips in this article, you can get an early start at defining your career path and ensuring your success in this field.Share on Social Media