August 25, 2013
Are you considering a teaching career?Teaching is one of the most difficult yet rewarding careers out there. If you feel that you have what it takes to become a teacher and want to make a difference in the lives of others, here are a few resources to help you weigh your decision and get started:
1. Friends And FamilyThe best insight will always come from actual teachers. If you have family members or friends with teaching experience, conduct some informal interviews. Write down the questions you may have about the profession and find out what these teachers consider to be the greatest rewards and drawbacks of teaching. Ask them how they dealt with particularly challenging situations, like classroom management issues, and what advice they would offer to new teachers just entering the profession. You can also get some resume and interview tips if you have already made the decision to embark on a teaching career.
2. Internet ResourcesThe Internet can connect you with higher education resources, teacher blogs, lesson plans and any other information you seek. One particularly helpful site is Teach.com, which provides information on how to become a teacher in any state or abroad. The site offers detailed descriptions on how to meet state certification requirements, connects potential teachers with higher education and certification programs, and has a blog with information on designing quality lesson plans, classroom management strategies and many more topics. Like Teach.com, Certification Map offers detailed guides to state certification, information on master’s and certification programs, and informative blogs.
3. The GovernmentIf you know what state that you want to teach in, you should consult that state’s department of education to find out certification and testing requirements. Many state education sites also offer information on alternative certification programs and employment listings. The U.S. Department of Education is another helpful resource for student loan information, current trends and policies in education, and teaching resources.
4. Non-Profit OrganizationsFor recent graduates, several non-profit organizations help new teachers get their careers started by offering work opportunities in high-needs schools and geographic areas. Teach for America employs new teachers for two years in high-poverty areas. Organizations like Americorps and the Peace Corps offer volunteer opportunities in the United States and abroad, which offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and experiences that look excellent on resumes.
5. Higher Education InstitutionsYou may already have a bachelor’s degree in a subject area but need to fulfill the education coursework to become a teacher. Prospective teachers should investigate Master of Art in Teaching programs, which often offer flexibility and help with the certification process. You can find resources on degree and certification granting programs through Certification Map and Teach.com. Even if you are seeking certification in a state that does not require a master’s degree, higher education can make you more desirable to hiring districts as well as make you more knowledgeable and prepared to teach.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator, Erika Phyall on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U Inc. – an education-technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as USC to deliver their online Masters of Education programs.Photo Credit: Shutterstock