According to Aristotle, “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” Teaching can be an immensely rewarding career on an emotional level, granting teachers a sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction.
It is also a domain that will see a steadily increasing demand in the US over the next several years. If you would like to learn about the essential details of how to become a teacher, this basic guide should help you embark on your journey.
Deciding to Become a Teacher
Teaching is no easy task and neither is deciding to become one. Before you begin planning your career as an educator, you will need to decide if it is the right job for you. Asking yourself a few tough questions and doing some information-gathering research will help you make a solid and informed decision.
Being aware of the average salary range, which greatly differs by the school district, teaching level, and the subject will help you make the right decision. The higher the age group of your students, the higher the salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers currently ranges from around $61,000 to around $63,000 and the projected job growth over the next decade is 4%.
You will also need to be sure that your desire to teach and your dedication to this career path are strong enough. You will need to determine if the time frame required to become a certified teacher is acceptable to you. You will need to assess if you have the patience and fortitude to teach students of a certain age group of your choice.
Once you are armed with this knowledge, you may begin the planning process.
Planning to Become a Teacher
Teaching is a career that involves advance-planning as it requires a bachelor’s degree at the very least. Knowing whom and what you would like to teach in the future will help you pick your major. The minimum requirements for a public school teaching position are a bachelor’s degree and a state-level teaching certification.
Depending on the subject and the teaching grade level, you may have to make education a part of your bachelor’s degree curriculum. For example, if you are aiming to be a math teacher, you should preferably earn a bachelor’s degree in education with a specialization in math.
If you wish to be a science teacher, you should pursue a degree in science education, preferably specializing in the stream of science that you wish to teach. Some positions require an education major or a master’s degree in a specific subject.
While earning your degree, it is a good idea to begin a teacher preparation program simultaneously. For example, teaching positions will often require some prior teaching experience. You can save time after graduation by earning all or part of this experience while you are a student.
Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you are ready to move on to the certification process.
How to Become a Teacher
The final step in qualifying to be a teacher is completing the appropriate certification. Praxis, which is accepted in 40 states, is the most common state-level teacher certification. Pearson is used for lower grades. Passing scores may vary by state. A National Board Certification is open to teachers with a minimum of three years of full-time classroom teaching experience.
Once you have earned the right degree, gained the minimum required teaching experience, and completed the required certification, you may apply for your teaching license. After being granted the license, all that remains is searching for a teaching position in your preferred location, for which job boards are the best resource. For more information on how to become a teacher, you can reach out to places like EducationDegree.com.