Is Teaching the Right Career for You?
Becoming a teacher means taking on a very important position. Teachers are responsible for educating and training young minds, and play a key role in helping students explore and pursue opportunities for a better future. Moreover, a good teaching staff is a prerequisite for the development of well-informed, well-trained, and well-read students. The work of a teacher is demanding and requires patience and tolerance. Each student present different challenges, and as a teacher you will be required to come up with various strategies to cope with such students. A good teacher is not only knowledgeable, but enjoys instructing students. This enjoyment helps and motivates the teacher to come up with creative and effective strategies for learning. So before you choose to make teaching your profession, make sure you have the personality for it.
How to Become a Teacher
All teachers will need to have completed a college degree. The coursework of the degree will vary depending on what grade you want to teach. You should choose to major in education while pursuing your undergraduate degree. Education majors can choose between an elementary education major and a secondary education major. If you choose to teach elementary school, you will be responsible for teaching language, mathematics, arts, and social sciences. An aspiring elementary school teacher is expected to major in elementary education, and is expected to have taken a number of courses in psychology, child development, and designing curriculums.
If you wish to teach high school students in a particular subject such as American history, you should major in secondary education and History. The History major is needed to know the material you will be teaching, and the secondary education major is needed to know how to teach the material and set-up the curriculum. Education students will have to do student teaching assignments. Student teaching pairs a student with a teacher in a real classroom to learn first-hand how a teacher does his or her job. The college or university usually has a school that they work with to place students in classrooms to complete this requirement.
After Your Education
Once you have earned your college degree you will need to apply for a teaching license. Note that requirements for licensing or certification will vary between states. Usually licensing requires the following things:
An undergraduate degree
Supervision under an experienced teaching
Completion of certain education courses if these have not been taken in college
A test gauging the candidates verbal and math skills
You should check with the education board of your particular state in order to learn their exact requirements.
If you are an experienced teacher you may want to seek advancement. This can involve becoming mentors or senior teachers who are in charge of training younger instructors. Advanced education degrees allow teachers to seek positions such as principals, curriculum developers, or counselors.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage of a high school teacher in 2010 was $53,230 per year while that of an elementary school teacher was $51,960 per year. The demand for elementary school teachers is expected to increase by 17% by 2020; whereas, the demand for high school teachers is increasing at 7% - slower than the average.