If you have decided that teaching is right for, the first thing you will need is a bachelor's degree. Most any subject will do, but there are requirements for elementary and secondary teachers that you need to be aware of. The best thing is to contact your college or university's school of education before completing a bachelor's degree. Then, you will take the right classes.
Because every state is different, and many counties and school districts as well, you really need to be up close and personal with your local college's department of education. Only they will have the answers. No teaching article will tell you everything you need to know. Impossible.
There are so many different ways to become a certified teacher, you need to do the research before starting. Becoming a teacher really depends on where you live. There are a few definites. You will need a college degree. You probably will have to pass a test. You will need a health clearance, such as TB test. You will get a background check.
You will probably need to know CPR. Do any of these things surprise you? Get used to it. Many states, such as California, have a lot of hurdles. Some states have fewer. Again, it is imperitive that you look into what your state requires to be a classroom teacher.
REMEMBER: First decide if teaching is really for you. Second, to be a teacher requires a college degree. Whether you already have one, are working on one, or just starting, your third step is to contact the school's department of education or teacher program. Then, you can start checking off the things done and work one the ones you need to complete! Teaching is a rewarding career, but it is not a quick process.
Most states have alternate ways to become a teacher than the normal way of completing college and get certified. Teaching internships are very popular. These will allw people with a bachelor's degree in almost any subject to start teaching in the classroom, and at the same time work on a teaching credential. Normally the teacher needs to apply and be accepted to the teacher program from a designated college, but completes the program while teaching. This eliminates the need for student teaching. Don't worry about not having experience. Teachers selected for this process go to meetings first and are mentored by a veteran teacher. Be warned, however, that this can be a more grueling process than the normal way. Working full time as a teacher and going to school (yes you are required to attend classes) is a tough task.
Other Teacher Programs
Troops to Teachers is a program for honorably discharged veterans to begin a teaching career. They do not certify you, but do give you all the help you need in completing teaching requirements and even giving out stipends in exchange for teaching service. They even help you find a job.
Teach for America is a program designed for recent college graduates and working professionals. This is a two year commitment to teach in under-served areas. They will train you to become a teacher.Private and church-related schools normally do not require a teaching credential or certificate. Send out resumes to private schools in your area.
Americorps is not a teacher program, but if you are between 17 and 24, either a college student or graduate, you can get a stipend for volunteering to tutor kids. You can get some student loan forgiveness and some experience working with kids.
teach-now.org is The National Center for Alternative Certification for teachers. They can help you locate and identify many ways to become a teacher.
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