How to be a Teacher

Becoming a teacher can be a tedious and strenuous task. You must pass tests, take a dozen college classes that may be boring, listen to mentor teachers, practice teaching, and many times while you are teaching.

Before you take the step to officially become a teacher, you really should know what it entails. It is not as fun as the movies show it, nor is it as hard as the movies show it. But it is fun and hard at the same time.

Below are some questions you may need to ask yourself before trying to be a teacher:

A teacher should like being around kids.

Do I like children? Can I be in a room full of kids all day long?

A teacher should have patience.

Can I handle saying something over? Can I take failure on the first try?

A teacher works at home too.

Can I handle doing paper work, grading, planning, etc. at home?

A teacher gets it from all sides.

Can I work with a principal, other teachers, and parents? Can I take suggestions and criticisms?

A teacher puts in long hours.

Can I work before and after school? Do I need to be home at a certain time? Can you attend meetings before and after school?

A teacher must supply some teaching materials and teaching extras.

Do I have a problem spending a few dollars a month to make teaching easier, entertaining, and engaging?

Speaking of materials, a teacher sometimes has to face a shortage of student materials.

Can I handle this? Or will I be constantly complaining at the school board and other staff?

A Teacher has one of the greatest responsibilities in the world.

Can I handle being in charge of a student's future? They only get one shot with me!

Becoming a teacher can be a tedious and strenuous task. You must pass tests, take a dozen college classes that may be boring, listen to mentor teachers, practice teaching, and many times while you are teaching.

Can you get organized? Can you be prepared to tough it out? Becoming a teacher can be stressful.

A teacher sometimes needs to change his or her ways.

Can you be flexible and try new things? Can you take direction from a person higher up?

Are you prepared to take the political pressure and do the right thing for your students?

Teachers must manage a classroom full of kids, as well as maintain discipline.

Think about that long and hard. Imagine yourself in front of 35 kids. Can you do it?

If you answered yes to ALL of the above questions, you may be the right person to be a teacher!

One last thing. You should visit a local school and sit in on a class. Stick with a teacher all day and see what it is like. Your local college may be able to set this up. Or, your local school may need volunteers or you could visit your own child's classroom. It is a good idea to talk to teachers before starting down the path.

How to become a teacher

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.

Alternate Ways to Become a Teacher and get Certified

Other Routes to Teacher Certification

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 Ways to Become a Teacher

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. is The National Center for Alternative Certification for teachers. They can help you locate and identify many ways to become a teacher.

Want to learn more about being a teacher? Read more:

How to get a Teaching Job

How to Find a Teaching Job

Teaching Job Interview and Resume

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