How To Get A Teaching Degree And Become A Teacher | Best graduate schools
If you are looking for a career that will allow you to leave a positive legacy and contribute to your community, then a Kindergarten to Grade 12 teaching job may be right for you, especially if you enjoy interacting with children and appreciate energy. intense, curiosity and sincerity that often characterize youth.
Teachers serve a noble purpose in ensuring that important ideas are passed down from generation to generation, suggests Wortham. “In 100 years, I surely hope that the scientific method and the basic moral values - I hope these things are still with us, and if so, it is because of someone who has taught something to a youngster. “
Here’s a guide for potential teachers who are wondering if this profession is right for them and want to know what kind of training and talent are required for this field.
How to decide to become a teacher
It’s not wise to pursue a career as a teacher if you don’t feel like helping people or getting along with kids, says Claudia Lyles, CEO of Keystone Academy Charter School in Philadelphia .
Lyles, who has a doctorate in education, says that when she assesses candidates for teaching positions, she is particularly intrigued by applicants who have significant professional experience, such as a stint in the Peace Corps.
“The service component is important because as a teacher and educator you are at the service of a community,” she says. “Teaching is not as easy as other professions. We are very involved with our students, surrounding communities and families.”
People who are well suited to the field of education tend to be humanitarians with a deep desire to improve society and a strong concern for the well-being of people in general, Lyles says. A generous provision is a must for future teachers, because one of the main missions of teachers is to “help children become good citizens,” says Lyles.
“The common trait that I have found in most successful teachers is that they really love children,” she says. “I mean, you have to really love kids and young people to do the job. You can’t be unsure about it. And what I’ve found over the years are people who just aren’t not listening. children do not succeed in the profession. Many of them leave. “
Educators caution against becoming a teacher if money is your top priority, as many jobs require training similar to that of the teaching profession, but carry much higher salaries.
“Teacher compensation varies widely from state to state and, in some cases, district to district,” wrote Jennifer Russell, chair of the education department at William Peace University in Carolina. du Nord, in an email, where she is also an associate professor of education. “The starting salary in the United States can range from $ 35,000 to $ 55,000 per year.”
Russell, who is an associate professor of education with a doctorate in education, added: “Having been in teaching myself for over 30 years, most people choose this profession because it is a calling. . Most teachers teach because they love what they do. They love to make a difference in the world. “
Russell notes that schools sometimes pay teachers with graduate degrees $ 2,500 to $ 10,000 more per year than those same teachers would receive if they only had a bachelor’s degree.
According to educators, K-12 public schools generally pay better than K-12 private and parish schools, although this is not necessarily true in more prestigious private academic institutions, and K-12 parish schools tend to pay the least of all.
Karen Aronian, a New York education expert who earned a doctorate in education from Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City, says a teaching career is ideal for people who intend to pursue outside interests for a long time. their off hours, like writing or playing, and she says that’s great for parents too, as teachers tend to have days off around the same time their kids are off school.
“Teaching is a great foundational profession,” says Aronian, adding that a great way for someone to determine if a job as a teacher would be enjoyable is to volunteer with the kids and assess how it feels. .
The key stages in teacher training and how long it takes to become a teacher
There are many avenues of entry into the teaching profession. Some people enter the field immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree in education, which typically takes four years, while others decide to become a teacher after pursuing a career outside of education.
Not all teacher education programs are the same. Some are based in universities and others are connected to charter school networks. There are also teacher residences that allow students to become apprentices for a master teacher who serves as a mentor while the student takes education classes.
University teacher training programs typically include significant theoretical courses in child development and the history, psychology, and philosophy of education, and the teachers in these programs are typically a mix of educators and teachers. researchers, explains Wortham.
However, programs that are not affiliated with a university tend to focus less on theoretical discussions and debates, and the majority of professors in these programs are educators, he says.
Gwyneth Price, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, notes some indicators of quality teacher education programs.
“Good programs have courses that give a solid foundation: educational psychology, multicultural education, English as a second language, adolescent or developmental psychology, literacy, teaching with technology, among others,” Price wrote in an email. Further down the curriculum, courses become more specialized by content and grade level, but should include assessment, instructional techniques, content-specific methods courses, and classroom management. In addition, an emphasis on special education should be integrated into every program. ”
Price, who has a doctorate in educational psychology and spent 15 years as a K-12 teacher, notes that undergraduate programs in education tend to be more general than masters in the field.
A major in education is not required to become an American teacher in a K-12 school. However, prospective K-12 teachers must complete a state-sanctioned teacher education program, whether or not it grants a formal degree, in order to qualify for a state license. Full-time post-baccalaureate teacher education programs sometimes confer a master’s degree and typically last at least a year
Students in teacher training programs can expect to practice teaching under the supervision of an experienced educator and can anticipate learning a variety of teaching methods, experts say.
Although teaching licensing requirements differ from state to state, the following qualifications are generally required for a teaching career:
- A Bachelor’s degree.
- Completion of a state approved teacher training program.
- A successful background check.
- Passing a general teacher certification or licensing exam.
- A solid score on a test topic that focuses on the area of interest of the aspiring teacher.
The rewards and challenges of teaching
Teachers in schools of education note that good teaching requires considerable skills.
Presenting a lesson in a classroom full of rambunctious kids and convincing them all to listen and participate is an achievement in itself, but the most talented educators have the ability to be in total control of a room, say education teachers. . A good teacher is a fabulous performer and a compelling storyteller who can captivate and engage his audience.
“Education is an agent of change, and education can be transformational for any student, regardless of socio-economic background,” says Tom Ryan, principal of Cristo Rey Boston High School, a Catholic institution of Massachusetts which serves low-income students..
While teachers have good benefits, including a significant amount of vacation, they also face issues in the workplace, experts say. For example, it may be difficult for a teacher to meet the needs of all students in a class if those students have different knowledge and skills.
Determining how to help students with learning disabilities or language difficulties is also no small task, nor is providing emotional support to students facing adversity in their personal lives, which can lead them to have academic difficulties, according to experts.
“There are ‘drawbacks’ to every profession,” Price says. “For education, I’m sure a lot of people would point out the mountain of paperwork, the lack of funding, school boards with agendas or parents who don’t support them. But with time, patience, and perspective, you learn to navigate the rough waters when you focus on the sea of students who need your attention. “
A satisfying aspect of teaching in K-12 schools, according to current and former teachers with experience in these schools, is the ability to inspire children to believe in themselves, to think for themselves. and discover their unique talents.
“I still get messages from my students that I taught over ten years ago,” Bakshi says. “They’re now building businesses, running the tech world, and doing so many awesome things and I can proudly say this person was my student! This societal impact is priceless.”