For those considering education as a career path, teaching is the obvious first choice. But what do you need to become a teacher? Everyone knows that a degree is necessary, but which degree is right for accomplishing your teaching goals? And beyond a degree, what will you need to complete your certification?
To fully answer these questions, it’s necessary to consider the laws and regulations in your state of residence. Each state’s laws vary to some extent, however, most fall within a common range. A four year degree is usually a prerequisite; however those with the intention to pursue teaching as a career often enroll in a teaching certification program simultaneously with their degree. This is a more efficient method of becoming a teacher, for those who don’t yet have a diploma. If one already has a degree, then it is necessary to more closely research the certification process.
To become a certified teacher, one may have to fulfill certain specific educational requirements as part of or in addition to one’s degree, such as classes in current learning technology, educational psychology, or teaching methods. Some states also require internships or terms as teaching assistants before full certification as a teacher.
Requirements for teaching at private schools may be less stringent by state law, but often the qualifications required by the schools themselves are more strict. Having the minimum state requirements to teach in a private school is not a guarantee of being able to obtain a position at such a school.
Educational success is important for those who have the goal of becoming teachers; while there is often a shortage of qualified teachers, competition for positions with good benefits and compensation can be fierce. It’s also important for those who have completed their certifications and obtained a teaching job to remain up to date on learning technology and educational psychology and philosophy in order to progress in their careers.