You’ve found yourself reading this article because you’re considering becoming a school teacher, which is ideal as we are going to talk through the route towards becoming a school teacher!
First, however, if you have not yet entirely decided if a teaching job is right for you and your life, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a desire to teach?
- Will I be able to complete all the teacher requirements?
- Is the general teaching salary acceptable?
- Do I have the patience and willingness required to give students the best education?
How much time does it take to become a teacher?
The time it takes to become a teacher varies drastically, mostly based on the students’ age and education level. You may not need experience and more than the basic certification to teach younger children.
As you would expect, the older the pupils are, the longer it takes for aspiring teachers to get qualified to teach them. In general, it will take at least four years to become qualified to teach, including the time it takes to earn the minimum degree and certification requirements.
How much do teachers earn?
It is difficult to put an exact sum on how much teachers earn. Their salaries differ even more than the education levels. Teaching salaries vary by age level, degree, school district, length of employment, subject matter, and many other factors. It can be safely assumed that teaching paychecks go up as the students’ age increases. As a teacher, you will have two or three months free during the summer break, during which you can work a part-time job if you need the money. The average teaching salary for the US was about $61,000 for 15 years of experience.
Different kinds of teacher for different kinds of people.
In the first three teaching levels (early childhood, preschool, and elementary), the students are younger and the curriculum is broader. Therefore, a teacher here would be responsible for instructing across multiple subjects. Future teachers of middle school and high school levels instead must specialize in a particular area (biology, geography, etc.), as these students’ widening knowledge calls for it. Special education teachers are those who instruct children with various learning disabilities and developmental disorders.
What degree does a teacher require?
Prospective teachers will need to earn an accredited bachelor’s degree at the very least. Elementary school teachers usually major in elementary education. For those wanting to teach older students at higher grade levels, they will major in the subject that they wish to teach.
Learning how to become an elementary school teacher, preschool teacher or early childhood teacher will be easier than understanding and learning how to become a high school teacher. The salary you receive will generally reflect this gap in difficulty.
Which degree is best?
Now that you have decided to dedicate your career to teaching, it is crucial that you pick a major that lines up with the level of education or speciality that you are most interested in teaching your future students. To become a History teacher you will need a bachelor’s degree in education, preferably with a major in history. To become an English teacher you will need a bachelor’s degree in English. For a Maths teacher, you will need a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration on mathematics. To become a science teacher, you will be best set up by a bachelor’s degree in education in the specific scientific field that you intend to teach.
How to get a teaching certificate
Once you have your degree, you will need to obtain a teaching certificate in order to be licensed as a teacher. In most states, the route to getting a teaching certificate goes as follows:
- Obtain a relevant bachelor’s degree.
- Complete a district- or state-approved teacher preparation program.
- Pass required exams in the school district and/or state
- Submit a state teaching license application.
Check the US Department of Education website for resources state by state.
Experience is crucial
Obtaining teaching experience is a requirement for most teachers. It may seem bizarre that you will need classroom experience before you have been licensed and accredited as a teacher.
Most future teachers (depending on location) need a certain number of hours of supervised classroom teaching experience if they want to get licensed. Similar to flight hours before becoming a full-fledged pilot, these student teaching hours can come during your studies or after you graduate. This can begin as a teaching assistant, a good way to understand the dynamics of a classroom, as well as how to effectively interact and communicate with your students.
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