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How to Become a Teacher

How to Become a Teacher

Have you thought about becoming a teacher? Teaching can be very rewarding and carries a big impact upon our young. Good teachers make positive impacts on our children every day. You not only teach youngsters academic skills but also how to behave properly and socialize with others. If this interests you, you might want to consider a position in teaching. Learning how to become a teacher can help you gain the knowledge you need to get started on a game plan for achieving all the requirements for getting a teacher certification in your state and secure a teaching position.

How to Become a TeacherOnce you have determined that teaching is right for you, you need to take a look at various certification programs. If you are going to teach in the United States, each state requires that you be certified to work in public schools. So, make sure you know where you want to live and be certified in that state. You can transfer your certificate to another state, however its not always that simple.

If you’re not familiar with certification programs, check out the National Council on Teacher Quality. The site provides a comprehensive list of teaching preparation programs by state. Some states have many options in terms of teaching preparation programs while others only have a few. Nevertheless, this will get you on your way to determining what program is right for you. Keep in mind that not all teacher preparation programs are equal. If the program is properly accredited you should have no problem. So, check out their credentials carefully! See if the program is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency such as the Teacher Education Accreditation Council or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Teaching preparation coursework can be taken online or in the traditional classroom.

Traditionally speaking, in order to teach at the kindergarten, elementary, middle or secondary level, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an approved teacher education program and a certificate.

Teaching Requirements

Teaching requirements vary by state. Check out your state’s education department website for your states requirements. The website will also tell you what test(s) you must take to gain admission to a teaching certification program. Some states require the Praxis I or Pre-Professional Skills Test. These tests check for basic reading, writing and math skills. Once you have completed your teacher preparation program, you’ll need to take the Praxis II tests for teacher certification. Praxis II is a group of tests that go by subject matter so you may want to take several of them so you can teach different subjects for example, social studies and English. Just something you need to consider ahead of time.

Teaching Curriculum

Although teaching certification programs vary, they do share some things in common. If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to choose a major and minor area of study. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in teachable subject matter (i.e. biology not fashion design), you just need to take the education coursework. The education coursework you need to take depends on whether you want a certification in elementary, secondary or special education. No matter what, you need to get practical teaching experience while your working on your certificate. Teaching experience can be achieved by volunteering in schools, tutoring, observing classroom teachers and participating in the classroom (student teaching). Your program will probably help you with this.

Generally, a bachelor’s degree program in education includes student assessment methods, instructional strategies, multiculturalism and human development. Chances are your program will also cover educational technology and communication principles. Depending on the level you want to teach on, you’ll study courses for that level and beyond. For example, if you want to teach math in middle school, you’ll be loaded up with all kinds of math courses.

Depending on what state you live in, that state may require you to earn a master’s degree to keep your certification or to be fully certified. Having a master’s degree is a plus whether needed or not because it commands a higher salary.

Getting a Teaching Position

Now that you have graduated and have your certificate, you need to find a teaching position. Make sure you have all your teaching experience in your resume. This is very important! Make sure you have excellent references and interview for the position well. All of these things increase your chances of getting hired. Check your public school website to see what’s available and begin filling out applications.


NORFOLK (May 18, 2012) Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class Jason L. Ethridge, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), reads to the students of Christ the King Catholic School’s kindergarten class.
This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Susan Ardizzoni

Susan Ardizzoni

Professor Susan Ardizzoni

Susan has studied at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Biomedical Institute in Galveston, Texas and the University of South Florida in Tampa and received a Ph.D. in Biology with a major in Neuroscience and minors in physics and mathematics. Area of research is in brain transplantation and behavior testing with twenty years of teaching experience. Fields of interest include the physical basis of memory and learning, brain repair and regeneration as well as neuro-development. As an educator, has taught thousands of students at the college level in anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, marinebiology, nutrition, communications, radiography, ultrasound, mathematics and physics. She enjoys reading current scientific literature and simplifying the material making it readily available to the public.
Susan Ardizzoni

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