Part 1: The Back Story Behind this Post
This is me, teaching during a school visit. I miss it! With Covid I sheltered in place because of my age and Type 2 Diabetes. I hope my Covid vaccine is coming soon . . . I want to get back out there again.
I didn’t write this post – Janet Campbell from Elderspark did. She said it’s not what she usually writes,. It’s also very different from her last post when she wrote about how long distance health caregivers can keep tabs on their loved ones.
Janet picked this because she thought it would be a good fit for me. It is! I was called to teach. I still am, whether I’m subbing or writing. I’m always first and last, a teacher.
Part 2 – Janet’s Campbell’s Call to Teach
If you’re looking for a career where you make a significant difference in thousands of lives, teaching might be the right path for you. Teachers help children, teens, and young adults learn information, yes, but they also teach them kindness, perseverance, and self-confidence. It’s a career that comes with a lot of responsibility, as well as the potential to change more lives than you may ever fully realize.
With 33 years of teaching experience, Rinda Beach knows just how deeply rewarding this career can be. However, many people who consider teaching aren’t entirely sure what the process is or how to get started. This guide is designed to help you figure out your first steps and get started on the path toward teaching. Here’s all the information you need to begin your journey.
Part 3 - Learning to Teach
For the vast majority of people, your first step is going to be earning some sort of teaching degree. Different states have different requirements, and all require a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license in order to be a full-time teacher. In many, you may even need to earn a master’s degree, as well.
When it comes to earning your master’s degree, you should search for a school that can meet your educational needs with respect to your daily life. For example, many schools offer evening classes in order to make studying possible for people with full-time jobs. Online degree programs, particularly asynchronous ones, are also a great fit for those with already-busy schedules since they allow you to study on your own time. This can also open up your options if you don’t happen to live near a university that offers the degree you’re pursuing.
Part 4: Testing The Waters
If you’re not entirely confident you want to become a teacher yet, there are several ways you can test the waters without committing to earning a degree. For example, many states only require a bachelor’s degree in order to work as a substitute teacher. This can give you a feel for what it’s like to manage a classroom, as well as help you figure out which age range you’re interested in working with.
You can also test the waters by volunteering as an after-school tutor. Many schools have programs designed to help underachieving students bridge the gap and learn how to excel in the classroom. Not only will this type of work give you practice teaching, but it will also help you develop the skills necessary to help when students are struggling. This can be a difficult challenge for teachers who are just starting off, so if you have this experience under your belt beforehand, you’ll have a distinct advantage.
Part 5: Finding Work
Once you have your degree, you’ll need to look toward finding work. Although there are almost always teaching opportunities out there, you’ll find that some age ranges and subjects are trickier to place than others. For example, a general middle school teacher is likely to have an easier time finding a job than a high school classics teacher.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t pick a specific subject if that’s what you’re interested in, but you should know the pros and cons. For example, although those jobs can be a little harder to find, you can also potentially navigate for a better salary when those roles do appear.
Regardless of your subject or age range, the easiest way to find a role as a teacher is to be open to opportunities, even if they aren’t your ideal role. For example, many teachers are resistant to working in rural or underprivileged communities. However, these areas are often the most in need of good teachers, so if you rule that out, you might be ruling out some of your best bets for a job.
Stay open, and remember — if it’s not the right fit, you can always look for something else. With time, you’ll find the perfect fit and have the teaching career you’ve been dreaming of!
For more insights on teaching, writing, books, and more, visit Rinda Beach’s blog.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!