Become a teacher

Do you like to work with people? Do you like children or teenagers and think you would like to help shape their learning experience? Are you a patient person who is willing to try different strategies if you don’t succeed the first time? If so you might consider a career as a teacher.

Teachers must:

• Communicate well with others
• Enjoy working with people, especially youth
• Know how to control and motivate groups of students
• Design lesson plans and help students learn new concepts

If you are proficient at these skills, or would like to learn how, you should consider a career in teaching.

Requirements for Becoming a Teacher
Teaching requirements differ by state but all states will require a four-year college degree. You will also be required to student teach under a licensed teacher, as well as pass your state’s teaching certification exam. Once you become a teacher you will need to complete ongoing Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to keep your certificate up to date.

Again, each state has different requirements, but there are some general guidelines that are fairly consistent across all states. If you wish to teach at the elementary school level, you will need a degree in education with a certification as a K-8 teacher. If you wish to teach at a secondary level, you will need a degree in education as well as an emphasis in the subject area you wish to teach. It is a good idea to check with your state’s Board of Education to know what your requirements will be. If you move away from the state you received your degree in, you will need to be recertified with your new state.

There are additional areas of expertise that teachers can pursue, such as specializing in early childhood education, special education, or teaching English as a second language (ESL). Many teachers continue their education to receive a Masters Degree in Education, as this provides them with higher paying job opportunities.

Also, because you will be working with children, you will be subject to criminal background checks.

Career Opportunities for Teachers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job opportunities for teachers will grow 12% between 2012 and 2022. According to the BLS, teachers earn an average salary of $53,090, although that varies greatly by state. Teachers with in-demand certifications will have more job opportunities and most likely will receive higher pay. Obtaining a Masters Degree is also a way for teachers to raise their payscale.

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