Updated: Feb 19, 2018
I realize that I’ve discussed controlling your professional fate, and how to select the school that’s best for you, but I realized that I haven’t discussed the ever-important topic: so you want to be a teacher? I meet people all of the time who tell me how noble they think teaching is and that it’s something that they would love to do.
This blog is for those of you considering teaching, but unsure of how to go about getting there. Here are a few tips/things to consider if are considering moving into the profession.
#1: Volunteer or Tutor! This may seem like simple advice, but it ‘s crucial to your decision. First, you need to know what your niche is. You may think you want to teach 11th grade History, then volunteer in a 1st grade class and realize that you want to support students at that crucial time in their lives. Second, you need to see a real class in action over time—not just a snapshot! Consistently volunteering will give you a better idea of what a career in education is like.
#2: Find a Mentor/Support Group: Next, this will make or break you, PLEASE find yourself a mentor. You need someone who you can talk to about all things teaching! You need someone to help read the essays for your entrance applications, talk you through lesson plans and clinicals, and help you with those classroom management woes that we always face. Having a mentor or a support group will keep you on track. Teaching, though rewarding, is also difficult work. It requires your all, so make sure there is someone there to help you along the way.
#3: Research Program Options: There are many ways to become a teacher nowadays. You need to determine which program will fit your needs. Are you going to go the traditional route, and apply for an education program? If so, be sure to check out the course requirements. What will you need in order to apply for the program? Will the coursework prepare you for the work that you want to do? You can also take the accelerated route with programs such as Teach for America or AUSL’s Teacher Residency that places you in the classroom while you are completing your coursework. Whatever you do, think about your life, and determine which program will be best for you.
#4: Hang in There! Most important, HANG IN THERE! Teaching is amazing and stressful and wonderful and overwhelming! There will be great moments, and there will be moments where you want to sit in your car and shed a tear or two! Remember you will not and cannot know everything. You will stumble along the way—and that’s okay. When it all comes down to it, teaching is still rewarding. Be sure to lean on your support, and you’ll be fine!
I hope this short list was helpful and gave you a few things to consider before going into the profession! I wish you the best of luck!