Becoming a teacher is a very rewarding career, and now you can become a licensed teacher in any location in the nation by doing so at an accredited college that offers online classes. Aside from having to complete professional classroom experience, you can do the vast majority of your degree from the comfort of your own home while you continue to work.
For those who want to become teachers, you will need at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in order to qualify to take your state’s teacher certification exam. However, obtaining an associate’s in teaching from a community college or other four year institution is a good start to your degree program as well. When choosing a school, make sure that the school is properly accredited and recognized by the state where you want to work. Check your school’s accreditation at the US Department of Education website and with your state’s teacher licensing board to ensure your school meets their licensing requirements. It is important to research everything that you will need to become a teacher so that you are ready to enter the job market.
During your degree program you learn all of the foundational knowledge about the educational system, different pedagogical methods to help you teach students of all age groups most effectively, and design curriculums based on local and state requirements and to meet the needs of a culturally diverse student population. You will also learn about classroom management, childhood development, psychology, educational theories and technology, lesson planning, and how to evaluate students. Most programs allow you to choose a teaching specialty, for example in special education, biology, science, or math. Choosing a specialty that you are passionate about will allow you to have a satisfying career far into retirement.
In the final semesters of your program you will typically have to complete a student-teacher apprenticeship, which will give you hands-on experience in the classroom. This fieldwork will give you the opportunity to shadow an experienced teacher and also instruct courses on your own. After completing your program you will have to take a final exam, which is either the Praxis II test or another test that is developed by your own state. There is also an alternative teacher licensure in some states that will allow you to teach as well. Generally, each program will allow you to teach at any K-12 educational institution in both the public and private sector. If you decide to obtain your master’s or doctorate in teaching, you will be able to teach at a college level. Advanced programs are typically for teachers who are already certified and want to further their education in a highly-specialized career field.
The average salary for high school teachers is around $50,000 per year with great benefits and lots of holidays and summers typically off as well. Great teachers are needed everywhere in the nation to help educate, influence, and empower students to become successful adults.