Become a Teacher
Today's classrooms present teachers with more challenges and therefore
demand a deeper understanding of successful classroom practices. Dedication and
a desire to help children are important, but teachers also need a strong
academic background and solid professional preparation.
Whether you are a high school student exploring the possibility of entering
the teaching profession, a college student on his/her way to becoming a teacher
or a professional looking to change careers, below you will find the necessary
steps and websites that will guide you to become a teacher.
Chose a Pathway
There are traditional and non-traditional pathways to teaching.
Four- or five-year college degree programs in
elementary education or secondary education which lead to certification upon
graduation. These programs can vary greatly depending on individual
Post-collegiate programs for people who hold a
bachelor's degree and wish to enter the teaching field, generally for one
year to obtain certification.
Alternative licensing and certification
programs in states where there is a shortage of teachers in a particular
field. These programs tend to be short-term and intensive in order to get
professionals into the classroom quickly. (See below for more information
about these programs.)
To explore educational institutions outside your state, the National Council
for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) publishes the Annual Guide to
Accredited Institutions that describes the institutions it accredits. Copies
are $15 each.
Teaching Certification Requirements
Contact the state Department of Education where you would most like to teach
and ask for information on requirements for certification (they should be able
to mail you an information packet).
Teaching Certification Application
Upon completion of your state's certification requirements, submit your
application for certification to the state. Usually, you can complete and
submit a form during the final semester of your program to your school, which
will prompt a record review and the school will then forward your application
to the state's department of education.