Becoming a teacher in the United States is a long and arduous process. Along with high intelligence, much endurance is needed to get through all the classes and requirements that are necessary. After all, an apt student will probably become an apt teacher. This career advice will cover some straightforward information about how to become a teacher in the U.S. Words will not be minced and the information given may be discouraging. However, for people truly serious about becoming educators, this challenging process is very doable.
Before delving into any of the necessary education and legal matters, a potential teacher ought to ask him or herself a serious, introspective question: “Why do I want to teach?” If the reason is because of a passion for educating children, this is a positive sign. However, some people find that they are afraid of the adult world. This is not the case for most people, but it is a common bad reason for wishing to teach. It is extremely important for an aspiring educator to know exactly what his or her goals are for the career path. Otherwise, he or she can anticipate years of futile energy and mountains of wasted money. After all, the annual salary of a beginning teacher is often less than $30,000.
Requirements To Become A Teacher
First, the aspiring teacher must obtain a bachelor’s degree, preferably in the subject matter that he or she would like to teach. Earning good grades is vital, because next comes graduate school. Most teachers nowadays need a master’s degree in order to be competitive candidates in the field. Getting into graduate school is difficult for anyone, and almost impossible for candidates with bad undergraduate marks. The third step is becoming certified as a teacher. Different states have different regulations for this certification, so the aspiring educator should know the state in which he or she wishes to work. Certification involves student teaching and passing a difficult standardized exam. Despite all of this, as the next paragraph will show, good grades are not everything.
Not only must the teaching candidate undergo the aforementioned rigorous academic training, he or she must jump through legal hoops as well. Aside from minor traffic violations, any kind of a tarnish on a person’s criminal record is a big setback for someone trying to get a teaching job. (Of course, any kind of child abuse or neglect is a definite way never to get a job with children.) Imagine that a school is viewing two candidates for a job. Person A has perfect grades but Person B does not. However, Person A was charged with being drunk in public during his freshman year of college. Person B has a clean record. The school administrators will likely choose Person B despite imperfect test scores. This is a sound example of why behavior is just as significant, if not more significant, than a flawless transcript. Anyone who has already mottled his or her record ought to discuss the matter with an academic adviser. As upsetting as it may be, the best option might be to choose a different career path.
Becoming a teacher in the United States is a very challenging path. Some States have more requirements than others. For example, for those who want to become a teacher in Texas, you’ll have more requirements than those in a state like North Dakota. It should be reserved for people who love children and are serious about educating upcoming generations. Anyone who is uncertain about the legitimacy of his or her reasoning for wanting to teach ought to take a step backward and reconsider. In addition, as unfortunate as it is, those with criminal records may want to reevaluate their career choice. However, with the right attitude and aptitude, aspiring teachers can proudly walk the college graduation aisle, then hit the job market with confidence.