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Angela D. Blaver, Ph.D.
Angela D.’s Answer
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Hi Sumaiya! That's a good question! I'm in the United States and our requirements are a bit different than Canada's. Since you appear to be in Ontario...please see the website below for more information (OCT - Ontario College of Teachers). There are some things to think about. What age range do you want to teach, elementary or secondary? If secondary, what subject areas are you interested in (i.e., math, science, history, etc.)? You can also consider teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and work in Canada or another country. Special education is an option as well. A good next step is to talk with some of your favorite teachers and ask for their thoughts and advice. Consider tutoring and volunteering as a student aide to get a better sense of being a teacher vs. being a student. This is a rewarding and worthwhile career! I have enjoyed being an educator and love it! Wishing you success in your endeavors, Dr. B
Back in the Stone Age, well before blackboards were invented, I was in college preparing to be a teacher. Our one-and-only "practice- teaching" experience was scheduled in either the 7th or 8th semester (the final year). Now, teacher ed is very different, and requirements for entry into it are much more rigorous.
Check out several universities' programs and see what they have in common, and what their differences are. Then, compare that information with what the state or provincial requirements are for certification.
While I agree with John that many schools allow people to teach without certification, I would suggest you find a program that gets you in-classroom experience (with students of your grade-preference) well before your last terms. There is so much to learn from on-site immersion that university courses often miss or do not delve into when the focus is more on the theoretical rather than the practical.
On the other hand, education courses taught by those who themselves are good teachers are an immeasurable benefit to self-improvement *before* the On-The-Job Training.
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I think it is also important to keep in mind that everything you do in High School will prepare you for college- not just your senior year as some students think. Take as many classes as you can throughout High School and challenge yourself even if your requirements for graduation have been met. When applying for college, the admissions office wants to see that you are the kind of student who will work hard and pursue your degree, not just coast by with the bare minimum. During High School, volunteer and do community service activities. If you are interested in being a teacher, then try to get a part-time job or volunteer job that is working towards that career field. Maybe working in a daycare or an after school tutoring program, volunteer in the kid's area at church or at the local YMCA or community center. It's tempting to pick a job that will make you a lot of cash right now but trying to focus your attention on preparing for your long term future will pay off in the end. If you set yourself up in High School, you should have no trouble getting into a good college to pursue a teaching career. Start looking at colleges now and see what their requirements are. Make sure that you are doing what you need to do now in High School so you can be ready to apply when its time.
@Tammy and @Angela provided excellent guidance for becoming a teacher. My journey was a little different. I worked in finance for 15 years and then went back to school for a Master's degree in Education. In the US, independent schools value life experiences and I was able to work for two independent schools without a formal teaching certificate.