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What are the different steps you need to take to become an educator?

I am an eighth grader who is wondering about the steps to persue my dream of becoming a teacher. I would like to teach highschool students. I want to know what the best schools are for teaching and all about the process of becoming a teacher. #education #teacher #educator #teaching #highschool

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Kylee’s Answer


It is incredibly awesome you have dreams to become an educator at your age! It is one of the best fulfilling occupations in my opinion.

The requirements to become a teacher really depends on the state, but at the most they are closely related to each other.

For example, in California, you need a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts to become an elementary school teacher. To become a high school teacher, you usually major in what you are interested to teach. Whether that is English, history, science, whatever subject you find to enjoy most. After you receive a 4 year degree at your college, you then join the credential program. The credential program is usually a one year process, and it throws you into the world of teaching! After one year, multiple state tests, many hours of hard work, ta-dah! You can apply to become a teacher!

You may have to do the research on the best schools around you in your area. It is important to do the research to find what school fits best for you.
Good luck on your endeavors; I wish you the very best.


Kylee recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer for classrooms in high school
Research colleges
Take a childhood education class in high school

I think Kylee's answer is very thorough, so rather than answering again I'll simply add that while you're in high school and throughout college, keep your eyes open for really great teachers. Look for those worthy of emulation. Finally, focus on classroom management; it's a critical of becoming a great teacher. Good luck! Laura Hathaway

Thank you so much for your answer! Emily S.

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Regina’s Answer

I agree with the suggestions and comments posted here.

To add, you inquired about best schools for teaching.
Here are a couple of websites:

Wishing you all the best!

Thank you for the help! Emily S.

You are welcome, Emily. All the best in your future endeavors! Regina Bandong

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Rebecca’s Answer

Hello Emily,
Being an educator has been one of the greatest joys. As a high school teacher I treasured watching my students grow quickly into young adults. It gives me great pleasure that you are looking to pursue education as a career. My education did not start out with the idea of becoming a teacher, I actually became a nurse in hopes to help children but after graduation decided to go back to school to receive my certification in education with an emphasis in biology. The route to becoming an educator or becoming anything is not always a straight path. If however, you know that is what you would like to do there are many colleges and universities that offer degrees in education. After getting your degree and having the required courses for education you sit for several exams to become a certified teacher. The college or university which you attend will be able to guide you based on the state in which you want to teach-I believe every state is different. Don't be afraid to ask questions and to get all the information you need as you move along your career path in school so that you don't skip any of the necessary steps. All the best to you as you make some important decisions!!!

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Shawnee’s Answer

Emily - Kylee's answer is spot on. I would only add that there are some colleges/universities that offer a degree in education which includes a 1 year classroom component as well as preparation for the required certification exams. Finally, when becoming a high school educator it will be good to have an idea of your focus (i.e. Science, Math, Language Arts, etc.) as some states certification require a specified number of focus hours.

Thank you! Emily S.

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Jason Aaron’s Answer

There are many conventional and unconventional steps you can take to become a teacher.

1 - get a 4 year degree at any accredited university or school; Majoring in Elementary, Secondary or Education or Special Education.
2 - You must student teach for approximately a semester (about 15 weeks).
3 - Have to past a few Praxis exams.

I am currently taking an unconventional route. I already have my Bachelor's degree in Marketing. I am getting my teachers' certification through my master's degree. Masters in Teaching that leads to Certification.

There is another way - just take enough classes to fulfill the teacher's certification requirement of your state but it costs about as much as getting a degree so.

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Karen’s Answer

Hi Emily,

Kylee's answer is fantastic!
At BCC we have different Early Childhood Education programs that start with a certificate. This is the first pathway leading to greater qualifications for work with young children. There are programs that will prepare you for the care and teaching of young children and relating to working with families as well.

Below are the links to the programs I mentioned. -Karen R.L.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Emily,

Teaching is a great profession. And it really has a lot of variations in it, not just high school. Both of my teachers taught at some point. My mom taught elementary school and my dad trained pilots in the Air Force. My brother was a high school teacher for 20 years. (He is now an Assistant Principal.) I also do teaching of a sort, I am an Instructional Designer. That means that I create training that other people either teach or take. When you teach from a textbook, someone like me wrote the book that helps that teachers teach. If you take web-based training courses, an Instructional Designer built that course.

Thinking back to my brother, I think that he stayed in the profession for so long because he loved the subject that he taught. He taught US History, Government, World History, and other subjects that might be considered Political Science. Every school year, he got his 18-year students to register to vote. He was that passionate about his subjects. I would challenge you to think about what you would want to teach. When you get to college and work toward an Education major, you might want to consider a minor in a subject that you love. Teaching is a skill that requires knowledge and practice to get right. Teaching something that you love is what makes it fun every day. So will you be a Music teacher, English teacher, Chemistry teacher? Use your high school years to find out what you love.

Teaching is such an important job. Thank you for taking on the challenge and best of luck!