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What post-secondary education is needed to become a teacher?

I am trying to figure out the path to becoming a teacher and the education I will need for this career.

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Emily’s Answer

Here's a straightforward, actionable guide to becoming a teacher:

1. Obtain a Bachelor's degree: This is usually the first step. The degree doesn't necessarily have to be in education, but it can be beneficial.

2. Complete a teaching practicum program: This is also known as student teaching. Some universities even allow you to incorporate this into your Bachelor's degree program.

3. Pass the necessary exams: These typically include basic skill tests and exams in your chosen content area.

4. Apply for a teaching license: Each state has its own process, so be sure to check the requirements for your specific state.

Here's a glimpse into my personal journey to becoming a teacher:

I earned my Bachelor's of Education at the College of Education in my university. During my final year, I balanced pedagogy courses with student teaching, which is essentially an internship. I had to complete a project and meet certain standards. After successfully finishing the practicum, passing the required exams, and obtaining my BS.Ed, I was eligible to apply for a teaching license.

I didn't stop there, though. I decided to further my education and pursued a Master's degree (MS.Ed). Since I already had my teaching license, I was able to gain practical experience by substitute teaching while working on my master's program.
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Bennae’s Answer

I start by researching the state's requirements where you want to become a teacher. 2ndly, I would focus on your high school and secondary education. You will need to have a Bachelors degree and have some teaching certifications. As the child of an educator, I also recommend researching different teaching styles and methods, think about what kind of teacher would you like to learn from, take notes and create a vision board. These things help you stay focused and on track. Good luck with your teaching profession!
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Hazel

It does depend on where you are planning to teach. It also matters if you want to work in public or private education for K-12. Some areas will even let you teach even if you have not graduated in your post secondary program.

I would offer that you should do a degree in Education for your sake as much as the opportunity to get a job. Why? In college, you will have the opportunity to practice being a teacher. Many teachers I know who went to college also did internships where they had school and peer support as they started teaching. Teaching looks easy, however, some of your biggest challenges are not just around conveying information. It can be challenge to do things like managing a classroom of 30 people or how to create your training plans.

It is always good to check job postings in the school district where you want to work to determine education requirements. Remember, the city and county you live in may have different requirements than another city or county, even in the same state.

I am excited that you are considering teaching. Having a passion for teaching goes a long way to getting you through the hard work it takes to earn a college degree.

Gloria
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Todd’s Answer

I'm sure there are teachers on CareerVillage who can answer this more accurately, but I'm married to a teacher and my parents were teachers, so I'm somewhat qualified to provide an answer.

Post-secondary requirements for becoming a teacher vary by state, but typically include earning a Bachelors degree and then a Masters degree in Education (or similar specialization which depends on your focus -- ex. Art, Music, Special Ed, Speech, etc.). Also, depending upon the state requirements, you may be able to start teaching while earning your Masters degree.

There's currently a teacher shortage in parts of the country, so some school districts are hiring people with lesser qualifications. Part of the reason for the teacher shortage is that teaching is a demanding job that does not usually pay in line with the advanced degrees required for the role. The work requires commitment, tolerance and patience, but can be very rewarding if you get into the field for the right reasons. If you're looking to make a lot of money, you're definitely in the wrong field.

Todd recommends the following next steps:

Research teaching as a profession in your state to find out the requirements
See if there are any student teachers in your school and ask them about their current educational experience
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