Any tips on how to decide what subject to teach?
I want to know what the steps are to become a teacher. Im kind of at a wall right now because Im not sure what grade or subject I would like to teach. I spoke with my counselors and they said I could get enrolled on classes so I can switch between grades as I want later on in the future. Has anyone gone about this path? Was the workload doable? Was it worth it to get double credentialed?
Then think about subjects--schools vary but typically in lower grades you will cover many subjects in one day, but in middle school and high school you will cover just one main topic (perhaps slightly varied in your day if you teach a few types of classes [e.g., if you teach science you may teach one class of biology and one class of chemistry]). Are you passionate about one area? this is key as you'll have more fun and be more confident/energized if you love what you teach. and your students will love your teaching more if you truly have a passion for your subject.
In terms of your education, you'll need to check requirements of each state for certifications (and which states have teaching certificates/degrees that can transfer to other states). Degrees allow you to teach a variation of grade spans. Some elementary degrees will certify you to teach any subject from K-5. Some special education degrees will allow you to be a learning specialist for K-12th grade. Many middle school and high school degrees will limit you to either of those ages (6-8th grade of 9th-12th grade).
Talk to teachers, see if you can visit classrooms (and remember every school, district, charter school organization...etc is different and will affect your teaching experience significantly). This is such an exciting place to be in your life!
Laurie Pritchard, Ed. S., M.A.T.
The great thing about teaching is you don't have to spend your entire career teaching one subject. You can move around and teach different grade levels and subject areas. You have unlimited opportunities, and you can earn other certifications if you find that you are interested in teaching different subject areas. I did that and I loved teaching grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 throughout my career.
Each state has a different way of certifying teachers. Some have PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, and some are a little different. Your university will be able to help you understand what your specific certification will be.
Teachers who are certified in math, science, and special education are in high demand right now, so that is something to consider too.