When deciding on a teaching career, it’s important to weigh the cost of investment against the potential rewards. Teaching students in any grade level can be both challenging and gratifying, but it takes time, money, and commitment before you can enter the classroom. Some important skills students should foster before entering a classroom include patience, communication, and enthusiasm. Although it can be a challenge, it is important for teachers to not only teach their students, but also to inspire them to do well.
But even if you are not incredibly patient or enthusiastic, you shouldn’t fret. The education required by teaching positions can help you to develop those qualities. Classes will typically require classroom observations and student-teaching internships, which will help you learn the best ways to interact with students of varying ages. In addition, because of the value of a bachelor’s degree in education, most teaching positions require students to earn one before they can work as a professional educator.
Another requirement for teaching is a license and/or certification. This ensures that a teacher is qualified to teach in a particular state. The process usually involves an exam and a period of time during which a student teacher is observed by a senior teacher, who can help guide him or her in helping students to learn.
Additionally, other important qualities for teachers to have include a strong sense of organization and a sensitivity to other cultures. As teachers will often have classes filled with multiple students of different academic levels, they will need to keep documentation of the different teaching methods that facilitate the best results. This can only be accomplished by those who are organized and who can stay on top of notes and records. Cultural differences can also lead to different learning habits and alternative responses to lessons. Teachers must be sensitive to the different backgrounds of each of their students, and should therefore work hard to see lesson plans from their individual students’ points of view.
If you still find, however, that you need to be more organized or more sensitive, don’t discount teaching as a career just yet. Take a few education classes, work hard to improve upon your abilities, and give it a try. You may discover that with a little bit of help from your instructors, you can become an excellent teacher. There are many children and adults who benefit from the guidance of a dedicated and passionate teacher, and listed below are the ways that different levels of teaching can impact student futures.
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
The fundamentals of learning are taught at the earliest possible stage of a child’s education. Most importantly, teachers at this level help students to transition from play into more directed learning. They serve as both instructors and guides who help students to develop mentally and socially, which will then set the foundation for the rest of their education. Learn more about teaching kindergarten and teaching elementary students with our teaching guides.
Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers form the bridge between the dependence of elementary school and the independence of high school. At this level, teachers must understand of the trials and tribulations that come with adolescence. They will serve as instructors first and foremost, but also as life coaches who help students become comfortable with themselves and with taking on a more self-governing role in learning and extracurricular activities.
High School Teachers
High school teachers have the responsibility to teach higher-level academic lessons to students to ensure that once they leave the school system, they will be able to succeed in the college and working worlds. Their goal is to foster the reading, writing, mathematical, comprehension, and social skills that will enable students to establish careers or acquire higher education. At this level, teachers should be highly knowledgeable about their subject of choice, and should also feel comfortable with assisting students with decisions about the future. Learn more about teaching high school students here.
Postsecondary teachers, also known as college professors or instructors, work with college students in a specialized area of study. Because the overall goal of college classes is to prepare students for a career in a specific field, postsecondary teachers can greatly influence the direction and success of students in their chosen fields. In addition to providing valuable insight, they provide recommendations and other types of career support that can help graduates enter the work force in their industry of choice.
There are teaching options beyond educating students at the traditional school levels. For example, do you have a passion for helping students learn to read and write? Consider becoming an ESL teacher. Do you want to coach students through the development of life skills? Perhaps you should think about special education. Earning a teaching degree can also help you eventually advance into administration, curriculum development, or guidance counseling. With these options, most will find that there is a teaching career out there that works for them.