Students spend much of their year in classrooms across the country, preparing them to be responsible and productive members of society. Unfortunately, too many of those students are struggling to be successful in their education, and this is leaving many of their futures uncertain. Those who are lucky are generally fortunate to have at least one teacher in their lives who is passionate about his or her role in students’ lives and who enjoys teaching above anything else. When a student has as many of those types of teachers as possible, their likelihood of being successful and developing into a highly productive student increases.
Schools all over the country are looking for teachers who will go above and beyond to invest in the future of their students, which is great news if you envision being that type of teacher. So how do you go about becoming a teaching professional?
Preparing for Teaching
If you’re thinking about being a teacher, it’s probably likely that you’re either already in a program of study in preparation to be a teacher or you’re considering it. Being a certified teacher requires having at least a bachelor’s degree, and the shortest distance to becoming a teacher is by getting a degree in education. Many colleges and universities have programs designed to prepare people for a career in education. If you’re in one of those programs, take advantage of every opportunity provided to you to develop into the kind of teacher that will be successful in preparing students for their futures.
Many people come to teaching after working in another field. They may have college degrees that prepared them for another field, so what are they to do? Fortunately, there are many programs available for gaining alternative certification in teaching. These programs require taking classes, which are often available to take completely online. The programs may also require a certain number of observation hours in a classroom before being able to secure a probationary teaching certificate. A simple internet search for alternative teaching certification programs in your state of residence will give you some options to look into further.
Creating Your Teaching Resume
Once you have your certification, your search for a teaching position begins with your resume. Your resume is a marketing document in which you try to sell an employer on what qualifications and experiences you have that make you an ideal candidate for the position they’re hiring for.
Your resume needs to have any relevant experience that allowed you to exercise the skills you’ll need to be an effective teacher. This should include any student teaching experience you’ve had. You’ll need to include your education and any alternative certification program information if applicable. As you’re listing your experience and qualifications, you’ll want to highlight any skills you have that fit the job description of the job you’re applying for.
Finding a Teaching Job
With a solid resume in hand, you’re ready to start searching for an applying for teaching positions. Most of your search can take place over the internet since most school districts hold their applications and submission process online. Look at local school districts for listed teaching positions. You’ll want to focus on positions that you’re qualified for. You can also check out private and charter schools for potential positions. Another option is to check out job fairs that many districts hold to fill their teaching positions for an upcoming school year.
When you’re applying for a teaching position, you’ll also want to write a cover letter that functions as an introduction letter. The goal of this letter is to briefly highlight your skills and get a potential employer to read on to your resume. Don’t copy and paste your cover letter. Instead, tailor it specifically for each job you’re applying for.
Advancing in Your Teaching Career
Once you are a teacher, the learning doesn’t have to stop. Take advantage of as many professional development opportunities you can to help you continue to grow as a teacher. You might also want to consider furthering your education. Many teachers move on to become educational administrators such as principals and superintendents.