Teaching is a highly rewarding career path. If you are considering a career in education, now is the perfect time to start working to make that dream a reality. While you will still have to go to college and spend several years of study to get your teacher’s certification, there are some important things that you can do right now to figure out if this is really the path for you.
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best ways to figure out if you are going to like working in a school is to get a taste of what it is like. Most schools are looking for volunteers to help in classrooms or with tutoring. While this isn’t the exact same thing as being a teacher, it can give you a small idea of some of the things that teachers do. You can also try out various different experiences to figure out which one is best for you. For instance, you can volunteer as an assistant in an elementary classroom or you can be a teacher’s assistant for one of your periods at school. Not only will this help you get a good idea of how a school operates, it will also look good on your resume, which can help you get into a better school and a better teaching program.
Speak with Teachers
Another important step you can take is to actually talk to your teachers. No one knows more than them about how to get to where they are. They have the experience as a teacher and as your teacher in particular, so they can also help point you to the teaching positions that you are likely to enjoy. When it comes to talking with your teachers, make sure you pick the best ones to talk to. You want to find someone who will be realistic about both the good and bad parts of their job and someone who won’t discourage you from your dreams. If you are interested in teaching elementary school, go talk to teachers at your local elementary school. If you have younger siblings, try talking to their teachers. If you don’t know any of the teachers, you can ask the front office if they know any teachers who would be willing to talk to you.
Look Up Educational Classes
It’s also a good idea to look up what kinds of classes you might have to take should you decide to become a teacher. In order to enter the classroom, you will need to complete classes in specific subjects. You might have to take classes in educational psychology, teaching methods and the teaching of kids. Look through a college catalog. Many have detailed descriptions about the kind of classes they offer. You can then look up the subject matter on the internet. You might even be able to access specific course materials. Having access to this information will help prepare you for the college classes that you will be taking after you graduate.
Pick a College
When it comes to picking a university to get your teaching degree at, the most important thing that you need to look at is their accreditation and reputation. It doesn’t matter if the university is an online university or a traditional one, they need to be certified or your teaching certificate will be a huge waste. To learn more about the teaching programs at the universities you are considering, visit their website and look at what they prioritize. You can also look up their reputation and ranking on various websites.
All of these steps can help you prepare for the career in teaching you want. When you get a good overview of the profession, you’ll take your first steps towards standing in front of a classroom.