Teachers play an important role in helping people realize their full potential. From toddlers to adult learners, special needs students to mid-career professionals, everyone has a teacher to thank for empowering them and enriching their lives.
The road to a rewarding career in teaching begins in the classroom--as a student. Prospective teachers learn their craft in college education courses and special teacher training courses. In addition, public school teachers must obtain a state license. Requirements vary, but typically include supervised practice teaching and an exam.
Preschool through High School
A bachelor degree is the standard minimum requirement for teaching positions at private and public schools, from kindergarten through high school. Preschool and vocational school teachers face different requirements, usually emphasizing experience in the field. Prospective K-12 teachers with a bachelor degree in a major other than Education qualify for licensure by taking a special teacher training program, which lasts about a year. Graduate-level professional development programs are also available, combining student teaching and pedagogical theory coursework.
Requirements for special education teachers are typically more intensive. A bachelor degree program in Special Education often includes a fifth year, during which students take specialized courses such as child growth and development, strategies for teaching students with disabilities, and legal issues. In addition, special education teachers must complete an approved special education training program.
Educational requirements increase at the college and university level. Community college instructors must have a master degree in Education or their subject area. Professors at four-year colleges and universities complete a Ph.D., involving both graduate student teaching experience and original research in the field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for teachers should be excellent in the coming decade. With a college education and classroom practice, you'll be ready to lead a new generation of students to personal and professional success.
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