Future Teacher’s Checklist: Essential Guide to Becoming an Educator

A Guest Post By Erica Francis

If you have always been someone who wants to help people, love explaining complicated subjects, and believe in the education of young people as a way to improve society, you just might be a teacher-in-training. If the calling to become a teacher is strong, there are some specific things you need to accomplish before you can don the instructor’s hat. Let’s take a look at what your high-level checklist demands in the meantime.

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1 — Make the right decisions.

There are several questions you need to answer before you dive into a career in education. A few are more philosophical than others:

  • Why do you want to teach?
  • What grade do you want to teach?
  • What subject do you want to teach?
  • Where do you want to teach? What are the certifications required?

Choosing the right grade level to teach depends on how comfortable you are (or could conceivably become) interacting and engaging with different age groups. Engaging with a five-year-old, after all, is much different from engaging with an 18-year-old. Each of these questions guides you closer to the specific field you want, which, in turn, will inform the decisions you make about your education and career.

2 — Embody the right mindset.

Besides being a selfless, exciting way to devote your life, teaching is a great way to learn more and fully engage with the job you’re doing. It’s about more than writing exams, grading homework, planning lessons, and creating content for your students to absorb — it’s also about having patience, a resilient mindset, and unwavering knowledge that this is the career for you, according to Work IT Daily. Great teachers are warm, and enthusiastic — with a focus on creating a supportive, collaborative community in the classroom, according to Faculty Focus.

3 — Get the skills and brainpower.

The education you need to obtain a teaching job varies based on the state and local economy, according to Glassdoor. This degree doesn’t have to be in the subject you plan on teaching, though that does help. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachers earn an average of $61,660 per year and are required to have a bachelor’s degree at the entry level.

Although some high school positions only require a bachelor’s degree, earning your master’s degree in education via online courses is a good idea. After you start your high school position, going back to school via online means offers several key benefits. Not only will it teach you the skills necessary to become an effective educator, but it may also qualify you for a salary increase and ensure job stability.

4 — Go forth and teach!

Once you have the right motivation, mindset, skills, and knowledge, how do you go about starting your teaching career? Teaching jobs are on the rise — in fact, the BLS has predicted that teaching jobs will increase 4 percent between 2018 and 2028. Moreover, many institutions are having a hard time finding qualified candidates. The main locations to look for educator jobs, according to Student Loan Planner, are within local public schools. Make sure to improve your resume, using examples like the ones at The Balance Careers. Add your education, any relevant teaching or substitute experience, and accomplishments. Good luck out there!

Note: This blog is a guest post by Erica Francis.
Erica Francis aims to help teens develop the career skills needed to be successful in the workplace. 
Erica can be reached on her website at http://readyjob.org/ or by emailing her at efrancis@readyjob.org

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