How to Become a Teacher

For people who enjoy working with children, the thought of how to become a teacher has probably come to mind more than once. This career choice is a good one if want to make a difference in someone else’s life. Through their work and dedication, students learn about themselves and the world around them. Good teachers help students to develop their ideas, set goals for their future and take appropriate steps to reach them.

Another way that teachers have a positive impact on their students lives is by providing supportive encouragement to students who are at risk for dropping out. Teachers can help to develop personal learning plans, offer extra help to students at risk and give them more time to master a subject which they find it challenging.

Education Required to Become a Teacher

Educational requirements to become a certified teacher vary, depending on the state. At the very least, you would need to complete a Bachelor’s degree with a major or minor in Education to teach at the elementary school level. Some teachers hold Masters degrees in Education. The curriculum for a Bachelor’s degree in Education would include the following types of courses:

• Assessment of Young Children
• Child Development: Typical Development
• Early Language Development
• Early Literacy
• Family and Community Partnerships
• Engaging the Learner
• General Biology
• General Chemistry
• General Psychology
• Inclusionary Practices for Exceptional Students
• Instructing English Language Learners
• Introduction to Music
• Math Methods and Content
• Persuasive Writing and Reading
• Principles of Communication
• Science Teaching Methods
• Social Studies Teaching Methods
• Sociology of Education
• Special Education Foundations: Referral and Assessment

If you decide to pursue a Master’s degree in Education, you would choose an area of concentration which fits your interests and professional goals. Areas of specialty will vary, depending on the school you choose, but may include:

• Arts in Education
• Curriculum and Instruction
• Educational Administration
• Educational Leadership
• Elementary & Bilingual Education
• Higher Education
• Human Development and Psychology
• Reading Education
• Technology, Innovation and Education

Secondary school teachers must hold an undergraduate degree in their subject. They must also complete a program which includes a practicum.

Teacher Certification

Once you have finished the educational component required to become a teacher, you will need to pass a certification exam for the state where you are planning to work. Some states have a specific one which is administered to teaching candidates, while others use the Praxis II test for this purpose.

The Praxis II is used to measure a teacher’s knowledge in over 120 subject areas. Individual tests can take one, two or four hours and a person writing this exam may have up to three of them scheduled on a single test date. The passing score for each subject varies, and individual states may set their own requirements for determining the overall level of achievement which a graduate from a teaching program must meet for certification purposes.

If you are wondering how to become a teacher, the answer is that you need to complete at least a Bachelor’s degree in Education and some instructors hold a Master’s degree.

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