Thinking of becoming a teacher

A career as a teacher can be one of the most rewarding professions that a person can go in to. Becoming a teacher takes a great amount of skill and dedication. In addition to the skills needed, teachers must also be able to interact with both students and other members of the faculty and staff. It is not enough that a teacher can relate to students; they must also be able to communicate effectively with other members of the school. This makes the college learning experience even more important. Outlined below are some of the key points and facts to becoming a teacher.

  • In today's day and age a prospective teacher must have the communication skills necessary to connect with people on all levels. A teacher must be able to effectively teach a class of students, and then turn around and be an integral part of a faculty meeting. This does not come without practice though. Both of these forms of communication are different in their own way. It is the teacher's job to be able to transition back and forth.
  • The myth that teachers only work the hours that students are at the school is just that, a myth. Teachers must arrive at school before the students in order to prepare for the day. This time is usually spent making lesson plans for the day, grading assignments, speaking with other faculty members, and attending meetings. Also, a teacher spends many days after school getting caught up with their work. If a big test was given, a teacher must stay after hours in order to make sure that it is graded in a timely fashion. And if a teacher cannot get all of their work done before or after school, he or she must take it home. Teaching is just like any other profession; if you do not get your work done during the day, you must find some time before or after hours.
  • Aspiring teachers should remember that you must be certified to teach. Certification requirements will be covered during your college coursework, so you will know what is expected of you. It is also important to keep in mind that each state has different requirements. So if you have gained certification in Pennsylvania and want to move to Arizona, you will need to get certified in that state as well. A lot of students do not know this, and colleges are working on incorporating this information into their semester plans.
  • Student teaching is an absolute necessity in today's day and age. There was a time when aspiring teachers did not necessarily have to student teach in order to get a job. Most of them did, but again it was not a requirement by the college or university. Things have changed since then, and now every student must complete the appropriate amount of hours.
  • Employers see this as a necessity in making sure that the prospective teacher has some work experience under their belt. It would be very difficult to jump right into a full-time position without ever being a student teacher. This experience allows the student to assist in teaching a class for an entire semester. During this time they will be able to develop their own style, as well as learn how to produce lesson plans, homework, and tests. Another advantage of student teaching is that you get to learn from somebody who has been in the profession for a few years. This experience is invaluable.
  • Most colleges and universities have also put some observing requirements into their semester long lesson plans. Observing is done before student teaching. Basically speaking, during observation the aspiring teacher sits back and watches an experienced professional do their work. They can take notes so that they become better prepared for their student teaching experience. Observing also goes hand and hand with a course at the college where you can discuss your experience with other classmates. Assignments are also given in order to get the most out of the experience.
  • The main misconception that centers around the teaching profession is that it is easy. This is definitely a myth that has been proven wrong time and time again. Teachers put in long hours at the school, and often put in more hours at home. With the responsibility of putting together lesson plans and grading assignments and tests, it is nearly impossible for teachers to get all of this work done during regular school hours. During those hours, teachers have students in their classroom the majority of the day. This means that they are teaching, not taking care of the paper work.
  • Teachers also shoulder the responsibility of making sure that the students are safe and taken care of. This is one aspect of teaching that is most often overlooked. This rings true particularly in the elementary school experience. If a teacher has 30 little kids in their room, they must not only teach, but they need to make sure that all of the kids are safe. This means taking attendance throughout the day, and always being aware of the whereabouts of each and every kid.
  • The main perk of being a school teacher is the fact that they get the summers off. This seems to be the number one reason of why people take up this profession. And this is not a myth. During the summer, teachers do not have to work. The teaching profession is a nine month a year job. During the other three months teachers are free to do whatever they please. Some teachers take up a part time job to make some more money, where as other teachers just relax and vacation all summer.

Becoming a school teacher can be a very rewarding profession. But remember that it is not as easy as everyone thinks. Teachers put in long hours at work, just like workers of every other profession. Be sure to do your homework before deciding on teaching as your profession.