Teachers play a significant role in building the nation by nurturing the intellectual and social development of children.
The teaching profession means different things to different people. While to some it is exhausting and low-paying, to others it is challenging, enlightening, and satisfying.
As the education needs of the United States are diversifying, the demand for dedicated teachers is growing. Education reforms are also creating new challenges and new opportunities for prospective teachers.
What Are Some Important Qualities of Successful Teachers?
Is teaching a suitable profession for everybody? Most would say that not everyone should plunge into the field. To enjoy and succeed in the teaching profession, one needs to have certain qualities.
Prospective teachers should excel academically. They should never be tired of learning and be committed to educating young minds. Making a difference in children’s lives should motivate them. In addition to recognizing students’ educational and emotional needs, teachers should be able to inspire trust and confidence among their students.
How Can One Become a Teacher?
If you are interested in this exciting, ever-changing field, you need to be aware that decisions about hiring teachers are made by local school districts and that the requirements for entering the teaching profession are set by each state independently.
Typically, a teacher must have a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program and a teaching credential. Private schools may not have stringent rules about credentials, but a degree is almost always necessary.
The Education and Training Required to Become a Teacher
Professional teacher education programs include many subjects, such as philosophy of education, psychology of learning, and teaching methods. Nowadays, computers and other technology-aided teaching aids have also become an inevitable part of all education courses. Moreover, most programs include a student-teacher internship.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council are authorized to give accreditation to teacher education programs. Although it is not compulsory to be a graduate of an accredited program, it adds value to one’s qualifications and makes it easier to obtain a license.
Obtaining a Teaching Credential
Private schools don’t necessarily require teachers to be credentialed, but all 50 states and the District of Columbia have made having a teaching credential mandatory for public school teachers. Usually the state board of education or an advisory committee awards teachers credentials.
Many schools have opted for performance-based systems for earning credentials. Teachers who participate in these systems have to prove their competence over time before they are given provisional credentials.
Many states now offer alternative credential programs to aspiring teachers who have not been able to complete the required education courses for obtaining a regular credential. The idea behind instituting these alternative credential programs is to tackle the nation’s shortage of teachers, especially in subjects like mathematics and science.
Today’s classroom teaching jobs demand a deeper understanding of psychology and the changing needs of students in addition to basic teaching skills and subject knowledge.