Just like other jobs, opportunities in teaching employment require certain standards in education, training and work experience. Of course, you can secure a teaching post without training and work experience but a college diploma is a must in virtually all instances.
Get the Education and Training
What exactly are the general qualifications for teaching positions? Well, it depends on the academic levels that you intend to teach after completion of the education programs. First, if you intend to become a kindergarten or elementary school teacher, you can enroll in traditional education programs. Your courses will include instructions in mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, art, music and literature as well as the prescribed education courses like psychology of learning, philosophy of education and teaching techniques. Basically, you will be well-versed in all aspects of elementary school education upon graduation from the program.
Second, if you plan to become a secondary school teacher, your courses will be adapted toward a specialization. Usually, your sophomore year is the best time to decide on your specialization, be it in math and sciences or in art and literature, to name a few possibilities. In many ways, teacher positions in the secondary level are more challenging than in the elementary levels although this statement is up for discussion.
There are alternative routes to securing your education requirement for teaching jobs. You may also enroll in professional development schools, which are one-year internship programs mixing theory and practice before you can take the licensure examinations. The assumption in this case is that you have already finished a bachelor's degree in any field.
Better yet, you should ask the local authorities in your areas or the guidance counselor in your school about education routes. Depending on the area, teaching positions where education is concerned can be subtly different.
Get the Licensure and Certifications
But getting your diploma is not the end-all and be-all of taking advantage of teaching vacancies. If you plan to apply in public schools, you have to secure a teacher's license. This is true for all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the country.
You have to ask the state licensing board as requirements will vary from one state to the next although most states will give licenses based on the grade level. Thus, you may be provided with a license to teach the early childhood grades, the elementary grades or the middle grades as well as the secondary education levels with specialization in one area. Also, you may be required to attain a specified number of training hours and/or education credits. Add in a minimum grade point average requirement and you have a very competitive scenario in teaching employment opportunities.
There are alternative routes to securing your teaching license. These routes are available for professionals who possess the bachelor's degree in the subject but not the necessary courses in education or individuals changing from another career. Usually, you can teach under a provisional license while acquiring the necessary education credits that will then allow for taking the full licensure examination.
Develop the Personality
Furthermore, you will observe that teacher positions will outline the personality requirements of the jobs. This should not be surprising as teaching jobs belong to the most important professions in the shaping of the nation's destiny so much so that teachers are required to be role models.
To gain a competitive edge in applying for teaching vacancies, you must demonstrate the ability to communicate with the students, inspire trust and confidence in them and even provide for their emotional needs. Indeed, you become the students' second parent in the same way that the school should become their second home.
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