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How to Become a School Teacher

Teaching school is one of the most fun and rewarding jobs out there, but getting that license and first job sure can be a daunting task. However, ...

How to Become a School Teacher article provided by wikiHow. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Become a School Teacher

Teaching school is one of the most fun and rewarding jobs out there, but getting that license and first job sure can be a daunting task. However, there are some ways to make it an easier ride.

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  1. 1
    Volunteer yourself to help out in classrooms like the one you see yourself in. Take the time to seek out the best teachers in the subject areas/grade levels you are interested in. Ask parents in the community who the best teachers are. Look for teachers who are involved in professional organizations or who teach at the university level. Start out by just watching, and gradually increase your activities with the students if the host teacher is comfortable with it. Offer to teach minilessons on areas you have expertise in.
  2. 2
    Start a professional journal. This should be a sturdy, hardback notebook, like a laboratory notebook or a composition notebook. As you watch the teachers whose classrooms you are in, write down cool things they do or say. After each session, write your impressions.
  3. 3
    Think hard and write hard about the teaching profession. It is not for everyone, and it is a lot easier to realize that BEFORE you spend a lot of time and money studying education. Think about yourself deeply: Do you enjoy being the center of attention? Do you have a strong self-esteem? Are you knowledgeable about many subjects? Are you good at thinking on your feet and improvising in a pinch? Are you warm? Fun to be with? A funny bone in the making? Flexible in everything you ask for? Are you willing to be kids' teacher and not really their friend?
  4. 4
    Join a professional organization that specialises on the teaching career. Be sure to get the student discount and subscribe to the journals. You will learn a lot, get ideas and inspiration, and impress people in school and job interviews if you are keeping abreast of the latest in your profession.
  5. 5
    Attend state, regional, or national conferences while you are still a student. The rates are deeply discounted, and you will make valuable contacts. You will learn a lot about new teaching methods, and you will be inspired. It also looks great on your resume later.
  6. 6
    Find a teacher training program where you feel comfortable. The cohort model is increasingly popular, and it helps you establish solid relationships with other students and future teachers. In this kind of program, you go to classes with the same people term afer term. Make sure that the program helps you through the process of getting your license and finding employment.
  7. 7
    See if you can substitute teach or work as an aide part-time while you go through the program. You might also look into tutoring or working at an after-school program. Any education-related experience you can get prior to that first year teaching is critical for your success.
  8. 8
    Study your state's requirements for licensure. Try your best to get multiple subject-area endorsements while you are in college. It makes it way easier to find a job.
  9. 9
    Try to seek out relationships with the best teachers you can find. See if you can student-teach with them. Student-teaching is one of the most important professional relationships you will ever form, so it is best to work with someone with whom you are very compatible and whose work you admire.
  10. 10
    Ensure that somebody in a higher rank observes you at lease once. He could be the principal of the school or a school officer. Make sure that he sees you doing an outstanding job! If you feel like your lesson was less-than-great, invite her back for a second round and show how you have grown. Impress her. She can be an invaluable resource to you during your job hunt.
  11. 11
    Save examples of your work and students' work while student teaching. Make sure that student work shows mastery of state standards, not just pretty fluff.
  12. 12
    Bring along important stuff stuff with you, while you are being interviewed for a job. Your professional journal, samples of student work, lesson plans, photos, posters, videos, CDROMs, whatever it takes. Have SOMETHING to leave with the interviewing committee: a mini-portfolio they can keep and look over after the brief interview. Realize that most interviews are just about 30 minutes long. They can relax and peruse your stuff later.
  13. 13
    Thank the job interviewers. Always send hand-written thank you cards the day after an interview. Ask the secretary on the way out if you don't remember everyone's name.

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Although the requirements vary by state, you can learn the general requirements for earning a degree in education.

 

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