Deciding on a career is not easy for everyone. While there are those of us who have known what they wanted to become since they were young, there are also individuals who are finishing high school with no idea what to do next and those who are unhappy with the career they’ve chosen earlier in their life.
Luckily, different professions abound and there is something for everyone. Just a little guidance can be all you need to find the right calling. However, before you make your final decision, it is vital that you do proper research to see what a certain career path demands of you as well as what it can offer in return. With that in mind, here are some of the basics that you should be aware of in case you decide to become a teacher. Keep on reading.
Make Sure This is The Right Fit For You
As is the case with any profession, you first have to determine whether this is really the right choice for you. Seeing as how teachers play a big role in their students’ lives, you need to have certain characteristics that will help you thrive at your job and allow your pupils to reach their full potential.
For example, if you have a passion for helping people but are not interested in medicine or law, you can choose to join the education sector. Then, take an honest look at yourself and see whether your mindset, temperament, and personality are compatible with this kind of work. Are you well-organized and conscientious? Are you good with people? Do you have enough patience for potentially handling dozens of kids? Can you come up with some out-of-the-box obstacles for your students?
Being confident in your skills when it comes to these issues is a great indicator that this job might actually be the right fit. However, if you are not completely sure, you could also contact a local teacher, ask to attend their classes and get some first-hand insight into whether this profession is for you.
Assess your interests
In case this visit with a local school teacher doesn’t seem too promising, don’t let it get you down. Education comes in all forms and shapes, so it just might mean that you haven’t found the right fit yet.
Start by asking yourself why you are considering this career path. Answering this question in as many details as possible will help you determine some preferences you might have when it comes to teaching. Maybe you will realize that you prefer working with small groups of students, that you prefer teaching adults to kids or that working with individuals with special needs one-on-one suits you best. Moreover, you might also decide on the subject matter you would like to teach and the preferred level. Do you think sciences are the right choice or are you better with humanities and art? Would you like your subject to be a part of a very specialized niche?
Narrowing down some preferences is a good first step to starting your teaching career. Don’t worry, you can always expand and branch out later on, but having something specific in mind will allow you to focus on your own education.
Get the right education
Now, before you get to go out into the world and teach other people, you have to work on your own education first. Once you’ve narrowed down your interests, you can start doing research into what sort of degree you need in order to start teaching. Keep in mind that you will usually need at least a bachelor’s degree while some schools even require you to have a master’s diploma. However, once again, all of this depends on the school and type of education they provide.
During your studies, you will have to enter a teacher training program which will help you get some first-hand experience and see what being an educator is all about. Moreover, in order to teach in schools, you will have to be licensed. So, look into your country’s requirements and properly prepare for this exam.
With that in mind, it’s essential that you understand that your education does not stop after you’ve received your degree and license. You should always be expanding your skill set by taking various courses. For example, by getting certified in educational support, you will be better prepared for assisting children with special needs. Also, do your best to keep up with the latest developments in your field. You could learn more about how to get a certificate like this on opencolleges.edu.au
Start applying for jobs
After deciding what you want to teach and getting your degree, you can start looking for a job. As we said earlier, there is a variety of jobs available to educators. One gets to choose between public and private schools as well as between kindergarten, elementary, high school, and college education. Moreover, you get to pick who you want to work with, whether it’s kids, teens, adults or individuals with special needs.
However, even though there are so many opportunities, you have to understand that you might have to compromise for a while before you get some experience. You might not find your ideal job on the first try. This is why it’s important that you apply for as many positions as possible in order to explore all your options properly.
When looking for a teaching job, start with your friends and family. See if they know someone who is in need of an educator. Maybe they can introduce you to their kids’ principal who happens to be looking for someone with your skillset. Also, talk to your college friends and colleagues and see whether your college career and alumni offices might have some suggestions. Furthermore, use education-related platforms and websites to find some vacancies and apply for them. Most importantly, make sure you have a good portfolio which includes some samples of lesson plans and study materials.
There you have it – if you’re considering pursuing a teaching career, the first step is to establish whether that is actually the right choice for you. Then, work on getting your degree and developing your skills before you apply for as many jobs as you can.