Are you interested in building a teaching career but need help entering the job market? If so, the good news is that becoming a teacher has never been easier. Most districts around the country are in need of classroom staff to alleviate shortages. Even so, every new instructor must jump through several hoops and deal with a bit of red tape before achieving official certification. Degreed candidates have it the easiest because most of them already meet the minimum academic qualifications for licensing. But whether you have a college degree or not, it’s imperative to pick up any experience you can via internships, volunteer stints, or whatever.
It’s also vital to find a mentor who can guide you through the process and offer pointers on where the best job openings are. Finally, future teachers should start studying for mandatory certification exams as soon as possible. Many subject area tests, like those for high school mathematics and music, are quite challenging. The whole thing begins with a resume, so consider hiring an expert who has experience creating perfect documents for prospective classroom instructors. Here are some of the most relevant tips for getting licensed as quickly as possible.
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Earn a Relevant Degree
Getting a college degree is the single most efficient way of entering the teaching profession. By paying for your schooling with a student loan is the smartest way to finance the degree. Many future instructors choose a Liberal Arts major, but the subject area of education will serve you better. If you already have a special subject area in mind, it might make sense to major in mathematics, English, general science, history, or another topic. Fortunately, when you are preparing for a degree applying for an education loan is easy, and the entire process can be done online. Paying for college is about making choices. Unless you have vast financial resources at your fingertips, a loan can help you get the financial situation settled early. That way, it’s easier to focus on earning good grades and acquiring essential skills.
Pick Up Experience Wherever Possible
Beef up your resume by accumulating experience anytime you get a chance. That means taking a part-time online job as a tutor, working as a teacher’s aide in a local grade school, creating a video course you can teach for free or for a fee, serving as a teaching intern, etc.
Find a Mentor
Search for a mentor by asking friends, family, and acquaintances for ideas and references. College instructors are a good resource, and so are academic counselors. Some professional career advisors maintain a list of mentors and can connect you with someone who has the experience and time to take on the role.
Prep Early for Certification Exams
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for certification exams. Get one or more guidebooks and begin reading through general knowledge summaries and taking practice exams. Depending on what subject you intend to teach, it’s possible you’ll have to sit for several subject matter exams and at least one general education test. Rules vary by state and district, so get information about the kinds of tests you’ll need to take, and then begin preparing as soon as possible.