Do you want to know how to prepare for a teaching job? Good for you. Be aware that the requirements for getting a teaching credential vary from state to state. Moreover, many private schools don't require you to have a teaching certificate, but most of them do require a bachelor's degree. If you're considering a job in education, you might already be aware that, while rewarding, teaching can be one of the most difficult jobs in the world.
- The first thing you need to do to prepare for a teaching job is decide whether or not you have the type of personality that makes a good teacher. A good teacher needs to have a sense of humor. The ability to laugh at yourself and with your students is more important than a boat load of degrees. You don't need to be a stand-up comic, but you have to realize that you'll be performing before a captive audience of 150 people every day if you teach in the average public school. Thirty students, times 5 classes does add up to that many pupils for which you'll be responsible. These days, 30 students is considered a small class. Up to 40 students per class is not uncommon in large districts.
- Pick a subject to teach that you enjoyed while you were in school. While it's true that math and science teachers have an easier time landing that first job, there is no point getting a teaching credential in one of these areas if you don't have a passion for them. That's right, a passion. If you aren't passionate about what you teach, the kids can smell it a mile away and they'll stop paying attention.
- Are you diplomatic enough to prepare for a teaching job? If you want to be an effective teacher, you need to make sure to meet the needs of all the students in your grade book. In addition, you will have to make parent telephone calls to report both good and bad news. Many parents expect to be informed these days. You also have to be diplomatic when taking to your administrators and even the school board. You'll find you live in a fish bowl.
- Preparing to be a teacher means working evenings and weekends without any overtime pay. Teachers are not only expected to prepare lessons, grade papers and calculate report card grades, they are also expected to participate in extra curricular activities like going to school dances, supervising after school clubs, or even coaching a school sport. You'll find that a teacher's day doesn't end when the bell rings at 3:00. If you're not prepared for this, you're going to have problems.
- Do you think preparing to be a teacher means long holiday breaks and free summers? Think again. You'll probably need to teach Summer school to stretch your income, and you'll have to keep earning college credits and attending workshops in order to get the credits you need to move up the pay scale and to obtain or renew a credential.
Teaching can be a thrilling feeling the first time a student's face lights up because she gets it. But don't kid yourself. The long hours, apathic students, know it all parents, and nosey administrators can make even the most dedicated educator run for the hills. So, before you do student teaching to prepare for a teaching job, examine the reasons you want to be a teacher and be prepared to worker harder than you can imagine.
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