Individuals who wish to pursue a career in education and teaching often do so for many reasons. For many, it is the draw of having a summer vacation to enjoy with their family, for others it's the opportunity to help children learn. No matter what your reason for entering this field may be, one thing is for sure; you must have a love for children.
To be prepared to enter the career world as a teacher, you will need to pursue a Bachelor's degree in education. Of course, as with any post-secondary degree, you will first need to obtain your high school diploma, or the equivalent. Depending upon which college or university you decide to attend, you will probably be required to submit a copy of your transcript, a copy of your ACT scores, and letters of recommendation. Regardless of what grade level you plan to teach, this degree program will help to prepare you. Once you have been admitted into a college or university's education degree program, you will select an area of emphasis.
You will be able to choose early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education. Keep in mind, if you choose secondary to be your focus area, then you will also need to choose a subject area that you plan to teach. For instance, you could choose to focus on social studies, science, English, or a foreign language. This four year degree program, which results in a Bachelor's degree, is offered by most traditional colleges and universities. As with any other bachelor's degree program, you will first need to complete general education courses, such as psychology, social sciences, history, and physical sciences. As you continue working towards your degree you will need to complete course work that will focus on classes relative to the chosen focus area, along with classes that teach resource management, theory of organization, and ethics.
The semester prior to graduation will have you completing a student teaching component. This is much like an internship and will allow you to apply the skills and knowledge you have learned in the college classroom. It will be important that you feel confident in the areas of: philosophies of education, curriculum, literacy practices, and student assessment. Ideally, upon completion of this degree program you will be able to adequately relay information to students, assess them in a manner that is aligned with your instructional methods, and re-teach any necessary concepts or information.
While your Bachelor's degree in education should allow you to successfully land a teaching job, pursuing additional educational degree programs is also a great option. This course of study will allow you to focus on a specific educational area, such as administration, curriculum, or reading specialty. Of course, with this degree level there will be many additional jobs that are available to you. It is important to realize that not all of the graduate level focus areas are conducive to you continuing to simply teach in a classroom setting.