Teacher Job Description

If you’ve been to school, you have the basic idea of a teacher’s job description. However, if you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, you need to weigh several factors specific to teaching as a profession.

Education Requirements

Preschool teachers require an associate degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who wish to teach kindergarten, elementary school or high school, however, have to earn their bachelor degree and complete a residency period within a school, lasting anywhere from a few weeks to an entire year. Training for high school teachers is particularly exacting, as candidates must earn their degree in the subject area they wish to teach in addition to completing education requirements.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching.

Teachers also must earn a license or certification from the state they wish to teach in. Teachers who want to transfer to another state will have to meet the standards of their new home state.

Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools typically seek kindergarten and elementary school teachers who have a bachelor degree.

Career Options: What You Can Do with a Teaching Degree

Teaching degrees offer you a wide variety of opportunities. Preschool, kindergarten and elementary teachers, for instance, can all specialize in specific subjects as opposed to general education. These could include language or special education, for instance. High school teachers can teach a variety of subjects as well, so long as they possess the proper degrees to back each one up.

What to Consider if You Pursue a Teaching Degree

How do you know if you have the qualities to make a good teacher? Here are ways to think about this profession:

  • You need passion.
  • You have to love kids.
  • You have an obsession for a particular subject such as history, math, music, or science.
  • You understand that school, and great teachers, can make a difference in a child’s life.
  • You have to be willing to change.  Technology is changing the way teachers teach, and students learn.
  • You should have a never-ending work ethic.
  • You should be organized.
  • You need a willingness to work in collaboration with others–teachers, parents, the larger community.

In today’s economy, the most important thing to consider is whether you’ll be able to find a job when school is over. This may mean moving to rural or urban areas where jobs are more abundant. Candidates should also consider salary, which ranges from $25,700 per year for a preschool teacher to $53,230 per year for high school teachers.

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