By Janelle Higdon
Want to become a teacher? You will need to earn a degree in education from an accredited university. As you evaluate teaching programs to find the best education major, consider these questions to choose the best fit for your career as a teacher!
- Is the program approved for licensure in its state?
If the teacher education program is approved by its state licensing board, you’ll be eligible for a teaching license in that state if you complete the program and meet any other requirements (such as testing) of the state. Also, check to see if that state’s license can be easily transferred to other states. If you decide to move to another state, will you still be able to teach?
- How much experience does the education faculty have in K-12 classrooms?
It’s important that faculty who are teaching you how to teach have lots of experience teaching that age level and content. There is no substitute for real-life experience!
- What kinds of hands-on experience will I get?
All teacher education programs will include student teaching in a classroom, but what kinds of experience will you get before that? How early on in the program will you have your first real classroom experience? How closely will university faculty work with you during these experiences? Will you receive a variety of experiences, such as working with various age groups and students of diverse backgrounds, in different types of schools, such as public, private, charter, suburban, and inner-city?
- What is the program’s career placement rate after graduation?
Are the education program’s graduates getting jobs in the teaching field? This information can reveal the caliber of the program’s graduates and the program’s reputation among school administrators. It’s important to complete a respected program that will make you hirable.
- What makes the education program unique?
Teacher education programs all have certain requirements they have to meet, but each program has different elements that set them apart. Find the program that meets your individual needs.
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Ready to kick of your career in teaching? Download this free checklist of 11 simple steps toward being a teacher.