How to become a teacher

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The learning isn't over when deciding to find out how to become a teacher

The learning isn’t over when deciding to find out how to become a teacher

Do you remember a teacher who inspired you? Do you believe that all young people have the potential for greatness? Have you ever thought about teaching? 

Being an educator is a career choice that is anything but easy. The long hours, massive amounts of paperwork, and administrative bureaucracy can repel almost anyone from being a teacher. However, if you can see past all of the initial hardships to the goal at the end of the field, then you have the mindset necessary to teach. 

These pointers will outline exactly how to become a teacher in three steps.

1. Explore Your State?s Department of Education Page

Every state has specific requirements for any potential teacher, but every state will require a background test, a content examination, and the completion of either a traditional or alternative certification program. 


Most states will not reject a candidate immediately for a minor criminal record?the details of the situation are taken into account, such as how long ago the offense was and whether it was violent or non-violent. 

The content examination is a test to ensure that before you teach, you are familiar with the topic and grade level with which you are teaching. Content exams are generally sectioned off by grade and subject; so someone who plans to teach 8th  grade Biology will not be taking the same content exam as someone who wants to teach 12th grade World History.

The Department of Education website will outline potential alternative and traditional certification programs that are valid for your state, but it should be said that there is big difference between the two. When you take the traditional route for certification, it entails attending a university as an Education major and then graduating with your certification. An alternative certification route is for someone who did not go to school specifically for education, but instead took another career and then decided to enter the teaching field. 

2. Have The Necessary Disposition

If no one has ever used the words ?nice? to describe you, it might be difficult to make it as a teacher. 

As an educator, a happy, warm, and welcoming disposition is required in order to create the space for learning in your classroom. If your students feel as if you are frustrated, annoyed, or just don?t like them, learning cannot and will not happen. Your students need to feel wanted and encouraged to succeed, not like they are an imposition to you.

3. Be Passionate

Above all else, a teacher has to have passion for their craft, for their subject, and for their students. Apathy is not an option for today?s teachers. 

With the passing of The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, new teaching standards were implemented to jump-start the change in qualifications for teachers. A standard of ?Highly Qualified? was necessary in order to teach, and please believe me when I say that it is impossible to be qualified for anything if there is no passion behind your interest. When you are passionate about what you are doing, and care about the outcomes, it shows in your work. When you students see that you care passionately about learning, it inspires them to care too. 

These three steps are necessary if you are researching how to become a teacher. Of course, each state is different in its certification criteria, but all states are similar in what they desire for their schools: teachers who are competent and caring.