Become a Teacher
Welcome! EducationDegree.com contains the most comprehensive directory on the Web of Bachelors in Education and Alternative Certification / Post-Baccalaureate / Masters degree programs, for people who want to become teachers.
There’s more detail down below on the various paths to becoming a teacher, but the short story is that if you don’t yet have a Bachelors degree, you should check out the Bachelors in Education programs, because you aren’t eligible for the other kinds.
If you do have a Bachelors degree, then check out Alternative Certification / Post-Baccalaureate programs (if you want to get your teaching career started quickly) or Masters in Education programs (if you don’t mind going back to school full-time to get your degree).
In either case, you should also spend some time on the Department of Education website of the state you intend to teach in.
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- Bachelors in Education Programs
- Alternative Teacher Certification Programs
- Masters in Education Programs
As a rule, you should try to contact multiple schools when you’re looking for a degree program. Like with many other things, the way to find the best teaching degree program is to spend some time shopping around. There are very meaningful differences between the programs in terms of cost, admissions requirements, and other characteristics.
So How Do I Become a Teacher?
Despite the huge variety of different programs out there, there are a few universal elements to entering the teaching field. The first is that you need some schooling. This can be either a traditional Bachelors Degree in Education program, or it can be an Alternative / Post-Baccalaureate or Masters program designed for people who figured out later in life that they wanted to be teachers.
After you’re done with your schooling, you’ll need to prove that you were paying attention in class. If you want to teach in public schools, you’ll need to be certified by the state you intend to teach in. This usually involves a test like the PRAXIS exam. Your initial certification typically qualifies you to teach for a number of years (3-5 is common), during which you will have to reach additional milestones (take more tests, get more schooling) to achieve your permanent certification.
The bottom line with all of it is that each state is different, and you should plan to spend some time looking through the state Department of Education website in the state in which you intend to teach. In many states, you can get a teaching job with no certification at all, provided that you go enroll in a certification program. This typically happens in "high needs" subjects and locations, and is determined by the state/local education authorities, so it’s worth checking with your state Department of Education as well as the local school districts.
On a related note, if you think you want to become a teacher, you might want to talk to the local school districts about volunteering in a school, or taking a non-teaching job just to see what the environment’s like, and what the job of a teacher really entails. This can also be a good way to get a foot in the door for future teaching job openings in that school.