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Building Your Teaching Career

Students are walking through the University campus.

Teachers, who doesn’t know what they do? We remember, love, and hate them at some point in our lives. Do you think you have the guts to be one? Teaching may not be among the most dangerous jobs in the world, but it can be demanding, challenging, and rewarding.

According to surveys done in 2002, there are about 3.3 million teachers in the United States. There are nearly 85 million teachers worldwide: 9.4 million in pre-primary; 30.3 million in primary; 18.1 in lower secondary; 14.0 in upper secondary; and 12.5 in colleges, universities, trade schools, and more. An estimated 250,000 native English speakers work as English teachers abroad in more than 40,000 schools and language institutes worldwide.

A group of primary school students writing and learning with their teacher

There are different kinds of teachers; they work in various types of schools. There are public or government-subsidized, parochial or religious, private, and charter or specialized public schools. If you are interested in becoming a teacher, here are some fields that you may be interested in:

• Preschool and kindergarten- teachers would work with young children, usually ages 3 or 4. Those who would like to teach this age group should be able to work with children with different knowledge and social skills.

• Elementary school- teachers teaching this would handle a class for the whole school year. They should be able to teach different subjects. Some elementary teachers could specialize in a particular field or subjects like art or music.

• Secondary school- teachers on this level would be comprised of middle and high school teachers. They usually should be specialized in one or two subjects. They would teach their subjects to different classes each day. Some teachers find teaching this age group challenging since students would be undergoing adolescence.

• Special education- some students have special needs, and some teachers are educated and trained to handle these students. Special education teachers can help those with physical, emotional, or cognitive difficulties and disabilities.

Two well-dressed teachers working in the office

Some experts and teachers say that to become one of the good teachers that influence their students’ lives, you are not just an educator and coach. You become psychologists, mind readers, and even drill sergeants. Dedication, of course, is essential. You would only get to be an effective and talented teacher if you really love your chosen profession.

If you think you have what it takes to be a teacher, you can start learning how to be one. You can get your bachelor’s degree in college, and there are specializations that you could choose from. If you plan to teach elementary, you must learn or take different courses that prepare you to teach other subjects.

After graduating from college, some teachers would take continuing education. It could be mandated by state law or done of their own will. Aside from continuing education, there are also certification and licensure processes that new teachers should take so that they would be able to work.

Not only do you have to be academically prepared, but you should also be emotionally ready. As a teacher, academic teaching is not the only thing you do. They would come to you for advice and guidance, and you should be prepared to help them in different matters.

A teacher lecturing in the lecture hall

Teachers are not only educators, they do not just teach academic subjects and get done with them. Teachers are coaches. They motivate and inspire students to strive better and achieve their goals. Aside from teaching them to learn as much as possible inside the classroom, teachers should also encourage students to explore extracurricular activities. Not everything can be thought of inside the four corners of the room.

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