Become a Teacher
Today's classrooms present teachers with more challenges and
therefore demand a deeper understanding of successful classroom
practices. Dedication and a desire to help children are important,
but teachers also need a strong academic background and solid
Whether you are a high school student
exploring the possibility of entering the teaching profession,
a college student on his/her way to becoming a teacher or a
professional looking to change careers, below you will find
the necessary steps and websites that will guide you to become
Chose a Pathway
There are traditional and non-traditional pathways to teaching.
- Four- or five-year college degree
programs in elementary education or secondary education which
lead to certification upon graduation. These programs can
vary greatly depending on individual university requirements.
- Post-collegiate programs for
people who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to enter the
teaching field, generally for one year to obtain certification.
- Alternative licensing and certification
programs in states where there is a shortage of teachers in
a particular field. These programs tend to be short-term and
intensive in order to get professionals into the classroom
quickly. (See below for more information about these programs.)
To explore educational institutions
outside your state, the National Council for Accreditation of
Teacher Education (NCATE) publishes the Annual Guide to Accredited
Institutions that describes the institutions it accredits. Copies
are $15 each.
Teaching Certification Requirements
Contact the state Department of Education where you would most
like to teach and ask for information on requirements for certification
(they should be able to mail you an information packet).
Teaching Certification Application
Upon completion of your state's certification requirements,
submit your application for certification to the state. Usually,
you can complete and submit a form during the final semester
of your program to your school, which will prompt a record review
and the school will then forward your application to the state's
department of education.