Looking to make a career switch to teaching? You are not alone. Baby Boomers are showing an increase in working second or third careers upon reaching retirement. One reason for this is that many people cannot exist on their retirement funds alone. Another reason is that we are living longer and therefore have more time on our hands to pursue the career we have always wanted. Fortunately, you would be replacing a batch of teachers who are retiring, and you will fulfill what is becoming a new demand in the market. Exploring a new career can be an exciting endeavor, so here is the path to becoming the teacher you may have always wanted to be.
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Determine What You Want to Teach
Hopefully, your career up until now involved your main passion. If you were so lucky, you may be interested in teaching exactly what you have always loved to do in hopes of sparking the same passion in others. However, not everyone is so fortunate. Now is your chance to teach the trade of your dreams. If you can use your talents to foster the next generation of young minds, you will be assured that you are both utilizing your own skills for a more fulfilled life, and also applying it to people who could use it. Wondering what you should teach? Science and math teachers are always in high demand. If you have a background in biotechnology, for example, you may want to consider becoming a biology or chemistry teacher. Perhaps you were a psychologist for the past few decades. Many high schools offer AP (advanced placement) Psychology classes that teach the equivalent of a Psychology 101 class in college. If you feel like your career was less defined, then reflect on the skills your job utilized. Whether you worked in human resources, marketing, or ran a franchise restaurant, there is always a skill you can teach. The humanities, for example, are always a good option. With the right certification, you can teach English, History, Social Sciences, Art, and the list goes on and on. Determine what it is you have always been good at and what you can best offer to your students.
Recognize that What You Do and What You Teach Are Different
You may have been a nurse your whole life, but that does not mean your students are ready to draw blood. Instead, you will have to rewire your brain to think like the student you are teaching. Consider their age, maturity level, study learning ability, and natural aptitude. All students will have a different level of skill and intelligence in any given subject, but you will have to forget about speaking to them at the same level as your colleagues. Essentially, you will need to reeducate yourself on how to communicate with students in a way they understand.
Get an Education
Getting an education is one of the most important aspects of becoming a teacher. In essence, in order to become an educator you must be educated. Teaching is an entirely different field, and you will need different tools in order to teach kids successfully. In order to remain a step ahead of your competition, it is best you go back to school before getting a teaching credential. You will be hard pressed to find a university, college, or junior college that does not offer a teaching degree of some kind. You can now get a degree in childhood education, or specialize in a middle school or high school subject like English or coding. In fact, if you are too busy or do not wish to sit in a college classroom, there are plenty of online opportunities. Opportunities such as an early childhood education degree at GMercyU are perfect for those interested in teaching grade school children. Your school should offer information on earning your teaching license from your state and offer test prep. At the end of your education, you can earn your license and be on your way.
Become a Student Teacher
Usually you will have to have student teaching experience before you can actually become a teacher. Your school should provide the opportunity to connect with schools so you can learn from other teachers and test your own skills in the field. Your education and experience will make you quickly realize that students are more dynamic than ever, with shorter attention spans, and a need for a diverse learning environment.
Teaching is a rewarding career rife with benefits. Determine if it’s the right fit for you and use this guide to make your aspirations come true.