Education
Fact Checked

How do I Become a Teacher?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

The criteria to become a teacher can vary depending on regulations specific to geographic locations, however, some general recommendations can be used as a guideline. In most cases, it is necessary to have at least a bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited university. In addition, it is usually necessary to receive teaching certification through testing. In many cases, it may be necessary to first serve as an intern before being declared a fully certified teacher.

As requirements can differ greatly, if you want to become a teacher you should first take the time to acquaint yourself with the requirements in the location where you plan to teach. If you are unsure of where you would like to teach, you should probably choose a path that meets the education requirements of the area in which you currently reside. If you move to another location, and you already hold certification, it is typically not difficult to become re-certified. Some areas may even allow you to teach while you go through a new certification process.

A bachelor's degree and student teaching experience may help land a job in elementary education.
A bachelor's degree and student teaching experience may help land a job in elementary education.

In addition to geographic licensing regulations, there may be additional requirements depending on the level of education you want to teach. In many cases, the criteria to teach high school level subjects may be more stringent than for teachers who teach in elementary schools. For instance, if you want to teach high school English, you might need a master’s in English. In most cases, for secondary education, you will have to be able to show a specialty in the subject you want to teach. For elementary level teaching, you may only need a degree in education.

Teachers should be willing to build strong relationships with their students.
Teachers should be willing to build strong relationships with their students.

Teaching internships usually involve a year of teaching within the classroom, often as an assistant teacher, but in some cases, as a lead teacher. Teaching interns, also called student teachers, typically work under the guidance of a mentor, who is usually another teacher within the school system. If you want to become a teacher, establishing a good relationship with your mentor is important, because in many instances, he or she will be evaluating and scoring your progress and performance.

Teachers should encourage students to seek help when they need it.
Teachers should encourage students to seek help when they need it.

There are many types of grants and scholarships available to those who want to become a teacher. You should check with the college you want to attend to find out if you qualify for any of these financial assistance programs. There may be grade point averages necessary to get into the programs, and in most cases, these averages will need to be maintained for you to continue to receive funding.

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    • A bachelor's degree and student teaching experience may help land a job in elementary education.
      By: Monkey Business
      A bachelor's degree and student teaching experience may help land a job in elementary education.
    • Teachers should be willing to build strong relationships with their students.
      By: contrastwerkstatt
      Teachers should be willing to build strong relationships with their students.
    • Teachers should encourage students to seek help when they need it.
      By: kolett
      Teachers should encourage students to seek help when they need it.
    • A teacher must complete some sort of teacher education program before becoming a full-time teacher.
      By: Monkey Business
      A teacher must complete some sort of teacher education program before becoming a full-time teacher.
    • The criteria to teach high school level subjects may be more stringent than for teachers who teach in elementary schools.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      The criteria to teach high school level subjects may be more stringent than for teachers who teach in elementary schools.
    • Teachers have to spend their time outside of class grading assignments.
      By: Pixsooz
      Teachers have to spend their time outside of class grading assignments.
    • In the United States, student teaching is a requirement for becoming a certified teacher.
      By: Monkey Business
      In the United States, student teaching is a requirement for becoming a certified teacher.
    • Teaching math at colleges or universities often requires a doctorate degree.
      By: Emanuel
      Teaching math at colleges or universities often requires a doctorate degree.