Becoming a secondary education teacher requires the completion of a particular set of courses mandated by the educational boards and school districts. A degree in secondary education requires a major and minor in Education with the associated electives to provide a well-rounded educational program. Students will graduate with a degree in Education and will be prepared to take and successfully pass whatever licensing exams are required.
The first question a student will ask is, “What do I major in, if I want to be a teacher?” The answer is simple, but the execution is more complicated. The answer is anyone who wants to take the direct route to becoming a teacher will have to major in Education. Secondary education fans will major in secondary education and those who wish to teach elementary school will major in elementary school education respectively.
The secondary education college course of studies will conclude with a student teaching internship under the supervision of a licensed and experienced mentor. The student teacher will be graded on the program, and it is important that the student handles the internship with professionalism and success. The internship will be a combination of observing an experienced teacher at work and then prepare and deliver classroom lectures and programs while being observed by the professional teacher in her turn.
A teaching degree can be obtained at most colleges and universities, and each will have their own approach to the degree, but will always include the requirements of educational boards and councils. Most Bachelor degrees can be completed within a four or five year program and a Master’s or Doctorate degree will take a few years more.
Students, who wish to pursue other areas of education, but decide to circle back to becoming a teacher, will find an alternate route to achieving a teaching position. Students without a teaching degree may take a bridge program that will allow students to complete the necessary requirements and quite possible earn a degree in the process. The student will then be qualified and prepared to take the necessary licensing or certification exams. A student teacher internship will still have to be completed.
A degree in secondary education can be pursued through day, evening or weekend classes, full- or part-time. Take classes on a part-time basis to complete all the requirements will depend on how many classes are taken at a time. If the student is working a daytime job while studying to become a secondary education teacher, it will be necessary to take a break from a paid daytime employment and take on an unpaid student teaching internship.
Once the requirements to be properly licensed are complete, including the licensing process, the graduate can seek out a teaching position. It will be necessary to put together a file of information including a resume, outline of classes taken, documentation of student teaching and the outcome, as well as a valid license or documentation that the exam or certification test has been scheduled or taken successfully.
Finding employment right out of school with the only teaching experience being a student teaching may take some time. It is important to be patient while the interview process commences. The interview for an actual job will be the most critical aspect of becoming a teacher. The hiring agent, usually a school principal or school department administrator, will conduct the interview. She will look for candidates who have confidence in their ability to teach and who have some organization capabilities as well.
Be sure to research the school district beforehand in order to know something about the school and your future students-to-be. If the mission statement can be found, review and understand it. Showing interest in the school and school district will help you answer questions and see whether you are well-fit to become a brilliant school teacher.