A liberal arts degree is not only helpful for teaching career opportunities, it also teaches you how to think as a person. You will learn about different disciplines, all of which play an important role in shaping people’s understanding of the world.
Teaching is a challenging job that demands your students to be actively engaged with what you are teaching them. If a student isn’t paying attention or if they don’t seem motivated, you can’t force their hand, but you can make sure there are alternatives available to them.
It is very common for teachers to feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and tired at the end of the day. It is understandable; being a teacher is hard work!
Fortunately, like any other profession, education has advanced its own set of professionals who help teach others the tricks of the trade. This article will talk about some ways to get into the teaching field while still having a life outside of work.
Calculate your teaching interest and passion
Even if you don’t feel that strong passion for teaching, there are many ways to make sure that you’re not missing out by looking into it. Most universities offer student organizations where students can join together to promote their own interests.
Most schools also have at least one career service office that helps students find employment after college. They will put in effort to help you get appropriate jobs, so it is worth visiting them to see what opportunities exist for teaching.
Some of these positions require you to be qualified as a teacher, but they can still give you valuable tips about finding work.
Find a teaching school
Finding your teaching position will depend on several factors, such as whether you are willing to take a pay cut in order to teach at a non-profit or public university, how much funding a district has for teacher training programs, if there is already a pool of trained teachers in your area, and what kind of education you want to give students.
Most universities offer both certification and degree programs to prepare educators. Certification usually does not require earning a college degree, but instead requires completing courses and exams that have been set up by an organization like The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Programs that grant certification typically cost around $100-$150 per course depending on the length of the class and the level needed.
Degree programs often cost more than certification because they also include additional costs like tuition, fees, and living expenses. These can add up quickly when multiplied across all areas of education.
Prepare a teaching resume
Like any career, being a teacher is not just about having a classroom full of students that need your guidance. It takes more than just knowing how to teach a specific curriculum to educate children to become a teacher.
Being a teacher means educating people of all ages about various topics and motivating them to learn new things or re-motivate them when they are already learning material.
Your teaching experience as an undergraduate student can be incorporated into your teaching resume. You do not have to list every position you had, but it is important to include information about what positions you held and what you achieved with those positions.
Academic departments such as English, history, social studies, mathematics and other curricular areas offer certification for educators. These certifications show employers that you have mastered certain concepts in education and could potentially teach these subjects.
These certificates should be included on your teaching resume. Make sure to update your certificate status as you move up the educational ladder.
Connect with a teaching network
One of the best ways to become a teacher is by connecting with local educational organizations or “teaching networks.” These are groups of individuals that work together to promote education in our community.
By being a part of these groups, you will be exposed to different types of positions such as teachers, principals, district staff members, etc. You can even join some groups where all the members share pay grade levels so that you get professional development for both higher and lower level educators!
Such groups include but are not limited to: school boards, state associations, regional association, county committees, etc. – All of these have professional development opportunities available from time to time.
These opportunities usually involve attending a conference, workshop, or seminar which may cost money to attend, but they are very worth it.
Read often and share your knowledge
A liberal arts degree does not teach you how to be a teacher, it teaches you who you are as a person. By studying literature, history, mathematics, and other disciplines, you learn about different cultures and philosophies.
These studies explore the fundamentals of good writing, reasoning, and analysis. You will also find that many academic subjects use concepts such as theory and argument to explain what is being studied.
With a teaching career ahead of you, these skills can help you in the classroom. For example, if there’s a topic like reading or language education, then using theories and examples related to literacy to prove a point would make sense.
Likewise, if there’s a topic like math, then applying theories and strategies for learning and recalling numbers could apply to the school day.
This isn’t to say that teachers don’t study hard- they do! But having some background in humanities helps prepare you to be more thoughtful about the lessons you choose to include in the classroom.
Be a lifelong learner
Being a teacher is not only about educating students, it’s also about educating yourself. A good educator looks at themselves as perpetual learners who are always developing their skills and knowledge base.
A great way to do this is by reading educational books and materials, passing courses and exams, attending seminars and conferences, and giving talks to other professionals in your field.
By being active participants in the education community, you will continually expand your repertoire of techniques and strategies for teaching and improving your own career.
This won’t make you a professional teacher, but it will help you become a professional student of pedagogy (the study of how to educate people) and classroom practice.
We all have different styles we like to teach and learn from, so why not use those resources to develop yours? As a beginner, try looking into lessons and methods that seem easy to understand and implement.
As you advance in your career, there will be more advanced ways to improve what you already know, so don’t hesitate to spend time exploring new things.
Teach what you know
As we mentioned before, being a teacher is not about teaching a specific curriculum that people come to you for learning. Rather, it’s about educating students as individuals and helping them find success in life. This can range from teaching someone how to write an essay to teaching someone who wants to be a doctor how to take care of their patients or teaching someone who wants to become wealthy how to save money.
By this principle, anyone can teach – even if you don’t have any formal education beyond your bachelor’s degree! You certainly wouldn’t need to be a college professor or work in a school to teach others, but you do need to be able to educate people. And there are many ways to do this out there.
You can teach through storytelling (telling engaging stories to motivate other people to learn) or by giving logical explanations and examples (something that comes naturally to most educated people). Both of these strategies can easily be adapted to include lessons about education so you can inspire others to continue studying and achieving their dreams.
Reach out to students
As we know, teaching is not just about educating children, it’s also about engaging with their parents. Teachers are professional mentors who spend time developing relationships with other adults to help them achieve their goals.
By being aware of what things important to people in your community are, you can use that as a springboard to talk more broadly about education and life lessons.
Your peers are an excellent source of information because they have similar experiences to yours. Finding something interesting you both have in common allows you to chat longer and wider than if one of you was alone.
That shared experience gives you both valuable insights.
If someone tells you how much they love eating sushi then ask whether there are any good places within walking distance. Or if they talk about their passion for yoga, invite them along or do some exercises together.
It’s great to meet people but don’t forget that your career takes second place to no one but yourself. You will get nowhere if you don’t put in the hard work.