February 14th, 2013
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There has never been a better time to consider undertaking teacher training in order to become a teacher. In the U.S., the teacher shortage is so bad that if you are currently teaching a subject the government has declared in critical shortage (like math and science), they are now willing to cancel up to 100% of any outstanding student loans you took out to pay for your college (34 CFR 674.53(c)). So that loan you took out to go to to USC to become a biology teacher can now be considered a grant, as long as you keep teaching. If you declare that you intend to go to college to become a teacher, and you meet all the qualifications, the government will bend over backwards to get you the money to go.
The Road To Becoming a Scholar
The shortage has resulted in many ‘Fast Track’ teacher training routes, but if you plan on making a career in education, this is not advisable. The pay is lower, and opportunity for advancements are nil. It may, however, be a good deal for someone who is older, and would like to teach a while before they retire.
The standard route to becoming a teacher requires a lot of education. The first step, once you have determined that teaching is right for you, is to obtain a Bachelors Degree, preferably in the subject you wish to teach. Science and math are the two best areas, because they are always in demand (more on that later…..). Degrees from approved on-line schools are accepted in some states.
Once you have obtained your degree, then you will have to take a state-certified program in the area you wish to teach. Upon successful completion of the program, you will then be required to take a state, or national exam for the certification you are desiring. There are several certifications available, such as Birth-5 years, Early Childhood, Middle Grades, Special Education, High School, etc….
What happens Once I have completed Teacher Training?
Once you have completed all of the above teacher training, you can then submit an application to the school district you wish to teach in. You will need to be fingerprinted, and subjected to a background check. Then you will go through all the little interviews that any other job entails. Once all this has been done, you can get hired as a teacher.
What Can I Look Forward To As A Teacher?
You should know going in to the profession, that teachers only make around 75% of the salary of other degreed professions. You are probably never going to get rich being a teacher. The average salary for teachers in the U.S. for 2011 was $54,270.00. The lower 10% was $35, 940.00, and the upper 10% was $84,000.00. Bear in mind that to get the higher salaries requires years of experience and seniority.
Starting out, you are looking at several years on the short end of the chain. By comparison, the average salary for an office clerk was $39,000.00. Post Office Clerks averaged $51,390.00. But at least you can look forward to being slightly ahead of Farm Workers and Laborers, who averaged $33,000.00 (Bureau of Labor Statistics; National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for 2011).
While the financial incentive may not seem all that great, there are other factors to consider. Teaching is more of an art than a profession, and everyone is not good at it. We all remember certain teachers who were able to touch our lives. Teachers can have a bigger influence over how a child grows up than even their parents. Teachers have a power that no other profession has. They have the power to influence, and even control the direction of the future.
That is a truly awesome power.
And while doctors may be lauded because they can save lives, teachers save minds……and teachers make doctors, lawyers and politicians. They plant the seeds, and nurture their growth. They create the next generation of brilliant scientists, Nobel Prize winners, and humanitarians.
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, you can speak to representatives at local colleges and universities, and they will be happy to guide you along the right path.