For example, a high school teacher specializing in the subject area of science might teach courses in chemistry, biology, and physics. To teach in most specialties, a degree and state certification in that endorsement area is required. To know if education is really the right career path for you, make sure you have an understanding of what makes a good teacher and that you have the skills and characteristics compatible with teaching. To be a good teacher, you must enjoy being around other people and interacting with them, especially young people.
Teaching is a social job that involves constant interaction with others. Good teachers are also patient. If you lose your temper easily, a school setting may not be the right workplace for you. Teachers are flexible and good at quick decision making. Teachers must be strict to an extent and able to enforce rules, but they also need to pick their battles. Most importantly of all, teachers care. They care about their students and student success. Without this characteristic, being a teacher will become a chore after a while. If you feel passionate about a particular content area or about learning in general and you truly care about others, you have the potential to become a great teacher.
To really understand the job and to decide if it is right for you, find a way to get into the classroom. Experienced teachers can tell you what their careers are like and that is an excellent place to start. If you are still interested, contact local schools to find out if you can volunteer or spend a day or more shadowing a teacher.
What does a teacher do?
As a volunteer, you may be able to help out in a classroom as an assistant. While shadowing, you may be able to visit different classrooms and grade levels to get an idea of what different teachers do. You can also consider substitute teaching as a way to introduce yourself to the teaching profession. Now that you have examined the characteristics of a teacher and observed teachers in action, you should take a look at the practical considerations. Think about salary , the education you will need , certification requirements , and the availability of jobs in your target area before making a final decision about a teaching career.
For expert advice from current teachers about what it is like to be a teacher and more, read our teacher career interviews. Choosing a School with a Teaching Preparation Program Once you are certain that teaching is the right career for your future, the next step is to select a certification program. In each state in the US, you must be certified in order to work as a teacher in a public school. It is important that you consider the rules laid out by the state in which you hope to live and work so that you can get the correct certificate. While it is possible to transfer a teaching certificate from one state to another with certification reciprocity , it is not always an easy process.
Before you select a school and a certification program , make sure you understand what your options are. You can find current rankings of accredited teacher preparation programs by state through the National Council on Teacher Quality. Depending on your state, you may have many options, or just a handful, but either way, this will give you a starting point to make your choice.
It is also important to know what types of preparation programs are available and which one will meet your needs. Whichever route you follow, be sure that the program you choose is appropriately accredited. Accreditation for teacher certification schools is discussed in further detail below. Not all teacher preparation programs are created equal. Some are of a higher quality than others and an important indicator of a good program is accreditation.
Be sure that you select a teacher certification program at a school that is accredited by a regional accrediting agency, since every state requires regional accreditation for teacher certification. There are also national accreditations that signal quality in teacher preparation, such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation CAEP.
To earn this accreditation, a school must prove that it meets high standards and graduates teachers of excellent quality. In many states, a teaching program must also be approved by the board of education for the state in which the program is located to qualify graduates for a teaching license. To further narrow your choices, consider logistical concerns such as cost and location. Calculate the total cost of tuition and other associated expenses, like room and board.
If you can choose a school that is close to home, you may be able to save money by qualifying for in-state tuition and living locally instead of on-campus. Consider whether or not you will be looking for scholarships, financial aid, or loans, and find out what each school has to offer you. Another important practical consideration is timing. Some schools offer accelerated programs to get you certified and into the workplace quickly.
If you need to work at another job while pursuing your certification, look for a program that offers coursework in the evenings and on weekends or online. Finally, once you have narrowed your choices down to one or two schools, it is a good idea to speak with individuals who graduated from the program. They can give you valuable insight into the positives and negatives of the institution and the certification program.
Each school you are considering should be able to get you in touch with graduates. Be sure to ask about the instructors, the ability to get a position after graduating, and anything else that may concern you. Testing Requirements for Teachers To enter a teaching program at a university or college, you must meet certain requirements. Those requirements vary by program. You can also read more about certification requirements in general or by state on our Certification Guide.
Many schools require a test for entry into a teaching program. The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests , or the Praxis Core, is used by many schools as an entry exam for teacher preparation programs and is also required in many states to earn teacher certification. The Praxis Core is designed to assess basic skills in math, reading, and writing. Some Praxis exams are offered year-round and others are only offered during certain testing windows. You can register online by creating a Praxis account. This means you must take another exam.
This series of tests is actually several exams by subject area. You will take the subject tests for your particular area of certification. For instance, if you are applying for certification as a secondary social studies teacher, you will take the social studies Praxis Subject Assessment. You may take more than one subject area test if you are applying for more than one type of certification.
As with the Praxis Core, the subject area tests will also be taken by computer and can be registered for by logging into your Praxis account. Many states require prospective teachers seeking endorsements in grades to earn a passing score on this exam. The CKT measures both subject area and specialized content knowledge for teaching in the elementary grades. It measures how well prospective teachers can apply their content knowledge in the classroom.
What does a teacher do? ‐ CareerExplorer
As implied by the name, these Praxis tests are only for those who will be teaching at the elementary level. As with the others in the Praxis series, this exam is also taken by computer. There are states that do not require the Praxis exams for teachers, but may require it for other types of school positions such as administrators, speech pathologists, or school psychologists.
To find out what tests you need to take in your state, visit the department of education website for your state, the Praxis website , or our Teacher Certification Requirement Information by State guide. Scholarships and Financial Aid Once you have decided to become a teacher and have begun to select a program for certification , it is time to think about tuition. College can be expensive, but there are ways to ensure that you can afford your education. Begin by choosing a college or university that has reasonable rates, but also think about looking for scholarships and financial aid opportunities.
With a little help, you can afford to earn your degree and certification. If you can qualify, scholarships are a great way to pay for your education. Unlike loans, they do not need to be paid back. Scholarships tend to be competitive, so be prepared to showcase your skills, awards, honors, and qualifications on your application. Check for scholarships particular to your state as well as those offered at the national level.
Teaching Salaries and Job Outlook
These grants have a service obligation attached to them, so make sure you will be able to meet those conditions. Otherwise, your grant will turn into a loan. The requirements include teaching for at least four years in a high-need field. In addition to scholarship opportunities, you should consider financial aid options. Every college and university has a financial aid department. The teacher provides advice and guidance and helps students clarify ideas and limit tasks. This role can be a great way to pay individual attention to a student. It can also allow a teacher to tailor make a course to fit specific student needs.
However, it can also lead to a student becoming too dependent or even too comfortable with one teacher and one method or style of teaching. What we notice here is that the roles are often interchangeable. One activity could see an experienced teacher smoothly transition from one role to another. That said, the 21st-century classroom is created on the premise that students experience what they require to enter the 21st-century workplace and live in the global environment.
The characteristics of the 21st-century classroom, therefore, sets it apart from the 20th-century classroom. Lectures on a single subject at a time where the norm in the past. Today, collaboration is the thread for all student learning. For instance, the collaborative project-based approach ensures that the curriculum used in this classroom develops:. Love of a subject matter inspires a person to learn more, dig deeper, and think harder about it, so passion inspires deeper knowledge.
The best teachers are those that clearly love their subjects and pass that passion and desire to learn more on to their students. When the teacher not only has the right answer to a student's question but can expand the discussion with vivid examples, amusing illustrative anecdotes, and relevant facts, and when the teacher has a deep well of understanding and expertise to draw on, then every lesson is enriched, and every student might be inspired. It's not enough just to know what you're talking about, though, and a great teacher doesn't only teach from the head.
In the best classrooms, hearts are involved, as well. In order to create successful learning environments, great teachers need to be able to build caring relationships with their students. It is the caring student-teacher relationship that facilitates the exchange of information. The best teachers are often the ones that care the most deeply, not only about their jobs, but about every student they serve. It's not enough just to love the subject matter: Great teachers also share a love of students. Caring about the students is what inspires teachers to reach out, do better, communicate more, ask, learn, refine, and improve.
This is something that can't be taught, not even in the best school. Because it's the teacher's job to help students learn, they must be easy to approach. Students will have questions that can't be answered if the teacher isn't friendly and easy to talk to. The crabby, unapproachable, terse, mean, arrogant, rude, all-business teacher can't last long. If the students think of their teacher as their enemy, they certainly won't learn much. The best teachers are the most open, welcoming, and easy to approach.
No matter how charming you are, if you show up for a class without an excellent plan for how to teach your material, you won't succeed. Great teachers spend endless hours outside of the classroom preparing, designing lessons, learning more both about their subject matter specifically and how to teach, in general , participating in professional development, and thinking of fresh and interesting ways to reach the students. The best teachers have excellent lesson plans, lectures, and assignments that they continually improve.
They have studied extensively and read widely about how to teach and methods to facilitate learning. They structure their days, lessons, and units in a way that fosters maximal understanding and interest. They collaborate with other teachers and attend classes to learn more about their subject matter and how to best convey it. They are available outside of class, and they grade papers quickly, writing personal notes to help their students understand.
Anyone who's done it knows that teaching is one of the hardest jobs there is. The secret that keeps them going is that great teachers really, really want to be great teachers, and they'll stop at nothing do succeed.
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A great teacher will do almost anything to help their students. They always make time and they're always willing to help. If something doesn't work, they'll work tirelessly until they find a solution. A teacher's work is never done but the best ones never stop trying, they never quit.
What makes a great teacher?
The best teachers understand the importance of building supportive and collaborative environments. In addition to forming caring relationships with each student, the best teachers foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships between the students. They know how to establish guidelines and assign roles to enlist every student's help and participation. Every student feels like they are not only accepted by the larger group, but that their presence is a necessary ingredient in the classroom's magic.
Their classrooms are like little communities where each individual plays a part and feels at home. Studies show that a teacher's expectations have a huge impact on student achievement. The best teachers have high expectations for all of their students. They expect a lot from each student, but those expectations are both challenging and realistic. This doesn't mean they hold all students to the same high standard, but instead that they know what each student is capable of individually and strive to help each one attain their personal best. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.
Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Thankyou so much for the upgrades informations time to time and sharing the knowledge with all. And the best part of it is that its educatif. I like what has been explained as others really hijacked that profession n they need to reintrospect themselves. This is a good article, it could be applied not teacher only, but also other occupant. Thanks for sharing. This article was really helpful for me and it also made me think about many of my good teachers I met in my life.
I'm greatly inspired with it as I'm know a student at a college soon to be a teacher!!! Nice article. One minor correction: In the communication section, the term is "take another tack" with a K. Search that expression to see the origins of that expression. There is no limit to be a good teacher. Some qualities make well in the class, some more in the school, and some more in big student and teacher community. Yet this article motivate to follow the path to be the best teacher. I found it very helpful. This article is so good and have a unique impression. I like it very much.
Thankxxa lot for this wonderful essay. This article is a must read for every teacher aspiring to make a great impact on his students. I have gain enough knowledge from what I have searched about characteristics of a good social science teacher and it has help me a lot I not rude or self center either. But consider to really as perfect as possible I truly hates making mistake.
Life can difficult to live in so both flexible and firm at the same you how to do. But there not one thing you change in approach even children understand,teach another person. HI guys thank you for adding this article in this page its really helping us since we are doing this course which is about qualities of good teachers and bad teachers. Right now i m doing teacher's course So this article is very helpful for me to become a good teacher. I appreciate your efforts in writing this article.
As it brings out knowledge to some of us who are following this career. Hopefully one of the good days i'll become one of the best teachers ever, if i apply those characteristics. In fact I have really proof that if you talk you are only repeating what you already know but if you listen you may learn something new. Amazing and Inspiring article to become a good and best teacher to their students.
Thanks for the information.
I am 49 years old and am in just my second year as a teacher. I teach 6th and 7th graders primarily. My preparation and organization skills are "developing".
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