How to Get Hired as a Teacher
If there is one career that is not going away, it is teaching. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment for teachers is expected to grow by 7% for Kindergarten and elementary school teachers and by 8% for middle school and high school teachers until 2026. School districts across the United States are always looking for teachers to help educate students. Teachers play a critical role in the lives of children. So you want to know how to get hired as a teacher? Read on to learn what you need to know as a new teacher, or how to get hired at a new teaching job if you’re already teaching.
What Do I Need to Do to Become a Teacher?
To gain employment as a teacher, at least a bachelor’s degree is required. Some teachers choose a major in the subject area they plan to teach, such as history or biology, but it is not required. In some states, a master’s degree is required to obtain a teaching certificate. Regardless of the state you teach in, a teaching certificate or license is required. A teaching certificate is given after you pass a state-specific exam. Below is a step-by-step breakdown of what it takes to become a teacher.
1. Is Becoming a Teacher Right for You?
Teaching requires the right personality, temperament, and mindset to be the best teacher possible. Before committing to a career in education, ask yourself: Are you patient? Can you think outside the box? Do you have strong communication skills?
2. Assess your Teaching Interests
Before choosing a teaching program, ask yourself why you want to become a teacher. By answering these questions, you will decide what grade level you want to teach, the subject matter, and any specialties you would like to teach.
3. Pick a Teaching Program and Apply
After deciding on the degree you want to earn, you will want to find the right school.
4. Finish Coursework and Student Teaching
Students earning a degree in education will obtain real-world teaching experience. This means that you will teach in a public school setting while under the supervision of members of the teaching program, including faculty, a classroom teacher, or a student-teaching office.
5. Get Your Teaching License
Each state has its requirements for teachers. It is best to check your specific state requirements so that you know what is expected. However, some basic requirements include: having a bachelor’s degree, completing an accredited teacher preparation program, passing a background check, and earning good scores on basic skills and subject matter exams.
6. Apply for a Teaching Position
Now that you have your teaching degree, you can find a place and put it to good use. This is the time to decide if you want to teach in a public or private school? Urban or suburban area? What grade level? These are just a few examples to think about.
How Should I Prepare for a Teaching Interview?
When interviewing as a teacher, you will most likely be asked various questions covering your experience and teaching knowledge. You may also be asked general questions about your skills, strengths, and reasons you want to enter the teaching field. Often as a teacher, you are interviewed by fellow teachers, administrators, or the principal.
Sometimes you may even be asked to teach a lesson to a group of students or interviewers. For example, giving a mock lesson to friends, family, or former students can be an excellent way to practice an interview like this.
Here are a few tips so that you are prepared for a teacher job interview:
1. Learn About the School
Get familiar with the school history, curriculum, mission statement, or any other information you can find on the school district’s website. Also, if you know someone that teaches at the school, you can ask them to give you any inside information.
2. Classroom Management
Classroom management questions will test to see how you have dealt with situations in your past working experience. An example may be, “how did you deal with a student that was frequently acting out in class?” If you are new to teaching and have not gained experience yet, you can hypothetically explain how you would deal with the situation.
3. Strengths and Weakenesses
Being a teacher requires a specific set of skills such as organization, strong communication, patience, flexibility, and knowledge of the subject matter you will be teaching. Explaining why you possess the necessary skills that make a great teacher and telling how you can learn and grow in the education field will show that you are an excellent fit for the job.
4. Ask Questions Too
Ask questions that go with the particular position you are applying for. For example, “Do new teachers have mentors?” or “What is the school-wide behavior plan?” Also, remember to thank everyone for the opportunity and make good eye contact before exiting the interview.
What Will Help Me Get Hired as a Teacher?
There are a few things to keep in mind that can be helpful when trying to get hired as a teacher. These include having strong communication skills. It would be best if you were comfortable speaking in front of people. Organization is also essential for creating lesson plans, grading, handing back assignments, and keeping students on track academically. Another critical skill is the ability to stay calm in chaotic situations and mediate between students.
When it comes to gaining experience early on, such as in high school or college, you can begin working with children by pursuing jobs in childcare, summer camps, and community programs. You can also look for positions as a tutor, mentor, or teaching assistant. Not only will you gather a great deal of experience, but it will also look great on your resume when you apply for your first teaching position.
It is also essential to build a portfolio to present to prospective employees. The portfolio should contain creative lesson plans, samples of student materials, recommendations, teaching philosophy, and more. Even if you do not have a true teaching experience to make a portfolio out of, use resources from what experience you do have. You might sub in a class for a day and have a great lesson you created to add to your portfolio.
Utilize education-related websites to post resumes and apply for job vacancies. For example, most teaching positions are posted on the school district websites. Another thing to remember is that if you have your teaching license but have not found a job yet, you can always become a substitute teacher. This allows you to make contacts and demonstrate your skills as a teacher, potentially leading to a full-time teaching position.
No job is perfect, and all careers have stressors, but here are a few reasons why you may want to become a teacher.
1. Making a Difference
Becoming a teacher means you will be molding future generations. Each day you will get to work with students and make a long-lasting impact.
2. Each Day is Something New
If the thought of working a desk job and completing the same tasks each day sounds boring, then you will love teaching. Every day is different, and you and your students are always learning something new.
3. Job Security
The demand for well-trained and qualified teachers is high. If you are willing to put in the hard work and establish yourself as a great teacher, you will have a job that you can count on for many years to come.
4. Professional Growth
Since teaching is not stagnant, there are always growth opportunities. For example, if you find that you have a love for leading, you can advance to the level of an administrator, or if you find you have a love for reading, you can become a reading coach.
5. Great Schedule
As a teacher, you work extremely hard, but it also has some great perks, including having holidays and summers off.
6. Building Relationships
As a teacher, you have the opportunity to build relationships with your students. Students remember when you were an active listener and provided support in all areas of their lives.
7. Rewarding Career
Becoming a teacher is gratifying, from the funny things your students say to the memories you make each school year. It is also a wonderful feeling when a student that may be struggling finally “gets” it, and you can celebrate the accomplishment together.
Teaching is a career to love and to be proud of. Most people do not find themselves teaching for the paycheck. Instead, they find themselves getting into teaching because they have a passion for helping others. There may be days of frustration, but the benefits outweigh them at the end of the day. If the benefits excite you, then teaching may be the career you are looking for. Teaching will provide a long-term, secure career in which you will educate children and have the honor of shaping the future of the next generation.