Do you have your heart set on becoming a teacher one day? If this is your plan after graduating from college, you may be excited to learn multiple avenues can take you to your teaching dreams. Did you know that you don’t need to be an education major to become a teacher?
While this is a great way to tackle your teaching goals, numerous undergraduate degrees can be explored. These subjects can deliver the focus, expertise and perspective you need to begin your teaching career.
There are many teachers out there who decided on an education career after they worked in different industries.
Whichever route you take, you will need to earn your teaching certification if you want to become a teacher. Here are some of the top majors you can consider.
When you become an education major, you will discover all aspects of education and what it takes to improve it. This typically focuses on a public K-12 education system.
You will cover the theory, history and purpose of public education, study child and human development and the institutions, systems, structural inequalities, policies and more that impact a child’s educational outcome.
Some people choose to specialize in certain subjects, special education or early childhood education. If you wish to become a high school teacher, you may want to pick your favorite majors to focus on such as math, biology, English or chemistry, etc.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics make up STEM. This is a good background for teachers as there is a huge demand for these subjects. There are commonly teacher shortages in these areas. Certain alternative teacher certification programs are geared directly to individuals with a STEM background.
Literacy is a huge component of the entire K-12 curriculum. English majors often gravitate to become excellent classroom teachers. You will study how to communicate effectively, analyze information, read and write a variety of texts, practice critical thinking and do lots of research. You will also learn how to establish logical arguments. These are essential skills you will pass down to your future students.
Learning about human and child behavior is essential if you plan to work with children. Understanding how to manage the challenges that teachers face is an important step. This is true for all teachers but particularly those who work in a mentoring or guidance role, those who teach in underprivileged communities, and those who work with special needs children.
Similar to psychology, this major delivers an in-depth understanding of community and family dynamics. This can be a wonderful asset for anyone who works in a school atmosphere. This knowledge is extra vital if you are thinking of working in the administration realm of education or want to be a guidance counselor.
Being a history major will allow you to gain insight into modern and ancient civilizations, geography, government and more. These subjects are important building blocks if you are hoping to become a social studies teacher. However, a history degree is an excellent precursor option for any teaching specialty. This is because it is necessary to understand our past if we hope to make any sense of our present lifestyle and civilization.
Basic Steps to Become a Teacher
First, clarify the licensing requirements for teachers in your state. You will most likely need to earn a bachelor’s degree and then finish a required teacher preparation program. This may mean working as a student teacher for a certain number of hours.
Next, you will have to pass a criminal background check. You will also be required to pass a minimum of one certification exam. There are other teaching programs that are alternative options designed to fast-track those who are changing careers into the world of teaching.
Graduate School Options
If you desire to work as a teacher for your lifelong career, consider attending graduate school. This will allow you to earn a master’s degree and climb the ladder to earn a larger salary.
Enjoy Your Learning Journey
It is wise to embrace your love of learning if you want to become a teacher. You will have to fulfill your requirements for your teaching licenses and there will be elective credits that you can utilize to gain insight into different subjects that you might teach in the future. The greatest teachers are the ones who are passionate about the knowledge they are sharing.
It is a huge educational commitment to become a teacher. It is essential to pick a study area that you are excited to learn about. After you are certified, you can start a rewarding and challenging career that gratifies you on many levels and enables you to inspire minds in a creative and memorable way.