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How Do You Become a Subject Area Teacher?

How do you become a subject area teacher? We get this question a lot!
If you aspire to become an educator, you can read this guide to determine how you can qualify to become a subject area teacher.

One of the first things that new entrants to the profession discover is that teaching is hard work. Yet it is so rewarding. And that is what keeps all teachers going.
Just imagine, If you build a career in teaching and some of your students become successful people later. Imagine how proud you will feel about being their teacher.

How Much Time Is Needed?

At least 4 years are required to qualify as a teacher. This is the length of time when most folks gain their bachelor's degree. In many programs geared towards teacher preparation, student teaching is part of the course. Hence, you don’t have to do any extra internship, training, or coursework to start teaching when you get your certification or degree. However, teacher education has multiple rigorous requirements. As a result, quite a few prospective teachers find it hard to complete their course in only 4 years. As a result, they have to complete summer time courses. They may also take extra subjects in their current and remaining semesters, due to which their semester could go beyond 15 credits. They may also have to complete extra semesters to complete their outstanding subjects to fulfill all degree requirements.

Another factor why the course may be completed in more than 4 years. It could happen because the course is related to other fields besides education. An explanation of this will be provided below. For now, just keep in mind that if you are pursuing a degree in a field besides education, you will also have to complete extra coursework to earn the teaching certificate. Hence, more than 4 years could be required to complete degree requirements and teaching certification requirements.

Requirements for Becoming a Teacher

Becoming a teacher means being entrusted with molding the new generation. Since the nation's future depends on education, you can expect stringent requirements to qualify as a teacher.

There are different requirements according to various states. In all states, teachers should at least complete their bachelor's. They also need to have teaching experience - this criterion can be fulfilled via student teaching. In addition, they also need to have a valid certificate for teaching. Some might be surprised to know that a degree in education is not necessary for becoming a teacher. Many prospective teachers do their major in secondary education, elementary education, or early childhood education. However, you can also take other routes besides these. Hence, there are quite a few teachers who major in some other field and then complete the teaching certificate separately. This is a good track to follow if you are not fully certain that you will be teaching in the future.

However, it is advisable to get a degree in the subject you plan to teach. Getting a degree in the subject you plan on teaching is a feasible way to become a subject expert and gain profound insights into the field.

After completing your degree in a non-education field, you can choose one of two options. If you are certain that you want to teach, then, by all means, go ahead with your teaching certificate. But if you are not certain that you want to teach, plus you want to explore your field, you can try out a career track in your field of study. Afterward, if you make up your mind to teach, you can decide to take up a teaching certificate to become a qualified educator. Teaching certification courses are offered at many different colleges.

There may be differences in teacher qualification requirements between private and public schools. Sometimes, private schools can have less stringent requirements. However, they frequently have more rigorous requirements than public schools.

If you have completed your degree AND the teaching certification in the state where you want to teach, then you will likely be qualified for teaching in that state. However, if you have to move to another state, you may have to complete extra requirements. So if you are planning to move on to another state, then be sure to check out all its requirements for qualifying as a teacher.

Whichever path you take for your teaching certificate and degree, you will definitely need to have field experience and complete some sort of internship. This is often called student teaching. Prior field experience may be necessary to start student teaching - this mainly entails observing. In several education programs, teaching experience in volunteering or tutoring may be required.

Student Teaching

The student teaching process involves learning how students are taught with a hands-on mentor teacher. For this, you will get hands-on experience in a classroom. As simple as it sounds, you will find that it requires plenty of hard work. In fact most find this to be by far the most difficult form of preparation. It is often included in the final semester of your college year, making it the hardest. Often mentor teachers are not put in this role unless they are master teachers themselves. You should lean on them and work your tail off for them. After all they are the ones lending you their students which they are responsible for. As long as you listen and put a full effort in, this should be a very rewarding experience for you.

Further Teaching Certification Requirements

You may have to complete a competency test in your state. This often includes passing a general knowledge test and then completing a more specialized test about your subject.
Background checks will also be carried out as part of the teacher qualification process.
A GPA greater than 3.00 is often required.

Depending on the state you are living in, additional certificates may be necessary.
Once you meet all state requirements, you must obtain a license from your state's education department.

Bottom Line

If you want to become a subject area teacher. You should follow all steps outlined above. Moreover, visit your state website to check out its requirements for qualifying as a teacher.