While most educators never get a corner office, a chauffeur, or a glamorous lifestyle, teachers are some of the most satisfied professionals today. According to a survey published by the National Center for Education Statistics, 90% of teachers are satisfied or very satisfied with their careers.
Teaching is a fulfilling career because teachers get to touch the lives of their students by challenging them to be the best they can be and helping them along the way. Teachers also become mentors to their students and anything from friend to counselor.
While a career in education might be noble, it might not be easy to get ahead. Here are 6 things you can do to kick start your career.
1. Decide on Your Area of Interest
Teaching is a wide field and you must know what you want. Developing interest is teaching is important but recognizing the area of teaching you want to pursue is probably the most important thing. You must also know which age group you wish to work with. Which schools, institutes, or colleges are you targeting? What subject combination gives you the best shot? These are some of the areas you must research before proceeding to the next level.
2. Pursue Professional Certification to Pick Up the Right Skills
After discovering your area of interest, search for options of professional certifications that will allow you to get a license to teach. Check the area resource centers or search the internet for courses you take up to become a teacher at school or a faculty in college.
Be sure to get your education from a reputable institution. This will allow you to get a great education. You also get an opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people in your domain which will shape the kind of teacher you will eventually become.
3. Boost Your Knowledge with A Master's Degree
Learning is a process that never stops. When you commit to elevating your abilities and knowledge, nothing can stop you. And what better way to do that than by enrolling in a master's program. An advanced degree allows you mastery of your field making you a more effective teacher. This can also enhance your remuneration.
4. Network Your Way to a Teaching Career
It is common knowledge that most jobs are not advertised today. Many Institutions prefer to recruit through referrals to avoid the time wastage associated with the hiring process. This underlines the importance of networking.
While alumni meetings are necessary to shoot up for, networking should go beyond that. Seminars, conferences and other events are important because you can get to meet potential employers or people who might rope you in when employment opportunities arise. But don't stop there. LinkedIn and other social media sites and forums can make all the difference.
5. Get Some Experience
An experienced candidate is obviously at a better spot than a greenhorn. But how do you get the much needed experience if no one is willing to give you a job? To start with, volunteering is always a welcome option. There are some nonprofit organizations that recruit teachers to teach vulnerable students locally or even in third world countries.
You could also sign up as an online tutor and start teaching from the comfort of your home. Ultimately, this will put you ahead of candidates who have not interacted much with students before.
Teaching is a wonderful career. No feeling compares to seeing students whom you helped overcome their challenges graduate with honors. However, it is one thing to get into a career in education and another one to stand out from the crowd.
It takes resilience, hard work and foresight to become a remarkable teacher. But once everything falls into place, it will be worth every sacrifice you made. Good luck!