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Considering Changing Careers To Become A Teacher? Here Are 4 Things You Need To Know

A teacher writing on a whiteboard in a classroom.

Changing careers at almost every stage of life is a common occurrence. Although it can be a bit nerve-racking, pursuing new dreams and aspirations is often worth the effort. After acquiring real-world experience and advanced education, many individuals decide to enter the world of teaching. From online college courses to grade school classrooms, there are no limits as to where you can take your career.

If you’ve been thinking about changing your career path to become a teacher, explore four things you should know from Holmes Tutoring.

Decide what subject and educational level you want to teach

First, you’ll need to decide what subject and educational level you would like to teach. This is important for a variety of reasons. If you’ve never taught professionally, answering these two questions will help you determine what additional education and experience you need.

Those who are subject matter experts — and who have an undergraduate degree or master's degree — may be able to teach certain college courses with no added work. Some colleges hire working professionals from specific fields as instructors. However, if you are looking to become an elementary, middle, or high school teacher, you will likely need to go back to school. Most of these positions require a separate teaching degree. You may also need to gain additional experience or take a qualifying exam.

Fortunately for those who already have busy schedules, you can go back to school online for something like a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, for example. This will allow you to pick up the necessary skills you need to begin your teaching career while following a schedule that fits your work and home life.

If this all sounds like too much work, don’t fret. Many states have programs to fast-track individuals who want to become teachers. Upon submitting your credentials, they can assess what minimum education/experience you need to start working in local public schools.

Find an educational program that suits your needs

In most instances, those who are changing careers to become a teacher will need additional education. This can range from having to take a few classes to earn a degree.

Oftentimes, individuals are missing the skills required to be a successful teacher. This includes creating lesson plans, understanding state educational requirements, and the like. People who are working full-time should consider pursuing an online program to make life easier. Whether you want to earn a master's degree in education or a basic teaching degree, you can attend reputable schools without ever leaving home.

Create a plan to transition out of your current job

Once you understand what education and experience you will need to acquire, you can begin to develop a timeline for exiting your current job/career path. Start planning the next weeks/months/years to help you better adjust to this major life change. If you’ll need in-person training in the months leading up to becoming a teacher, you may need to speak with your current employer to see what options are available. Alternatively, you may want to seek employment opportunities that fit your new schedule.

Begin researching area schools

As you prepare to become a new teacher, start researching schools in your area. You can also research schools in surrounding cities or states if you are open to the idea of relocating. Start exploring school ratings, reviews, teacher salaries, and other important data. Doing this over some time will give you a better idea of which schools you want to work at. When the time comes to start applying for positions, you can prioritize which opportunities are better suited to your skills and preferences.

Leaving your current career to become a teacher is a highly rewarding undertaking. No matter which level you plan to teach, you will have the ability to make a lasting impact in the lives of your students for years to come.

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