When pursuing your dream of becoming a teacher, one of the biggest decisions you will make will be deciding where to take education courses. In the United States, teachers are needed to have bachelors degrees and certification. It should be noted that the certification needs can be different for each state. To find out the needs in your state, check with your State Board of Education. You can get your bachelors degree from any accredited college or university that offers such a program, however it is wise to choose a school that has good programs for aspiring teachers.
Before getting a bachelors degree, the first step is the associates degree. Most students get this two-year prerequisite right after high school. However these days many adults are returning to college to complete their education and reach their career goals. Associates degrees are available at colleges and universities as well as at smaller community colleges. If you attend a community college, you will then transfer to a four year college to get your bachelors. During the time you are working on your associates, do some research on teaching and think about the kind of teacher you want to be.
The possibilities are many. If you enjoy working with young children, you could be an early education teacher. Or, you might feel most comfortable working with elementary school students. Some teachers decide to teach middle school, which prepares pre-teens for the high school experience. If you want to work with teenagers, then high school is the place for you. There is also special education where you would be teaching mentally and/or physically disabled students, which may need more education. College professors are needed to have at least a master’s degree, so this may be something to look at as a future career goal. A master’s degree can also help you earn more money and possibly have a chance at school administrator positions.
Many students apply to more than one school in case they do not gain acceptance into their first choice. Wherever you attend school, the education courses you will take will be much the same. Courses on child development and psychology, for example, are standard. You may also want to choose a minor in a specialized field of education such as math, science or English, for example. This is especially important if you decide to teach middle or high school.