To become a public school teacher in the United States one must have a bachelor’s degree in education or a certification in education and have had some training in teaching. Depending on the state one wants to acquire their teaching license determines the requirements to become a teacher. In most cases, private schools do not require a license. The required education not only varies by state, but also the level of school one wants to teach. Many states are now requiring that students in the education field take courses in special education. Although states may vary in their requirements to become a teacher, the basics for education students throughout the United States are similar.
Requirements to Become an Early Childhood Teacher
Early Childhood Education (from birth until age 7 or 8) requires very specialized education, since these are a child’s formative years. Early childhood education focuses on providing children with the necessary tools for learning as they grow into adulthood. Making certain that young students are physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially mature is crucial for long-term success. Licensing requirements to become a preschool teacher also vary by State. Requirements for public preschool teachers are generally more stringent than those for private preschool teachers. Some States require a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, while others require an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and still others require certification in Early Childhood Education by a nationally recognized authority. The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, the most common type of certification, requires a mix of classroom training and experience working with children, along with an independent assessment of the teacher’s competence. A certificate such as the CDA may be all that is required for an entry level Early Childhood teaching position.
Requirements to Become an Elementary Teacher
The process for becoming an elementary school teacher begins with finishing high school. The aspiring teacher must then graduate with a degree in elementary education from an accredited university with a bachelor’s degree. While in the process of obtaining a bachelor’s the future teacher most likely will have to spend at least one semester performing a student teaching internship. It is strongly recommended that graduates then enroll in a professional development program which is one year long. This will give one extra experience combining education with teaching hands on. In addition to finishing the requirements to become a teacher dictated by the university, it is required by the State Board of Education that all elementary school teachers complete educational requirements and pass a test which is based on the skills that individual holds in teaching skills, reading, and writing. It is currently recommended that a teacher candidate earn a Master’s Degree in a related education discipline, also.
Requirements to Become a Secondary (High School) Teaching
Becoming a high school teacher begins with similar requirements to become a teacher as those for an elementary school teacher training program. Instead of enrolling in elementary education one would enroll in teaching secondary education, taking the subject to a higher level. The major difference in this is that the future teacher would have to choose a specialty. That is if he/she wanted to be a math or English teacher that would be the specialty. Most students choose to double major in education combined with the subject of specialty.