Teaching is an exciting and rewarding profession — one that many see as a lifetime commitment, not just a job.
The potential impact that Kindergarten through Grade 12 teaching can have on society makes it a compelling field to many people seeking to make a difference.
This guide includes the following sections:
Consider the myriad of paths available to work in education. While this guide touches on many options, no document can replace conversation. Seek out advisors, current educators, and teachers who inspired you in the past to talk more about your goals and interests. Contact people who have wrestled with these choices, talk with other students considering similar options, and pursue some of the leads discussed here.
Special thanks to staff of Brown University's Swearer Center, Career Services, Education Department and the Venture Consortium.
The field of teacher preparation is in a period of continuous change, matched by rapid reform and experimentation in the shape and structure of our nation's schools.
A substantial teacher shortage exists the United States in some regions, while in others, funding cuts have forced the layoffs of experienced teachers while recent graduates of education programs must substitute, work as paraprofessionals, or put off teaching altogether.
What do youth think? What issues are they facing and how do they describe themselves and their needs? Learning to really listen to those you hope to teach can be one of the most important skills any educator or mentor can gain. Consider:
Several options are available to you to pursue your interest in teaching and education. Two comprehensive resources to consider in addition to those detailed in this guide are Becoming a Teacher, from the Educational Resources Information Center and Pathways to Teaching from Recruiting New Teachers.
Some of the options available to you include:
With any program or any job, we encourage you to ask some hard questions of yourself and your prospective employer. As a new teacher one of the most important things to look for is adequate support. Think about the following questions posed by faculty at Brown University's Education Department:
More questions to consider about joining any community program, compiled by the staff at Brown's Swearer Center for Public Service, are available here.
You should also ask some questions of yourself. The following questions were suggested by people who are currently working in education:
You might also consult 'I Won't Learn from You:' And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment by Herbert R. Kohl, for other thoughts.
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