What Are the Skills Needed for a Career Switch Into Education?
Teaching is an incredibly rewarding career. You will work with bright, impressionable young minds that look up to you for knowledge and guidance. Due to the high job satisfaction associated with teaching jobs, they rank very high in the list of most desired occupations.
Many people switch from a corporate job to a teaching career because of the high stress and low job satisfaction nature of corporate jobs. However, a career switch to education is not an easy option because the skills needed in a teaching job are very different. If you want to make such a career move, you need to know what skills are needed for such a move; then, you need to work hard on acquiring those skills. Also, you need to understand that teaching is not a low stress job. It is not "playing with kids all day," as many people think. Maintaining discipline and dealing with parents is very stressful. Also, the school day does not end at 3 p.m.; you must plan for the next day, prepare materials, attend meetings, and participate in ongoing education.
The first decision that you need to make is regarding the type of teaching position you want to obtain. If you want to move to a teaching position, you must have extensive knowledge of the subject you are planning to teach. If you plan to move to an administrative job, such as assistant principal or principal, you must have excellent management skills in addition to teaching experience. You may be required to teach for a several years before moving into school management.
Most school districts and states require that you earn teaching certifications or licenses before you are allowed to teach. Many states have special programs to help you get these certifications. If you are serious about moving from a corporate job to a teaching career, you need to get more information about teaching programs and join the program best suited to your needs. At the minimum, you will need a B.A. or B.S. degree, an academic major, and certification classes.
Apart from certifications and a university degree, you need other skills for a successful career switch to a teaching job.
Communication Skills - You must have excellent communication skills to succeed as a teacher. You must be able to explain your lessons in a clear way that can be understood by children of different ages and abilities. You must be able to tactfully communicate with parents on a regular basis. You must also be able to be an effective team member with colleagues and the principal. Finally, your verbal and written language skills must be impeccable.
Listening Skills - To become a good teacher, you must have excellent listening skills. You will face a lot of questions from students on a daily basis, and you must be able to understand what the students are trying to convey when they speak with you.
Patience - You must have a lot of patience to deal with students. You may need to explain concepts and procedures over and over again to some students so that they understand the lesson. In addition, you will probably have to handle at least three disciplinary procedures per hour, often many more. Such problems include student inattention and talking, refusal to complete assignments, class disruptions and interruptions, and sending students to a "time out" area or to the principal.
Planning and Organizing Skills - You need to have excellent planning and organizing skills to succeed as a teacher. You need to prepare daily lesson plans and follow them. As a teacher, you also need to prepare short- and long-term plans for your class. Your classroom must be well-organized so that you can find materials and keep accurate records.
Discipline - In order to become an excellent teacher, you must be able to maintain discipline in a classroom. Discipline ranks very high in the educational philosophy of most schools, and you must demonstrate that you can maintain discipline in your class. This is the most difficult challenge all teachers face, but especially those who become a teacher after working in another career. Many people who switch careers after age 30 are greatly surprised when they encounter the difficulties of teaching.
If you do not have one or more of the above skills, you can contact professionals who will help you acquire those skills. There are many colleges that offer courses that will help you improve your skills so that you can make a successful career switch to education.
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