It is essential to choose a teaching position you really want. As you know, there are a vast number of different types of jobs in the education sector.
Now that you have decided to enter the world of education, you need to pick a subject area and/or grade level that interests you.
Various subjects include Math, Science, Social Studies, History, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computers, Health and Nutrition, English, Language Arts, Music, Physical Education, and Art.
Which of these subjects do you find the most interesting? Choosing the teaching position you want from the start will save you time and frustration.
What one did you excel at when you were in school?
Are there any topics you have experience with? For instance, if you are an engineer or an environmentalist, you may want to look at Science; a choir director may lean toward Music; an archivist would thrive in Social Studies. These are examples, of course, and may not necessarily suit your situation, skill set, or desire.
Once you have chosen a subject or group of subjects you will enjoy and can effectively teach; the next step would be to pick a grade level. Each level of education (elementary, middle school, high school, and post-secondary) requires its own certification and unique skill set.
Elementary school students, particularly the youngest ones, are hearing about these topics for the first time. So if you are looking to teach the rudimentary elements of a course, this is the educational level you may wish to focus on. Come up with creative lesson plans to hold individuals’ attention and ensure they remain interested in learning the curriculum.
Middle school can be challenging, where pupils are at a more rebellious stage and may not want to learn. If you are keen on a challenge, have extraordinary interpersonal skills, and want to teach more than just the basics, this is the right group of learners for you.
High school is where individuals prepare themselves for post-secondary education and the working world. The marks they earn in 12th grade will determine what academic institutions they can enter and what field they may wish to pursue. If you want to deal with students who are just about adults and can grasp concepts of a higher level, you may want to look at becoming a high school instructor.
Post-secondary instruction requires a completely different set of credentials, usually including a Master’s Degree or a Ph.D. in education. You will not only be teaching but working with students who are there to learn and develop their knowledge base in a particular field.
Before deciding which position you want, you may also want to consider which areas are in greatest demand in your local school district(s). Some schools have cut funding entirely for programs that are not part of the core requirements, so before picking a Physical Education, Art, or Music position, check whether these are even available in your area.
Depending on the state or region, there may be a shortage of Math or Science teachers (for example). If you have a hard time deciding between two or more subject areas, this may be a good tiebreaker. Furthermore, even if you do pick a certain subject or age level now, it does not mean you can’t change your mind later.
Perhaps you start in Social Studies but find you are better suited for English Language Arts. Or maybe you begin as an elementary school educator but find you want more of a challenge, so you progress to middle school. Nothing is written in stone.