Common Questions and Answers for New Educators

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Looking to become a teacher or educator? Look no further. Below are some of the most common questions and answers for those seeking to learn more about education and the requirements. Those who believe in improving education through learning and application are on the path to success.

The Path to entering the Education Profession…

Q: What are the first steps I need to take before I can become a teacher?
A: The first step depends on where one is with education and state licensing requirements. If you have completed a bachelor’s degree in teaching or related field, the next step is to determine the state you’re teaching within, guidelines to become a teacher. After completion of the state licensing requirements, seeking a teaching position and networking are common next steps. Once one has an idea of the area and subject matter they would like to teach, reaching out to current teachers and educators at that particular school district will provide insight to many things. One can find how they enjoy teaching at this school, what are the setbacks teachers and administrators face? How involved are the parents? What do they enjoy most about teaching here; what do they dislike most?

After completion of the above, it is essential to have a back up plan in place. Depending on location, teaching positions may be scarce or in high demand. This also depends on the subject matter sought to teach. Having another school district or two is highly recommended for this reason alone.

If you have yet to complete a bachelor’s degree in education, it is best to contact several schools in order to learn what degree programs they offer that can be custom designed to fit any lifestyle or work schedule.

Q: How long does it take to earn a degree in teaching or education?
A: This greatly depends on the time one has to dedicate to earning an educational degree. For a full time student, a bachelor’s degree in teaching generally takes four years sometimes five. A master’s degree in education is two-three years.
For a doctoral degree (PhD) it takes on average five-seven years. These degrees can be applied to many positions within teaching. Depending on the area of interest will determine the type of educational degree earned.

Q: What are online schools and programs? Does it matter where the online school is?
A: Online or cyber colleges or universities do vary, thus it is extremely important to do extensive research prior to committing. The best way is to contact as many schools and obtain complementary information on their degree programs. Conducting research on schools ensures any coursework you have already completed can be applied to your future degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral). The schools below offer this information and have an extensive array of degree programs available.

Location of the online school may not be an issue for some. If you prefer working closely with counselors or having meetings with a teacher, having close proximity to campus is key. Having access to a computer with Internet is also vital in completing an online degree. Some prefer online courses and feel they provide the educational environment they seek. Online chat communication with professors and classmates can be conducted online as well. However, campus courses provide future teachers the ability to form relationships and network. It truly comes down to personal learning style preference, as campus degree programs offer flexibility as well. Today, many colleges and universities offer both online and campus programs. This is an excellent way to earn a degree in education, as it allows the flexibility most desire from an online degree but the relationship building and networking one achieves through campus courses.

Q: Can I teach while completing my degree in education?
A: In short, yes. Most commonly those who are nearing completion or have at least two years of college completed, can take part in internships (some paid) and gain practical hands on experience while earning credits. The experience gained is invaluable for a future teaching career.

Q: What type of doctorate degree should I pursue, a doctorate or a doctorate in Education (EdD)? What are the differences of the two degrees?
A: A doctorate degree (PhD) is one most are probably familiar with. This type of doctorate degree is traditionally outside of education but can easily apply to education roles, such as administration. A doctorate in Education (EdD) is a doctoral degree specifically designed for those in education. Most who want to advance career opportunities seek doctoral degrees in education to enter leadership roles such as administration.

Q: How much does a degree in teaching cost?
A: This greatly depends on the type of educational degree pursued, the college or university attending, and any financial aid that may apply. By contacting the schools, they will provide current information on guidelines, administration process, financial aid, and cost of degree program.

Q: Do I need a bachelor’s degree to become a teacher?
A: Those who wish to teach in public schools, yes. A bachelor’s degree and often a master’s degree, is required as well as obtaining state licensing. There are options for those wishing to work in education but not earn a bachelor’s degree, known as a teacher’s aid. These professionals may assist classroom teachers in the many daily functions and provide additional support for students.

Private schools however do not follow the same standards set forth for public schools. Teachers in private schools may or may not have a bachelor’s degree. Often educators in private school settings have advanced degrees.