A career in education requires much study, training and strong interpersonal skills. Careers in the field of education are available in working with people of all ages from preschoolers to retirees. A career in education can be rewarding and challenging. Education jobs are expected to have a continued job growth rate over the next several years. In 2006, teaching jobs accounted for 4.0 million jobs (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
Educational and Certification Requirements for Teachers
A public school teacher must be certified in all states. State education boards give certification to teachers for specific grade levels or certain subjects. You must obtain a bachelor’s degree and complete a training program including student teaching. Specialty teachers are sometimes required to possess a master’s degree.
Public School Teacher
Public school teachers do more than give a lesson in front of a classroom. You will spend time developing lesson plans, preparing learning activities, helping students improve learning skills and evaluating their performance. Interacting with parents is also an important part of teaching. You will schedule conferences with parents to evaluate a student’s academic progress and overall performance.
You can choose to pursue a career in education in many specialized fields including art, music, special education or early childhood. Many schools hire teachers to teach only these specialty subjects. You can obtain your degree in education with a specialty in these fields. There is an opportunity for growth in specialized teaching. Many school districts have a shortage of these teachers, in particular teachers of special needs children.
Adult Education Teacher
As an adult education teacher, you may teach classes such as adult literacy, English as second language or General Education Development (GED). You will find the teaching style for adults different to that of children. Many come into the classroom with a specific goal in mind such as obtaining a high school diploma or learning to read and are highly motivated students. Adult education classes are offered at community colleges, university and by some non-profit organizations.
As a school counselor, you will help student develop a program of study and help them meet goals on an academic and emotional level. You will administer evaluation testing to determine if a child has special needs. You work with the student and his teachers, administrators and parents to find solutions and obtain goals. School counselors help high school student chose career goals. A career as a school counselor may require a master’s degree and counseling certification.