Very few people have as much impact on our lives as our teachers. Teaching is a demanding job, both mentally and emotionally. But it is also a profession that is deeply rewarding and deeply meaningful.

If you are interested in exploring a career in teaching, this course will take you through the steps you need to get there. It covers all that you need to know to help you make an informed decision about becoming a teacher. From knowing about the role of a teacher to the education you will need, from your student teaching to your certification, this course will have you covered.



Chapter 1:
Why Be a Teacher?

Considering a career in teaching? First, you will want to find out if you have what it takes to be a teacher. Teaching is not a job for the faint of heart, nor is it a job for the heartless. The following sources will provide you with several overviews to what being a teacher is all about and offer some compelling reasons to consider dedicating your life to the education of others.

Chapter 2:
The Teacher: An Overview

What all does a teacher do? Well, a lot actually! Teachers work long hours, both at school and at home. They devise lesson plans, consider learning styles of their students, and they work to manage their classroom. The following articles give a great overview into the life of a teacher and what you can expect to do in this noble profession.

Chapter 3:

All teachers go to school, and most teaching jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in education or a related field. On top of that, most degree programs are tailored to the grade level you are planning to teach. So it is important to start thinking now about what kind of teacher you want to be when you are done with school. The sources below will help you determine what area of specialization and grade level(s) you will want to focus on, and what you need to know to select the right degree program.

Chapter 4:
Student Teaching

A vital component to your teacher training is student teaching. All teachers must gain experience putting their theory into practice in the classroom. This is done under the supervision of master teachers. Student teaching can be a scary experience, but it doesn't have to be. The following sources provide an overview of the student teaching process as well as tips for making your student teaching experience a success.

Chapter 5:

The final step in preparing to become a teacher is to gain your teaching license and certification. This is done through the taking of standardized tests as well as completing necessary educational and student teaching experiences. Each state sets its own benchmarks for becoming a licensed teacher, so you will need to pay attention to the specific requirements for the state you plan to teach in. The following sources will provide you with information about certification as well as provide links to each state's specific set of requirements. The information at also covers the PRAXIS test, which is used by over 40 states as indicators of knowledge and skill in teaching.

Chapter 6:
Financial Aid

Now that you have determined your path to becoming a teacher, it is time to consider how to pay for it. As with all students in higher education, students in teaching qualify for Federal Student Aid. But beyond that, there are numerous teacher-specific scholarships and grants that you might qualify for. Furthermore, there are excellent, federally funded loan-repayment programs aimed at helping students become teachers. The following sources will provide you with all of the necessary information you need to make paying for you education a reality.

Chapter 7:
Finding Jobs / Substituting

You earned your degree, finished your student teaching, and attained your teaching license. You are now ready for your first teaching job. However, they don't just hand out great jobs. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips to finding the teaching job that you desire (and have worked so hard to get). The sources below outline strategies for finding your first teaching job, how to build a winning portfolio, and advice about substitute teaching while you hunt for the right job.

Chapter 8:
Educational Alternatives

Not everyone sets out to work in a traditional classroom setting within the public school system. Whether it is by working with children with special needs, or working in a different setting, like a private or charter school, or teaching in a school that uses a different theory of education, like Waldorf or Montessori, there is an educational alternative that will work for you. And, if you want to use your training as a teacher to see the world, DePaul University has provided an outstanding guide to teaching overseas.

Chapter 9:
Professional Development

Successful teachers are themselves lifelong learners. And most states have requirements for teachers to continue their educational development in order to maintain their credentials. Below you will find helpful information that will explain what professional development for teachers is and why it is important in becoming a master teacher.

Chapter 10:
Tips / Tricks / Online Tools

No education would be complete without a little insider knowledge, and no modern teacher will be fully prepared without utilizing some of the many available online teaching and classroom tools. Below we have assembled a list of sources that provide tips, tricks, and lists of the best blogs, twitter accounts, and online tools to help your teaching career succeed.