What Skills Are Needed to Be a Teacher?
Do you want to be an educator? Do you wonder what it takes to develop young minds? Whether you're interested in teaching elementary-level, high school or college students there are some common skills you'll need to become a teacher. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Teachers are educators who instruct students on specific lessons and subjects in school. As a teacher, you might work in an elementary school, secondary school, community college, university, technical school or vocational institution. You'll typically choose a level of education to focus on and then choose a subject to teach, like mathematics or English.
To be a successful teacher, clear communication is a must so that your students are able to thoroughly understand what you're teaching them. Additionally, possessing a trustworthy and confident attitude is needed if you're going to inspire and work with your students. Organization is a skill can help you properly manage your lesson plans, assignments, quizzes and projects you employ in your classroom.
Many of the skills you'll need as a teacher can be gained through formal training and student teaching. For example, teaching degree programs usually help you learn about teaching methods and how to prepare lesson plans. If you want to teach a specific subject, your college degree program could help you to become knowledgeable in that subject, so you can then pass that knowledge to your students. Student teaching lets you learn what it is like in a real classroom. You can learn how to work with different types of students and how to deal with the demands that might be placed on you in a classroom.
Your major and studies are usually dependent on what education levels you're interested in teaching. If you want to work at the elementary or secondary level, you'll likely need a bachelor's degree that includes training in education. You could major in your subject of interest, but you'll also need instruction and training in education. Some undergraduate programs incorporate and extra year to provide this training, or you can enroll in a postbaccalaureate certificate or master's degree program. If you'd like to teach at the postsecondary level, you'll usually be required to obtain a graduate degree in your subject area.
If you're working in a private school or at the postsecondary level, licensing is not required, unless your employer deems it necessary. Licensing is handled by each state, and requirements usually include holding a bachelor's degree, completing a teacher training program and having experience teaching as a student teacher. Some states also require background checks. If you want to teach a particular discipline, like music or art, a specific license or endorsement on your teacher certification may be required. You could need to complete regular continuing education in order to keep your teaching license valid.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: