Sunday, July 09, 2006


Important information for aspiring student teachers

Teaching is a noble profession. The amount of satisfaction you get when you see your students improving and progressing is invaluable. You share your knowledge and skills and help others see the light while you keep on improvign what you already have. Most of us beleive that teaching is something which anyone and every one can do. Well, as a matter of fact it is not. It needs real talent and hard work. Moreover, it is a struggle right from the college years as most of the departments in Universities are not well funded. The coursework is also very decentralized and tailored to suit the needs of the surroundign school districts. So, when the person decides to find a job in some other state, it beecomes really tough for them as they have to go through some rigorous tests and be certified in particular areas and soemtimes end up taking more courses to satsify the reqquirements of the hiring state .

Here is a list of facts one should be aware of before entering the field. Well, I am not trying to discourage anyone but would like to help the aspiring educators to be mentally prepared.

1. Be sure of what you want to teach. Especially in the field of Special Education, they’re a wide number of choices.
You have a) Early childhood special education
b) Special Education for individuals with developmental disabilities
c) Special Education for individuals with mild/moderate disabilities
d) Special Education for individuals with behavior disorders/emotional disorders
e) Special Education for specific learning disabilities
f) Special Education with emphasis on vocational training
g) Special Education for individuals with multiple disabilities
h) Special Education for individuals with mental retardation
Though most of the above fields can be intermixable, one needs to be aware of what they really want to pursue

2. Choose a school which has flexible tuition options and which can provide you with some sort of financial assistance. One should be aware of the fact that most of the projects in the dept of Education are not well funded and one might end up taking a lot of loans from eh bank. However, if the school provides tuition waivers or has any assistantships, it surely helps

3. It is a clever thing to enroll in a program, which will lead to certification in your field of interest. Even if you are planning to do your PHD as soon as you graduate from your teaching program, your certification/licensure will be of immense help in securing you some kind of assistantship. You will also have the opportunity to tutor. However, if you are thinking of teaching as soon as you graduate then "BEWARE". NEVER enroll in a teaching program, which will not lead into a certification/licensure. It is absolutely necessary to get licensed in your field to land up with any job opportunities.

4. Check with your school/college about the NCATE or TEAC approved. This would help you in securing a job more conveniently when you relocate from one state to another without going through the hassles of waiting to get a licensure for that state and then searching for jobs.

5. Be sure to keep record of all your assignments and your materials. These will be of immense help when you take up the responsibility of a class teacher

6. Make sure you keep all the student work with you, as you may have to work on a portfolio or present in during your job interviews. It for sure will create a good impression about you.

7. Make sure you are affiliated to some or the other professional organizations of your interest and field of study. It is absolutely necessary to keep updating your knowledge and question the new practices/strategies to help you in the classroom

8. Volunteer for some agencies, which are involved in tutoring/teaching. This would be a good add up on your resume and would give you some experience in teaching

That’s all for now. Will keep adding more information as I come across. However, keep checking for more updates on steps to follow while searching for a job, experiences in teaching etc.

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