10 Things You Might Want to Know About Teacher Education
Over the last few decades, teacher education programs may have become more focused, while also meeting stricter regulations and guidelines. However, there are still different paths that an individual may take in order to pursue the education and certification that they may need in order to stand at the front of the classroom as an educator. Before a person make a truly informed decision about whether or not this particular type of education is apt for them, there may be a few things that they might want to understand. Here are they:
1. In virtually every industrialized nation, teacher education may require a person to attend an institution of higher learning. There are often considered to be to paths that a person may take in order to fulfill their goal of becoming a teacher. An individual may obtain a degree from a university and then continue on to pursue additional qualifications like a Masters degree.
2. A teacher education program may often be broken down into three basic parts. There is the foundational knowledge, the methods knowledge, and classroom teaching practice. The foundational knowledge often refers to subjects such as the history of education, the philosophy of education, educational psychology, or sociology of education. The methods knowledge part of teacher education refers to the different ways of teaching a specific subject. Classroom teaching practice involves observing inexperienced teacher or taking part in some type of student teacher program.
3. An important component of a teacher education program involves supervised field experiences. This may include observing an experienced classroom teacher and even limited participation in that teacher's classroom. Student teaching is also a crucial area and often requires several weeks of teaching while under the supervision of an experienced teacher or a supervisor of some sort. A teacher may also be required to take part in an internship where they have a classroom of their own to teach while still under the supervision of a more experienced educator.
4. Some states and even local school districts have begun to make use of programs to help introduce beginning teachers to the classroom. This may be advantageous for a number of reasons. Many new teachers may find the experienced the overwhelming and more than a little stressful. Not only are they required to understand the subject that they are teaching, they must also adapt so that they may teach the subject effectively to learners of different kinds. Rather than simply turning a new teacher loose in a classroom, some schools have begun to provide additional support for teachers that are just beginning their professional career in the form of mentoring.
6. Because of the responsibilities placed on the shoulders of teachers, they are in one of the few professions that require continuous professional education and development. The simple fact is that there may be no single course or university program that may prepare an individual for 30 or 40 years of teaching. Teachers generally need to renew their license periodically, the time between renewals may vary from one state to the next, and this generally involves passing assessment tests that gauge their knowledge and ability to present material in an effective way.
7. Some states and private schools may reward the effective and highest performing teachers. While there are some debate about these types of programs, they are often put in place due to a feeling among the parents and taxpayers in an area that they need some type of assurance that the students are getting the education they deserve. This may be another reason why it is important for teachers to pursue ongoing education and learn latest technologies and teaching methods available.
8. Depending on where a teacher lives, there may different and separate processes that they might go through for qualifying to be a teacher. It is important for a person to understand that a degree in teaching may not necessarily mean that a person may find a position in a school system. They might also need the necessary licensing. Likewise, it may be possible for an individual to get the license to teach but without the proper qualifications, they may find it difficult to find a job or be unable to secure permanent employment at a decent wage.
9. As stated above, it may be possible in some situations for an individual to find employment as a teacher without having the traditional qualifications. This may depend greatly on local regulations but under qualified teachers often find themselves replaced by individuals who have pursued higher degrees.
10. There may be different levels of education required in most states for the different teaching positions in a school system. For example, lower grades such as pre-K through third grade may require a more general education while the secondary grades, those through middle school to high school, may require a teacher to have a specialized education in a subject such as English, mathematics, biology, or history.