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So You Want To Be a Teacher?

WHAT DO TEACHERS DO?

Teach Classes 
Prepare Lessons 
Grade papers 
Meet with parents 
Attend school meetings 
If Secondary--Be prepared to teach in at least two subject areas 

WHAT ARE WORKING CONDITIONS LIKE?

10 month schedule (some states have a 12 month schedule) 
Salary levels are rising 
Many teachers are granted tenure (job protection) after 3 years 
Many teachers belong to teacher unions 
Class sizes vary 
Be prepared to work with diverse cultures and students with disabilities 

WHAT ACADEMIC PREPARATION IS NEEDED?

All states require a bachelor's degree 
Guidance Counselors can help with college admissions 
Student Teaching is usually required 
State requirements for certification are coordinated with teacher education requirements 

DO I TAKE COURSES AFTER I RECEIVE MY TEACHING CREDENTIAL?

Many states require a masters degree, which requires at least 1 year of course work in a particular subject area 

IS ADMISSION TO A TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM AUTOMATIC WHEN ADMITTED
TO COLLEGE?

Usually, you have to wait until your junior year 
Entrance requires personal interviews, two years of Arts and Science courses, a minimum GPA, and tests 
If you attend a 2-year college, check the requirements of the 4-year transfer school to make sure they will be accepted
for credit 

WHAT COURSES ARE TAKEN IN A TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM?

Education courses 
History 
Psychology 
Methods 
Teaching a specific subject area 
Student teaching 

HOW DO I FIND TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

"Barron's Index to College Majors" (Barron's Educational Series) 
"The College Blue Book, Degrees Offered by College and Subject" (Macmillan and Co.) 
"Index of Majors" (College Entrance Examination Board) 
"Peterson's Guides." The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) publishes an annual list of
accredited schools, colleges, and departments of education. For high school students, consulting with a guidance
counselor is also helpful. 

HOW DO I CHOOSE A TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM?

Setting of college 
Size of the program 
Check accreditation 
Talk to teachers in the area 

WHERE CAN I OBTAIN FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION?

Every college or university has a financial aid office that can be contacted for assistance 
Federal programs--call 1-800-433-3243 or write to Federal Student Aid Programs, DEA-85, Pueblo, Colorado
81009. 
State assistance--contact the state scholarship agency in the capital city 
"Scholarships Fellowships & Loans" (Gale) for private scholarship programs 
"Peterson's Annual College Money Handbook: A Guide to College Costs and Financial Aid" 
"The College Cost Book" (College Entrance Examination Board) 

WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON VARIOUS STATE REQUIREMENTS?

The state's education department or licensing office. 
Ask for "Requirements for Certification," an annual publication of the University of Chicago Press. 
The "Manual on Certification and Preparation of Educational Personnel in the United States" 
Published by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). 

WHAT IS THE DEMAND FOR TEACHERS?

Greater demand for secondary teachers in the areas of mathematics, science, special education, and English as a second
language. 
There is also an overall need for more minority teachers 
Shortages of teachers may occur in rural and urban schools 

ERIC Identifier: ED344872 
Publication Date: 1992-05-00 
Source: Adapted from ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education Washington DC., 
by Marcia M. Burrell (Burrell@oswego.edu) 
SUNY Oswego, Department of Curriculum and Instruction 
Liberty Partnerships Career Day at Central Square Schools 



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Copyright, Marcia Burrell-Ihlow
State University of New York College at Oswego