Planning on being a teacher?

January 16, 2008 at 1:02 am 3 comments

ReadingCoach articlepage PRE-SERVICE TRAINING: The College Program

All teachers in any and every state must have a college degree and a license (certification) to teach. In most states, the license specifies the grades/subjects to teach.

Step 1: Enroll in a college that offers a BA or MS or BS.Ed. In other words, the prospective teacher needs to have or being working on a degree.

Step 2: Participate in a pre-service program. The college degree can be the major in Education or a minor in Education with a major in another field. The former is most often the course followed by the elementary teacher. The latter is best followed by the secondary teacher. Individuals with a degree who decide to switch careers and become a teacher can follow two pathways. There a number of programs in which the prospective teacher “teaches” as they take courses and agree to continue to work in the sponsoring school system for a period of time. The other pathway is to obtain a Masters degree in Education. Both pathways offer an opportunity to become a certified teacher. Some states require a test to become a qualified teacher in that state. Each state have their own certification requirements. (Individual state requirements can be researched at this website (

Teacher education (pre-service training) has remained relatively the same over the past fifty years. The content may have fluctuated but the courses offered are the same. The standard College of Education course requirements include:

Survey of the Exceptional Child
Educational Psychology
History and Philosophy of Education
Principles and Practices
Methods Classes
“Field Experience”
Student Teaching

Each State spells out the basic requirements for certification of teachers at each level: Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary. The colleges design their programs to fulfill the state requirements for certification. The courses listed above are pretty standard for any teacher certification program. Effective education programs include viable “field experience” requirements. “Field experience” usually entails prospective teachers observing teachers in action.

In the course of the variety of subjects studied in the pursuit of a teacher certificate, future teachers learn:

<>to plan (lesson plans and units)
<>to execute the plan (methods)
<>how to assess the plan (test construction)
<>Theories of learning
<>Philosophy of education
<>The psychological profile of children at various ages
<>Cultural differences
<>Legal requirements for teachers
<>Identification of learning disabilities
<>Education ethics
<>Along with a host of other topics including classroom management skills

The number of semester hours of education courses vary somewhat from state to state. In Illinois, 18 hours of course work is required. Most institutions in Illinois require a passing grade on the Basic Skills Test before acceptance into the program. One hundred hours of classroom observation is required by prospective teachers. (This does create a problem for future teachers who work during the day and take classes at night. In order to complete the field experience observations, the working student will need to take time off to make their observations.) Before receiving the license, the teacher must receive their diploma, pass a state test, complete the required application form, and pay their $30 fee. Once that is completed, you are a certified teacher.

Now as a certified teacher, you can apply for a job. The teacher has to be finger printed and cleared through the appropriate state agency after a series of interviews. In most cases, you are on your own. Good Luck!


Entry filed under: Teachers.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Assissotom  |  January 17, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    A very interesting site with top design and contents!

  • 2. Danny  |  May 20, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    this site didn’t give me any information whatsoever. I don’t like it, and I won’t ever visit it again, and I won’t refer people to use it either.

  • 3. fm44  |  May 21, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Dear Danny,
    Sorry the site wasn’t helpful to you. I would ask you what information you were looking for but since you wil neber return I can’t ask you. Love you too!


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