As you begin to transition from your military service, there is a way that you can continue to “Be All that You Can Be,” and “Aim High,” and still “Be Part of the Action,” as you “Let the Journey Begin,” as one of “The Few, The Proud,” become a teacher.
If you are considering making a career change into the teaching profession, know that teaching is not just another job and that teaching is not for everyone. Teaching is a career in which you are able to make a difference in our youth and children, society and the world. Keys to a successful transition are getting organized, developing a plan of action, researching available programs and being persistent. Consider these strategies to see if teaching in the public schools is a good fit and potential career path:
• Volunteer your time to assist in school events such as athletics, Special Olympics, drama, science contests, and ethnic activities.
• Get permission to “shadow” a teacher for a day.
• Obtain a substitute teaching permit and experience a real classroom setting.
• Meet with teachers and school administrators to discuss the field of education and teaching.
Know that generally there is no “fast way” to become a professional, licensed teacher. Minimum requirements are a baccalaureate degree, specific academic major, professional education and pedagogy courses, field experiences, state level tests, and criminal background check.
Carefully consider the school and program in which to enroll, to ensure the program is accredited by The National Council for Accreditation of Teachers in Education (NCATE) or The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and is approved by the State in which the certification is issued. Alternate Routes to Certification (ARC) are appealing and get you through quickly, but may not be accepted by some school districts. Ask before you sign up for ACR type of preparation program.
State Troops to Teachers offices are a great place to start asking questions and, gathering program preparation information. The following website http://www.dantes.doded.mil/DANTES_WEB/library/docs/ttt/state_office_listing.pdf provides a listing of state offices. Financial assistance may be available to veterans if employed in a high needs school to assist with certification requirements. Pay back for the financial assistance is three years; again state offices can verify this information.
“Americans at their Best” Veteran Teachers!!!!!!
Northern Illinois University, on behalf of AAEE
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.