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Ready for Change

When enrolling in college at the young age of 18, most of us have no idea what adulthood is like. Yet, we are expected to select courses and major in a subject that aligns with our future careers. But what happens when you realize, years down the line, that you want to do something different with your life? Perhaps the career you chose isn’t nearly as fulfilling as you imagined, or you realize you have the ability to do something more with your life. The good news is that it is never too late to make a change! And if it is a chance to make a positive difference that you crave, you may want to become a teacher.

Where to Start

First, you need to be aware of your state’s teaching requirements. You can learn this information by visiting the state department website, or by calling the state department’s licensure team. A few key points you’ll want to ask about are listed below.

  1. Do you need to hold a bachelor’s degree to teach in your state? Does this information vary whether you teach in a public, private, or online school?
  2. Does your state offer an alternative route to teacher certification? Meaning, will you be able to earn your certification without re-enrolling in college?
  3. If your state allows alternative certification, find out if they add specific requirements. For example, must your degree be in the subject you want to teach? Does your state impose a grade point average (GPA) requirement or mandate a student teaching experience?

Once you’ve gathered the answers to these basic questions, you should be able to determine if transitioning to teaching is the right move for you.

Moving Forward

Next, it is time for you to make some decisions!

  1. What subject do you want to teach? Remember, while secondary teachers tend to teach one subject like biology or U.S. history, elementary teachers are responsible for teaching all 4 core subjects. If you believe you would be a successful teacher in a few different subjects, it would be helpful for you to call your local school and see what teaching positions they have available. This could help finalize your certification subject.
  2. What kind of certification program is right for you? Are you a self-starter, or do you need more support to finish projects? If you believe you can successfully manage a self-paced program, online options may be a good fit for you. If you need more encourage and guidance, you may want to look at university programs.
  3. Do you have a budget for this career transition? If you’ve been working in another field, it is possible that your family depends on your paychecks and you aren’t in a position to go back to school full time. That is ok! Some states offer affordable programs that you are able to complete during weekends or evenings while you continue to work.

Becoming a Teacher

Finally, you are ready to work toward certification. American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (American Board) may be the program for you.

American Board’s certification program is

  1. Entirely online. You are able to study for certification anywhere that you have a screen! In fact, you can even study using your cell phone while you wait to pick up children from school or practice. For those who prefer hard copies, study materials can be downloaded and printed too.
  2. Affordable. Costing less than $2,000, American Board is a national nonprofit that aims to help local community members become teachers without going into debt.
  3. Streamlined. American Board’s program was designed with you in mind. The program does not require any additional university courses or unpaid student teaching experience. Instead, you build off the professional skills and knowledge you already have.

Click here to learn more about American Board.

American Board has helped more than 11,000 teachers across the country earn their certification and lead their own classrooms. You could be next! To hear from program graduates who are happily teaching now, visit American Board’s YouTube Channel, or follow American Board on Facebook for daily updates.

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