They may not all have a magic school bus...
...but teachers play an important role in helping new generations grow and succeed by inspiring students around the world every day.
It's not an easy role and it takes a good amount of work and preparation to get there. But you can do it with enough commitment to education, training, and skills development!
There are 2 general educational paths you can follow to become a teacher.
Earn an education degree, i.e., a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.).
These programs usually include the components of a teacher preparation program and prepare you with the requirements needed for certification.
Take a teacher preparation program at the same time or after earning a degree in a non-education field.
You may choose this path if you want to teach higher grades (e.g., middle to high school), as this often requires a degree in the subject(s) you want to teach.
Training and Certification
Training is an important step in becoming a teacher and is often included as a practicum component in teacher education programs.
As a "student-teacher", you get the opportunity to manage a class under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
Different countries and provinces/states have different requirements to become a certified teacher.
If you hope to become a public school teacher, you'll need the necessary certification for the location where you plan to teach.
Private schools and other settings (e.g., Montessori schools) may have their own requirements and certifications.
Critical Thinking and Creativity
Teachers need to develop student programs and think of ways to teach concepts and ideas in an interesting and engaging way.
Teachers need to deliver lessons to students clearly and effectively, so written and verbal communication skills are very important.
Physical communication skills like making eye contact and having a confident posture also help to keep students' attention.
Teachers are leaders both in and outside the classroom!
Teachers may lead extracurricular activities or take on a leadership role when working with other members of their school team.
Which of these activities could help you practice and develop skills needed to be a teacher?
Advice From A Pro
The most important teaching advice I have ever received and I now give is to 'be flexible.' Flexibility is the quality of bending easily without breaking. In my 24 years of teaching, I’ve learned that successful and happy teachers are ones who are flexible —flexible in their thinking, in the way they teach, and in their response to situations.
-- Jenny, a teacher from Texas
Even if you're well-prepared, as a teacher you will face unexpected situations. The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of that, as many teachers had to suddenly adjust to online teaching.
As Jenny said, being flexible and adapting to changes can help manage these situations.
Set yourself up for success on the path to become a teacher!