What Degree Do I Need To Become A Social Worker – Most of us have a favorite teacher since childhood; maybe it was the teacher who taught you to read or who taught you to value diversity, or even who taught you to play kickball. Maybe that teacher is your inspiration for wanting to become a teacher. If you’re wondering what degree you need to be a teacher and are ready to learn about the steps to becoming the teacher you want to be, check out this Guide to Becoming a Teacher!
We’ve broken down the steps to becoming a teacher, including the degrees you need and which exams you’ll have to pass. While there are many different paths to becoming a teacher, they all start with a bachelor’s degree – but they don’t all end there.
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Well, the first step in becoming the teacher you want to be is to enroll in an accredited bachelor’s degree program such as those offered by the School of Education at Gwynedd Mercy University.
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Most public school districts and other education employers require at least a bachelor’s degree, in addition to state certification, to teach in their schools.
Pennsylvania requires aspiring teachers to pass state-mandated exams that assess general knowledge and basic skills along with professional knowledge and specific subject area knowledge.
In , all first-year students who want to become teachers start in the Education Studies program, where you will complete your first 45 credits. After completing at least 45 credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, you will need to demonstrate a basic competency in math, reading and writing as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
(Note: Will not require students to submit standardized test scores for Fall 2022! Learn more here.)
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Once you’ve demonstrated your core competence in math, reading, and writing, you’ll be able to join one of .
Most bachelor of education programs require you to spend at least one semester in an actual classroom. During your teaching experience as a student, you will have the opportunity to practice managing a classroom, while still having the support of a collaborating professor and your university professors. This real-world experience will boost your confidence and prepare you for a successful teaching career after graduation.
When choosing where to get your bachelor’s degree in education, be sure to choose a school that has a strong student and teacher placement program.
At , for example, we have a dedicated Field Placement Director who will support you throughout your student teaching experience.
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To become a certified teacher, you will need to take the teacher certification exam related to your course of study and the state in which you wish to certify. While passing scores may vary by state, all prospective teachers take the same exams.
When choosing where to get your bachelor’s degree in education, you’ll also want to choose a school that has a strong program to prepare you to successfully pass these exams:
While a bachelor’s degree in education is the minimum level of education required to become a teacher, you have many choices about what and where to teach. You can specialize in special education, secondary education, secondary education, or early childhood education. High school certification prepares you to teach in a high school environment, so you will also choose a specific field such as science, math, or history.
While there is always a need for competent and qualified teachers, this need is greater in some subjects than in others. According to US News, there is a growing need in the areas of special education, math, science and bilingual education.
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In most cases, having a bachelor’s degree is just the first step in becoming a teacher. Most states and school districts require teachers to have passed the teacher certification exam, called Praxis, before starting work.
Once you land your dream classroom job, you can choose to continue your education and earn an advanced degree. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found in 2011-12 that 56% of public school teachers had a master’s degree or higher. What’s more, the NCES found that the base annual salary of professors who had master’s degrees was nearly $11,000 more than professors who only had bachelor’s degrees.
In Pennsylvania, the salary gap between classroom teachers with a bachelor’s degree and those with a master’s degree is comparable to national differences. In the chart below, you can see the average salaries of classroom teachers in Pennsylvania for the 2015-2016 school year, by openpagov.org.
In general, it will take at least four years to become a teacher. Your individual timeline depends on your course of study when you decide to take state certification exams, what subjects and grades you want to teach, and your location.
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Most school districts require at least a bachelor’s degree, which takes at least four years to complete. During this time, you will gain real-world experience through student teaching and classroom observations. After your four years, you will feel primed and ready to inspire your future students! There are more career paths in education than just teaching. Our guide to careers in education can help you determine your best path.
But even before starting your bachelor’s degree, you will have to decide what you want to teach. Are you interested in earning a double degree in a subject like history, math, or special education? You should also think about which grade you are interested in teaching; Do you see yourself working in a preschool or elementary school, or do you prefer teaching high school students? These are important things to consider before enrolling in a teacher preparation program. If you’re not sure which direction is best for you, please take a few minutes to complete our What kind of teacher should I be? quiz.
As part of your bachelor’s degree program, you will take state certification exams. These exams will test your knowledge of specific content and your academic knowledge. Teacher certification is usually required to work in public schools and is state-specific. So if you intend to teach in Pennsylvania, for example, you should make sure that your Praxis results are submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Earlier, we presented the steps to become a teacher. However, teacher requirements vary from state to state. So while the basic requirements are similar to what you read above, Pennsylvania has some specific requirements for all teachers, outlined below:
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Teacher salaries in the state of Pennsylvania vary by region and school district, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled a list of the average annual salary of teachers in the state:
For the 2016-2017 academic year, the state of Pennsylvania had a statewide faculty shortage in the following academic disciplines or subjects:
In addition to the degree you have, there are a few other factors that influence a teacher’s salary, including geographic location. As you can see, the average annual salary of teachers in 2015 was higher in the Philadelphia region than nationally.
After earning your bachelor’s degree and state teacher certifications, you may decide to pursue a master’s degree in education. If you have been teaching for a few years, a Masters in Educational Administration may prepare you for the position of Principal or Deputy Principal, or a Masters in Special Education may prepare you to provide expert support to students if you are looking for another way. To make a difference in your school community, you may decide to pursue a master’s degree in school counseling.
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Master’s degrees are usually at least 30 credits long and can be taken online or in a traditional classroom setting. The number of classes you take at the same time can determine the amount of time it takes you to complete your master’s degree.
No matter what degree you pursue, as a teacher you are destined to be a lifelong learner. With each new subject or lesson you teach, your perspective changes and grows. Throughout your teaching career, there will be new strategies to try, new regulations to implement, and new research on how to best reach students. Communicating with fellow teachers, collaborating in classes, and checking in with students will help you become the teacher you want to be.
At ‘s School of Education, we’ve compiled a team of dedicated teachers who are committed to helping you hone your own superpowers in your quest to become a teacher. With tools like the Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP) and student teaching, you’ll gain the hands-on experience you need to transform your students’ lives.
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If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet, this is the first step towards becoming a certified teacher. All public schools require teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Many universities and colleges
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