Become a Teacher or Advance Your Teaching Career via an Online Degree

Do you have a life-long love for small children. Have you always secretly—or perhaps not secretly—believed that you could be a great teacher if only you had the time and opportunity to earn the teaching certificate?

Thanks to the growth of online programs, you can become a teacher without leaving your current job. Your online teaching degree will have all the quality that you would expect in a traditional teaching program.

Depending on the program and your own education level, you may be able to complete even the student teaching requirement at a school in your own location. You would report to a site near you to complete your state’s required teaching exam.

Becoming an elementary school teacher, like other teaching career fields, has changed dramatically in recent years. While some elementary teachers teach all subjects to a class of young children, others specialize in subjects such as music, art, physical education, computer, foreign language and even journalism. These subjects are provided by many schools as “related arts” classes and are designed to expose youngsters to a broad variety of educational experiences and to stimulate young imaginations to take an early interest in specialized topics. read more »

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You can begin working in an elementary setting as a teacher’s aid with only an associate’s degree. However, if you want to actually do the teaching, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Most states have continuing education requirements for permanent certification, so while you can start teaching with only a bachelor’s degree, you will most likely need additional credit hours which will qualify as a “concentration,” in order to keep your certification. In most cases, you will eventually want to complete a master’s degree as this will automatically increase your salary several steps on the salary tables.

Salaries for teachers are among the most widely varied of all careers. The more education you have, the higher your salary may go. Each year, you could also receive a few hundred dollars in increasing salary for the additional experience. Finally, teachers in some areas of the country receive higher salaries than other areas. You might think that economically distressed areas would offer lower pay, but these areas often have higher government benefits, loan forgiveness programs for teachers who agree to teach in these areas for 3 to 5 years, and other perks. Oddly enough, some of the school zones with the nation’s most highly achieving schools—such as New Hampshire, for instance—have historically had some of the lowest salaries. Salaries change over time, however. The only way to know the base salary of any given area is simply to conduct a little research.

Most people in education are not there for the salary—although some areas of the country pay very well. Most teachers will tell you that their primary reward is in knowing that they are helping to prepare future adults to become responsible, contributing citizens to our society. Successful teachers work closely with families as well as the students. They have to know many different ways of teaching a single concept.

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