If you are considering a teaching career, here are some steps that might help you decide whether the teaching profession is right for you:
- Interview a Teacher: Teachers are excellent sources of information on what the job is really like on a day-to-day basis. Ask a few teachers you know (these might be friends, relatives, or even your past schoolteachers) to meet with you. It will help to prepare a list questions in advance. Ask them to describe a typical day, an atypical day (in which a significant event may have occurred and how they handled the situation), what aspects of teaching they like the most, and what things they dislike. If you can, interview teachers who teach different subjects and age levels. Always be sure to follow-up the interview with a thank-you note. If you do become a teacher, you will want to keep in contact with experienced teachers who can provide mentorship and career advice. Mentorship from veteran teachers is significantly related to job satisfaction and willingness to remain in the teaching field.
- Conduct Classroom Observations: If you can, seek permission from a local school principal to allow you to sit in the back of several different classrooms while teachers actively teach. Again, it is best to observe a variety of subject areas and grade levels to get a sense of what may interest you the most. You will also want to observe teachers with diverse teaching styles. Be sure to arrange these observations through the school principal and not the teacher, and follow up the experience with a thank-you to both the teacher(s) and principal.
- Seek out Experiences Similar to Teaching: If you are interested in teaching a particular grade level, volunteer or seek employment to lead children of that age. Experiences such as volunteering at a school, serving as a camp counselor, working in daycare, or leading activities at a religious institution will help you decide whether teaching is right for you.
Reference: Should You Consider a Teaching Career? By Don Gorman
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