Your teaching internship is a crucial step for any aspiring teacher in the certification process. It’s your chance to gain practical teaching experience, hone your skills and learn from experienced teachers.
Let’s face it, though. It can stink, feeling like you’re working a full-time schedule and not getting paid anything for it. That’s the case for students who are enrolled in a college or university education degree program and must complete an unpaid teaching internship as part of their graduation requirements. And here’s the harsh reality: You’re going to pay tuition to the college for the privilege of doing so.
If you’re shaking your head in frustration, you’re not the only college student out there wondering if there is a better way. The good news is that you have a choice, and that choice involves both earning valuable experience and a salary while getting it.
How To Get Paid To Teach
If you attend a college or university accredited through the Texas Education Agency, you can earn your teaching certificate and your bachelor’s degree. During the last semester of your education, you’ll complete a student teaching internship, working a full-time schedule … for free.
You have another option that may be more financially beneficial, however. Some students opt to forgo their teaching certificate and enroll in an alternative teacher certification program like ECAP only for the internship phase of the certification process. They still receive their bachelor’s degree but do not earn their teaching certificate through the college program they are attending.
Alternative teacher certification programs are a type of educator preparation program that provides another pathway for aspiring educators to earn their Texas teacher certification. Most interns who enroll in this type of certification program have already earned their bachelor’s degree in a different field or are returning to the workforce after retirement, serving in the military or stepping away to raise a child or become a caregiver.
In teaching credential programs, the internship is a full year long, but this internship is PAID. You’re the teacher of record and you earn a year of service that counts toward retirement requirements. You also become certified during that year of teaching.
In other words, you shorten your college experience, hop into an alternative certification program at the end of the training timeline and ultimately speed up the process of transitioning from college to teaching in the classroom.
How A Salary Is Just One Benefit You’ll Get
Earning a salary while completing your teaching internship can provide peace of mind for those wondering how they would pay for day-to-day life expenses while completing an unpaid internship in college.
Yet there are several other benefits you’ll receive while completing your teaching internship under the guidance of an experienced alternative teacher certification program. One of the most significant benefits is the teacher advisor that you will be assigned.
It’s important to enroll in an educator preparation program that prioritizes the relationship you have with your teacher adviser. ECAP has former principals, vice principals, elementary education teachers, middle school teachers and high school teachers with extensive experience to help you through this process. Not all programs do this. Some simply send past teachers who are ex-students of their program to evaluate you. It’s imperative that you contact the program you are considering to ensure that you will get the best advisor to help you.
The top teacher preparation programs have also built relationships with school districts and are known for putting their interns ahead of the curve.
A program’s extensive network of school districts can open doors for you in addition to the door you’ve already opened during your internship. School districts often contact the best certification programs and ask for recommendations to help them fill open positions, especially if they need those teaching positions filled quickly.
In fact, many school districts reach out to ECAP for recommendations of students to hire. Many of our instructors are current and former classroom teachers who still have ties with their school districts as well.
An Alternative Path To Success
Getting paid for your teaching internship is not just a possibility, it’s a reality. Alternative teacher certification programs like ECAP can provide aspiring educators with the opportunity to earn a salary while completing their teaching internship, rather than working for free.
In addition to the financial benefit, students can receive extensive support from experienced teacher advisers and build relationships with school districts, which can lead to future job opportunities.
Choosing an alternative teacher certification program can be a wise decision for students who want to become certified teachers while also earning a living during their internship. With the right preparation program and support, aspiring teachers can transition smoothly from college to the classroom, equipped with the necessary skills and experience to make a difference in the lives of their future students.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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7166 Baker Blvd., Suite B · Richland Hills, Texas 76118 Phone 817-284-7731 | Fax 817-284-3396