If you’re considering a new career in teaching, you’re not alone. Many people who aren’t satisfied with their current line of work and are looking for a more rewarding career are exploring transitioning to a career in education.
If you’re in the same boat, the good news is that in the state of Texas, earning your teaching certificate is a straightforward process and can be done without having to return to college or university. Alternative education programs allow those who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or qualify by meeting a certain number of work experience years) the opportunity to complete the required teacher training hours and state certification exams.
In fact, 49% of all new teachers are prepared through these alternative programs, which include a minimum of 300 hours of training to receive a standard teaching certificate, 30 of which must be dedicated to observation of a certified teacher in a classroom environment.
A popular question among those considering a move into the education field is whether their current career or life situation makes them a good fit for a teaching job. If you have a passion for working with children and youth, and want to ignite a love of learning in them, you’re already off to a good start.
Many people enroll in an alternative teacher certification program to pursue a career change. However, you don’t currently have to be employed to earn your teaching certificate. There are also many careers that one may not think at first would transition well into teaching. In addition to pursuing a career change, here are some of the most popular backgrounds our interns come from:
Career and Technical Fields (Criminal Justice, Automotive, Cosmetology or Culinary Arts)
Below we’ll break down why if you currently fit into one of these categories, a move to teaching might be for you.
Let’s face it. Being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job. But when it comes time for kids to be in school full-time, you suddenly find yourself with a lot of time and possibly the desire to head back into the workforce.
As a teacher, you can still be there for your children since you will share the same schedule, vacations and school experiences. With the financial benefits factors in, teaching can offer you a rewarding career while still allowing you to be there for your children’s after-school activities and summer experiences.
Your military experience lends itself perfectly for being a teacher. With your real-life experience, you can help students realize their potential while serving as an important role model to many youth.
As someone who has served in the military and served your country, you also can take advantage of waived fees courtesy of the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Since 2015, U.S. servicemen and women making the transition to teaching have been eligible for several fee exemptions.
If retirement isn’t quite living up to what you thought it would be like, and you’re considering heading back into the workforce, teaching can be a great way to give back to society and experience a new challenge.
Teaching is a great way to stay active and to supplement your retirement income. Plus, school districts are looking at your experience and professional career together as beneficial to teaching students.
You wouldn’t be alone, either. Many retirees are teaching as a second career, fulfilling their dreams of becoming educators while using the skills they have learned during their time in the workforce.
You’re already dedicated to helping others. Teaching will give you an opportunity to do this and help shape students’ futures.
Unfortunately for many emergency services providers, their work consists of long hours, and depending on your position, less-than-ideal pay for the work you perform. In fact, the national average annual wage of paramedics is $38,830, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Texas, the average mean wage is between $37,900 and $43,580.
In Texas, the average annual mean wage (for 10 months) in 2020 was $56,760. Several factors influence your salary, from experience to the school district itself. Some specialties, such as special education teachers, typically earn more.
Paramedics and other emergency services personnel like police officers and firefighters also often make the most sensitive teachers. That’s because you’ve seen the real-world effect of young people who don’t have positive people around them or role models.
By caring about the health, safety and welfare of students, you can make a difference in a young person’s life while using the skills you currently have and will learn in an educator preparation program.
As a nurse, your job may involve long shifts and strange work hours. If you’ve thought about making a career change to align with other needs in your life, such as children’s school schedules or other interests you may have, teaching may be a great choice.
Here’s why: You likely already have the ability to remain calm and patient, and communication and problem solving are important components of your job. You also have the skills to be flexible enough to work around interruptions and unexpected events that come up, which are key skills you’ll need as a teacher.
Chances are, you have a lot of experience in keeping your unit or physician’s office running like a well-oiled machine. This skill will help you keep the classroom under control. And as a bonus, you’ll have a consistent schedule and summer vacations.
Career And Technical Fields
School districts are always looking for people with real-world experience, especially in technical fields that can be more difficult for districts to fill.
While teacher preparation programs typically require you to have a bachelor’s degree, if you are working in a career and technical field, you may not need a degree. These fields include Criminal Justice, Automotive, Cosmetology or Culinary Arts.
You are required to have a certain number of years of work experience, however. More information can be found on our degree information page.
Transition To Teaching
Although the six careers outlined above transition well to teaching careers, it’s important to note that fulfilling your dream of becoming a teacher can be possible no matter your current career.
The important point to keep in mind is that no matter if you’re unemployed, seeking a career change, coming back to the workforce from retirement or are retiring from the military, there is a route to certification for you.
You have a wealth of practical knowledge and skills that you can bring with you into teaching, and when you combine these with your passion for learning, this winning combination will teach more than a textbook ever could and make a difference in the lives of 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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