Pathways to Teaching
A standard path to becoming a teacher involves enrolling in a four or five-year college degree program in elementary education or secondary education that leads to certification upon graduation. These programs can vary greatly depending on individual university requirements. To learn more about choosing a teacher education college or university, visit the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). Another common pathway is to enroll in a post-collegiate program for those who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to enter the teaching field. They generally last for one year. Descriptions of college programs can be found at Peterson's Guides.
Recruitment Programs and Initiatives for Traditionally Certified Teachers
In recent years, a number of states, cities, and universities have begun offering alternative routes to certification as a way of attracting career changers and others who may not have degrees in education, but who wish to become teachers. Typically, these programs consist of intensive teacher training and graduate school courses, combined with an intensive teaching and/or internship experience in a school. While most post-baccalaureate teacher-education programs can take two years to complete, alternative certification programs usually allow you to begin teaching in a short amount of time, while you also take classes in order to obtain your alternative certification. Additionally, most programs offer students the option of obtaining their masters degree in education at a subsidized rate. For a summary of programs by state, as well as more information on alternative certification, you can visit www.teach-now.org.
Academy for Urban School Leadership (Chicago)
Alternative Certification for Teachers - Texas
Baltimore Teaching Residency
Bay Area Teacher Training Institute
Boston Teacher Residency Program
Chicago Teaching Fellows
DC Teaching Fellows
Denver Teaching Fellows
Indianapolis Teaching Fellows
Memphis Teaching Fellows
Miami Teaching Fellows
NYC Teaching Fellows
Oakland Teaching Fellows
Philadelphia Teaching Fellows
Prince George's County Teaching Fellows
St. Paul Teaching Fellows
Texas Teaching Fellows
Most private and independent schools establish their own criteria for hiring teachers. In many cases, and especially on the secondary level, certification is not necessarily required. If you wish to learn more about teaching in an independent school, the National Association of Independent Schools provides great resources. Check out their article “Teaching in Independent Schools” for more information on what these schools are looking for in teaching candidates.