Becoming a Professional Educator

What constitutes a teacher and school leader

Educators provide resources to their colleagues and can thus become leaders to each other. A new teacher has to access reading materials, lesson plans, and other technological resources that assist in the classroom. They usually get this material from their older peers. An educator who makes a new member’s transition easier by furnishing them with the material is indeed a leader. Aside from sharing resources, educators may also lead by sharing their insights on teaching strategies.

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For instance, some language teachers may have frustrations about their students’ performance in poetry. They could then get together and share strategies on how to demystify poetry analysis to students. Educators can enable their colleagues to improve their literary abilities through their ideas (Blase & Blase, 2006). The same thing applies to curriculum implementation for new teachers as they also need guidance in this area.

School leadership can emanate from an educator’s participation in school, district, or state teams, programs, and initiatives. This person may belong to a task force on the improvement of mathematics in Florida. Such teachers will need to make their personal career goals align with those of their representative institution. Alternatively, educators may garner administrative positions in their schools. They could become deputy principals or may take on any other leadership role.

The person must epitomize great leadership within the school in these circumstances. Administrators will need to maintain school policy while at the same time consider the possibility of adjusting school rules to match their current environment. These leaders are strategists that determine the general direction of their organizations. They also address resource shortages, adherence to the curriculum, and teaching strategies for teachers. These are usually in compliance with provisions given by the school district.

Requirements for becoming an educator

Educators need to have a bachelor’s degree in education or the subject they plan on teaching in the United States. One must also be certified by the relevant state that he or she belongs to. Some advanced training needs to take place, as well as other processes. These procedures are dependent on an educator’s state. An educator in a state like California must get two types of credentials if he or she teaches for longer than five years. The first component lasts for five years and is known as the preliminary credential. Here, one must start with a bachelor’s degree; the university ought to be accredited by the region.

Thereafter, one must become a student teacher by participating in a teaching program. This aspect will culminate in an exam known as the CSET. Sometimes one may be allowed to teach if they did a basic skills examination in a different state. Teachers must sit for a competency test in an area known as SSA. It is to ascertain that they understand the basic components of their selected subjects. The state also requires educators to do courses in computer technology, the English language as well as the US constitution to ensure that they are not overly focused on just their subject matter. One attains the preliminary credentials after completion of these processes. It is possible to get the second one only after five years of teaching.

Several other states have their mechanisms for teaching qualifications. The general pattern is that one should have a bachelor’s degree. Thereafter, one should undergo a teaching preparation program and then receive certification after passing exams.

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Sometimes a teacher may choose to work in a different state from where they received their education. In this regard, one will need to take advantage of the system of reciprocity. States have come together to create an interstate agreement. Usually, the teacher gets recommendations from a university that is recognized by their state and that of a target state. Nonetheless, one must still undergo certain processes as reciprocity is not a guarantee of employment in the target state. Sometimes educators have to go do additional programs.

Educational professional in current times and the future

Student populations today are changing dramatically, most of them have become more diverse; however, the demographic of the teaching force is not changing alongside it. Most teachers are white and do not represent this cultural diversity. Additionally, the percentage of K12 teachers leaving the profession is approximately 16%. It has been shown that 40% of educators in the entire teaching profession will leave the profession after completion of five years. Additionally, the same percentage of educators emanate from different careers other than education.

Studies show that technology has infiltrated most classrooms, with only 3% lacking access to a computer or two. Despite this need for computer literacy, 50% of teachers affirm that they lack adequate training to merge classroom practices with technologies. Collaboration among members of the teaching fraternity is becoming a necessity. However, educators still say that they lack the right support from district administrators to collaborate and learn from their peers.

Currently, teachers are one of the underpaid college professionals in the land as the pay gap between them and other professionals are quite large. It has also been shown that new teachers tend to explore different responsibilities to expand their careers. Masters degree holders in the profession now account for a whopping 52% of the population. It has also been shown that while many schools are witnessing an increase in the number of new teachers, a simultaneous increase in the age of the workforce is also occurring with a substantial portion belonging to the mid-fifties (Ingersoll & Perda, 2010).

These trends will have a substantial impact on the education sector in the future. An older population will imply the departure of veterans who serve as excellent mentors. On the other hand, a younger population of education may inject some new ideas into the profession, and this encourages better teaching. The diversity of the workforce is still not impressive as more children will have to contend with a narrow demographic of predominantly female, white teachers. This has serious implications on minority groups as they will lack role models from their backgrounds. It will send the message that it is difficult to succeed when one emanates from certain demographic groups.

Alternatively, some students may simply not relate to someone who does not share any of their historic, economic, and social experiences. The lack of support from districts may cause certain educators to refrain from collaborating in the future. Their lack of expertise in computer applications in classrooms may also impede students’ relevance in the workplace. They need to apply computer technology to their areas of specialization. The pay gap between teachers and other professionals may prevent many potential educators from joining the profession. It may undermine the quality of teachers who eventually choose the profession and could even lead to some shortages.

Strategies for acquiring professional skills

I plan on conducting certain experiments with my students in the future, to develop teaching strategies that suit them. For instance, I will try modifying homework instructions such that students can exercise more creativity. Later, I will analyze their responses and see whether this works. It will possible to develop a strategy that matches the needs of my students from the results (Christensen, 2009).

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I also intend on working with my educational peers to gain knowledge about their experiences. Many teachers have been in the profession for several years. Therefore, it makes sense to draw on their expertise to become better. Some of them may have insights about the use of visuals aids or how to implement the curriculum effectively. Therefore, it will be essential to share this information with them. I intend on participating in teaching improvement programs. Some of them will involve current technologies and how to use them in the classroom. Alternatively, others may talk about building interpersonal relationships with students.

Others will dwell on communication between educators and students. I even intend on getting feedback from experts on my classroom performance. Finally, I will read recent material on the educational profession. Since the internet provides a lot of information on the profession, I will make teachers’ blogs, discussion forums, and books my regular platform for growth. Sometimes finding immediate feedback about one’s problem may be tricky using conventional sources but new media will assist in this endeavor.

References

Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2006). Teachers bringing out the best in teachers: A guide to peer consultation for administrators and teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Christensen, C. (2009). Discovering and developing teaching skills. The Teaching Professor, 23(10), 8.

Ingersoll, R. & Perda, D. (2010). Is the supply of mathematics and science teachers sufficient? American Educational Research Journal, 20(3), 14-18.

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