Lessons in Success: Changing Your Career to Teaching
Perhaps you’re at a crossroads in your career. Whether it’s a lack of opportunity or an unexpected change in life’s circumstances, many are inspired or drawn to consider teaching. The experience you’ve attained in your current career could provide valuable insight to a student who is studying that path. If you are considering changing course to pursue a career in teaching, you are not alone.
Here are some tips that can help set you up for success:
- Check certification requirements – Certification requirements vary from state to state, so decide up front where you want to teach. For example, if you were considering a position in Georgia, you would need to meet the certification requirements of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) also has resources for your review at http://www.gcpsjobs.org/working/certification.
- Determine school-specific requirements – Beyond teaching certification requirements, GCPS, as all school systems do, requires a bachelor’s degree or higher, a background check, college transcripts, a certification exam, and completed application. Also, letters of recommendation can help provide insight into your character, work ethic, etc.
- Earn your certification – One of the best ways to earn your certification is through a university program. University programs last at least two years but do allow you to work in the school system while you become certified. If a two-year program feels like forever, there are other options – local or regional certification programs, which offer more concentrated learning. Also, these programs will usually let you begin teaching while earning your certification. Learn more about our own certification program, Teach Gwinnett, http://gcpsjobs.org/resources/teach.
- Diversify your skillset – Perhaps you are set on teaching a specific subject. Is there another subject that would be a close second? Pursuing dual certification can enhance your chances of landing a job with a top-rated school district.
- Prepare for your interview – The best thing to do is relax and be yourself. Learn everything you can about the school or school district and the community that surrounds it. Many school districts standardize their interview questions, and specific topics—such as differentiated instruction, lesson planning, technology in the classroom, and classroom management—are covered frequently. Be ready to discuss them.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in teaching and joining our award-winning district, visit http://www.gcpsjobs.org/.