Gone are the days when home economics were limited to merely housekeeping. The subject has now grown to encompass very current and relevant topics such as health and wellness, money management, family relations, adult and child care. A home economics teacher's task is to guide students in learning these important life lessons.
Since students of home economics are usually adolescents or teen-agers, the teacher should possess not only technical skills about the subject but also the ability to handle normal teenage behaviors and issues, creativity and patience. With sensitive and usually emotionally-lade topics such as family and romantic relationships, a home economics teacher should be able to address and discuss these serious personal issues creatively and patiently.
This article will introduce you to the most basic prerequisites to become a home economics teacher.
- Acquire a college degree. A bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences is necessary to become eligible to be a home economics teacher. The most important subjects you need to build a foothold in the field are food preparation, family relations, health and nutrition, family resource management, family relations, child development and textile and apparel choices. Make sure pull your grades as high as possible in these subjects to make yourself more marketable in the future.
- Take additional education courses. Enhance your education by taking extra education courses that focuses on curriculum development and teaching methods. The fastest way to do this is to take a certificate or an associate degree program. Look for opportunities that can give you experience in teaching such as applying for a graduate or teaching assistant position in colleges or universities
- Obtain a license to teach. Take the licensure examination offered by the state board of education. There are varying licensing requirements per state but passage of the Praxis examination, completion of an accredited program in teaching and student teaching practice or experience are normally sufficient. You also need to pass the Praxis licensure test in family and consumer sciences to specialize in home economics.
- Get a national certification as a home economist. Try to acquire a certification from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences to become more competitive. You need to pass the National Family and Consumer Services examination in order to acquire this certification. Note that the AAFCS certification must be renewed every three years. To do this, acquire seventy-five additional professional development units over the three-year period.
- Gain post-graduate degrees. A master's degree or a PHD in family and consumer sciences or secondary education is required if you want to pursue teaching in colleges or universities. It may also be a requisite to acquire tenure in a post-secondary teaching position and retain your teaching license. Possessing higher educational degrees also makes you amenable to higher salary rates and faster career progression.
Home economics is an important subject, often ignored and overlooked by most students. As a teacher, it is your task to fashion this subject creatively to motivate students to make students realize its value. With lessons that life skills, being a home economics teacher bears great responsibility in molding and preparing students for a successful life ahead.