How To Study For a Teacher Certificate

Teaching is a very noble and rewarding profession.  Highly qualified and dedicated teachers are needed in every state across the nation.  Getting your education degree and studying for a teacher certificate will give you the training necessary to become a teacher. You can take most of the courses you need online, and can even obtain an online teaching certificate in most cases.

  1. Check your state's requirements for becoming a teacher.  Every state has a different set of requirements for getting your teacher certification.  Some require at least a bachelor's degree in education or even in the subject area you want to teach.  Others expect you to pass an exam of basic skills.  If you are planning to move, be sure you have the correct requirements for a certificate in the state to which you are moving.  Visit your State Board of Education's website for more information of what is expected of anyone desiring a teaching certificate in your state.  
  2. Get the degree you need.  Most accredited colleges of education in your state already know what classes and degrees are necessary to become a teacher.  Ask your faculty advisor about the program and other state requirements.  Be sure to ask about any additional classes you should be taking if your state requires you to have endorsement areas in order to be considered a "highly qualified" educator to meet the No Child Left Behind standards.  
  3. Take the right classes.  Education programs in all of the states have similar requirements of methods courses, human relations and foundations of education, as well as educational psychology.  Most states also require some sort of student teaching in order to obtain your degree.  If you are focusing on the secondary level of education (junior high or high school level), you may also need a large amount of classes in the subject you wish to teach.  Do not neglect those classes as you are taking the required education classes!  
  4. Find out about the basic skills test.  If your state requires you to take a basic skills test, don't panic!  These are skills you should have acquired over the years of your own education.  There are many workbooks and classes to also help you study for these types of tests.  The most common of these tests is called the Praxis test.  Visit your local bookstore for a helpful guide to the test that has what to expect, tips on how to study, and even practice tests.  See if your college offers classes or workshops to help prepare you for this test as well.  
  5. Study for the test.  The best way to study for an all-encompassing skills test is to focus on your weak areas and practice those first.  However, it is important not to completely neglect your strengths.  Brush up on those skills, too, just in case there is something you are forgetting.  Take a couple of practice tests to get your feet wet and pinpoint any problem areas. 

Good luck!  Your dedication to studying for your teacher certificate - through traditional avenues or via an online university - will be fully rewarded when you are teaching your own classes.        


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