Interested in teaching others?
In celebration of National Teacher’s Day on May 3, 2016, youth are encouraged to learn more about the career path.
Positions in the teaching field are projected to grow 6 percent from 2014-2024 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In recognition of National Teacher’s Day on May 3, 2016, Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development has some ideas to help youth exploring this career focus.
- Interview a teacher. Schedule a time when you can have a conversation about what the teacher does, what their educational path was and what they like or dislike about their career. This is a good way to learn more information from someone in the industry. To get a broader perspective, interview a few different teachers who teach in different communities with different age groups, and have taken diverse paths to get to their career. The National 4-H curriculum “Build Your Future” offers tools and resources to help with the career interview and support career exploration.
- Gain experience working with youth. Volunteer with an after-school program, participate as a peer mentor, babysit or serve as a camp counselor. Teens in 4-H or other youth groups can teach and lead activities with the young people in those programs. This offers more chances to experience interacting with youth, build your skills in engaging youth and know what interests you specifically in the youth field.
- Job shadow an educator. Similar to the interviewing experience, job shadowing a teacher will foster a more comprehensive example of what the day-to-day work of a teacher is. Schools may have safety and security rules to follow to protect the children they serve, so you will need to check into these policies before actually having this opportunity.
- Explore careers that are involved with education that are non-traditional. There are careers that utilize the skills in the education profession that are not traditional teaching roles. It could be in after-school programming, curriculum development, training, Cooperative Extension, counseling, camp programming, foster care support, juvenile transition programs or alternative education, to name a few. To gain additional ideas, contact the alumni office at a teacher education university and inquire about the types of careers their graduates are holding. This can provide insight into the broader options that could be considered in the future.
- Know the industry when looking at colleges or universities. Research which colleges have strong teacher education programs and support their recent college graduates. Be aware of what teachers are paid in areas you might wish to be employed and what higher education costs will be. Knowing what your overall income may be will help in looking at what costs might be reasonable to pay in student loans. You do not want to take out more than what might be earned throughout your career, especially focusing on paying it off sooner rather than later.
These types of experiences can help you determine the type of interest you might have in the education field or if it is not a good match for you. Exploring this early can enhance your ability to build success in your chosen career path.