I want to be a …. Teacher

You like to share information, and you enjoy helping others study and learn, so you've decided to look into becoming a teacher. What do you do next?

Talk it Out!
Sit down with your parents, and let them know that you're interested in a career in education. Meet with your counselor, and make sure you're signed up for the classes that will help you get there. Whenever possible, talk to people who are already working in schools or in education programs - they can tell you how they did it and give you great ideas. You might even get a chance to volunteer, intern or work with them.

In High School …
You'll find yourself in classes with students who have other interests and career goals. After all, everyone needs some experience with English, math, science and history. But, you'll probably also end up taking some interesting career and technical classes (also called CTE classes). These could include early childhood development, graphic arts design, and Virginia teachers for tomorrow. The classes may vary from one county and city to another, so talk to your counselor about the options available to you.

After High School …
Depending on the type of teacher you want to be, there are certifications and degrees you'll want to earn after high school. There also are many skills you'll need to master. In addition to learning a lot about the subject you want to teach, you'll have to learn how to handle students, how to speak in front of groups, how to set up interesting presentations, and much more.

To save money, you can start out at a community college, like John Tyler. You can take general education classes, like English composition, pre-calculus and U.S. history, as well as specialized courses that will prepare you to become a teacher. After community college, you can transfer to a four-year college or university to finish up your bachelor's degree.

Want more specifics? Check out the Virginia Education Wizard at www.vawizard.org.