So You Think You Want to Teach

So You Think You Want to Teach
By Evelyn Chiu

Teaching is a very rewarding profession. Those who are committed and passionate about the role they play in the minds of learners will no doubt help to build a better future. If you are someone who is considering a transition or a start into the teaching profession, there are a few things that you probably should consider. First, try to figure out the type of school where you want to teach. You don’t necessarily need a Bachelor of Education if you are hoping to land a job at your local private school. Although it would be nice to have the degree under your belt, some private schools have their own ‘course’ that interested individuals can pursue in order to become eligible to teach there. Alternatively, if you are considering a teaching job overseas, not all organizations/schools require candidates to have a Bachelor of Education background. You can simply obtain a TESOL certificate and teach at their schools.

Second, engage in relevant experiences. Whether it’s to get into a good Bachelor of Education program or to enhance your resume, it is important that you have a variety of experiences that are related to the age group that you are hoping to teach. I spent a year’s time volunteering at several different schools across the region, at a children’s hospital, at art classes and teaching at a private tutoring organization prior to applying to a teaching program. Remember to obtain references too, as they will be important towards landing you a job later on. Take a look at your background experiences and figure out where the gaps or your interests are; find opportunities that will set yourself apart from the crowd.

Third, know that if you decide to pursue your Bachelor of Education, you will likely be MIA (missing in action) from the social world for that one-year’s time. There is a lot of work that goes on during the mere 9 months of the program. I’m not sure about students of other universities, but at least as a York University Bachelor of Education graduate, the work never seemed to stop. Between classes and our practicums, there was always learning happening and work to be done. Be ready for this change and try to embrace it. In the end, you want to make sure you get the most out of the networking, and learning that takes place during these 9 months. It will pay off!

Finally, understand the market conditions and try to have a positive outlook. Only people who persevere will land that job. Work hard to stay positive and do your best. Don’t let articles like this, scare you into believing nothing will work out. The market for teachers is supposed to get better in a few years time. There are other options too if you are in a hurry and really want to start doing what you love—like teaching overseas or at private institutions, or even in other sectors. If you are patient, you will get there. Be creative and think about how to utilize your time if you are still waiting for that job to come through. Any experience is good experience. It’s tough living in uncertainty, but don’t give up on what you really want.

Evelyn Chiu is a Canadian teacher, entrepreneur and explorer. Although new to the profession, she has always had her heart set on helping people, especially young children. She recently taught in South Korea and is now employed by a local Toronto school board.