Online Classes and Degrees in Teaching
If you're a teacher, you are dedicated to providing ongoing education and enrichment in the lives of your students. But you probably know that continuing education is essential to your life and career, too? No matter what level you teach, continuing education is vital to maintain certification and stay on top of recent education trends and developments keeping you relevant in your classroom.
What it takes: certification for for K-12 teachers
Kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school teachers are licensed professionals who play important roles fostering intellectual and social development in the lives of children. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers help children learn about the world and themselves, and set the stage for students' future learning. Middle school and high school teachers explore deeper applications of basics learned in previous grade levels, and in some cases, help students prepare for further education or vocational training or to enter the workforce.
All states require teachers in public school systems to hold bachelor's degrees and obtain licensure through the board of education or the state's licensing committee. Though requirements vary, teachers can be licensed to teach early childhood levels, preschool through grade 3; elementary grade levels, usually first grade through grades 6 or 8; middle school grades, usually grade 5 through grade 8; and secondary-education or high school subject areas for teachers of grades 7 through 12.
There are two typical paths to teacher certification:
1. Traditional route — completion of a teacher education program through a teachers' college or school of education, followed by seeking licensure.
2. Alternate route — certification for educated professionals with a degree in a specialty subject.
No matter how you earn your license, it's important to maintain it. Your career depends on it.
It's essential: continuing education for K-12 teachers
Continuing education is important for K-12 teachers and can help them reach professional development requirements for recertification. Many states' boards of education require teachers to complete specific continuing education objectives to maintain licensure and qualify for recertification. In Missouri, for example, teachers holding certain certificates are required by law to complete 30-contact hours of professional development training during their first four years in the classroom. If a teacher fails to complete this obligation, he or she will lose certification.
Additionally, ongoing education supports many teachers' commitments to lifelong learning and helps them maintain relevant classroom skills needed in today's diverse world, including these:
1. Bilingual education
2. Curriculum development
3. Teaching English as a second language
4. Teaching methods
5. Uses for technology in the classroom
6. Library science and media specialization
Teachers have many options when it comes to earning continuing education credits. Online teaching classes and on-campus colleges can provide opportunities for professional development. Online teaching courses offer the most flexibility, as many programs for teachers are designed with busy professionals in mind.
Workshops, in-depth training sessions, consortiums and conferences also can offer options for teachers to obtain continuing education credits. It's important to be aware of your state's standards and requirements for continuing education credits to ensure the training you're receiving will apply for your level of certification.
United States Department of Labor with statistics on education and teaching careers.
Online teaching classes to move upward as a teaching professional.
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This Month's School:
Located in Barnesville, Georgia, Gordon College is a state residential college.
Primarily a two-year college, this school offers several associate degrees and bachelor degrees in education. Students have the option of transferring to a four-year university after completing their associate degree or continuing on to earn their undergraduate education or teaching degree right on campus. Learn more.