If you are good at helping others learn and enjoy instructing others, you might wonder what is the necessary experience for admission to a teaching program. Many times, the requirements for getting into a teaching degree program will vary depending on the school you wish to attend. Naturally, an Ivy League school will have tougher requirements than a state university or community college. Here are some details on what might help you get into a teaching program and what you can expect once you are accepted.
Graduate from High School
Before admission to any college program to pursue a teaching degree, you need to get a high school diploma. During high school, good grades are important, but you don’t have to be perfect. In fact, if you struggle in any part of your secondary education, this may give you some important insight into helping your future students. Extra-curricular activities are also important. Many scholarships are given to students who demonstrate leadership through participation in sports, student government, arts programs and other activities during high school. If you are competing to get into a prestigious teaching program, participation in such activities will help to distinguish you from other, less active or involved students.
If your high school has opportunities for you to assist as a teacher’s aide in some regard, this can also help you get into the teacher’s degree program of your choice. Depending on the age group that you want to teach, working in a daycare or after-school program can also help you get into a degree program.
Work in the Field
Sometimes it helps to get some experience in a field before beginning a degree program. This is true for both traditional students and adult students pursuing higher education. One way to get a feel for the teaching experience is to provide tutoring services. You might consider volunteering at a school’s learning center or at a local library. You may also work for a tutoring center or provide freelance services. Another way to get a feel for the teaching experience is to volunteer in schools. Volunteer opportunities may include after-school programs, library assistance, or reading to preschoolers. While experience is helpful in determining if the teaching field is right for you, many degree programs don’t require related experience.
Practice during the Degree Program
Along the path to become a teacher, you will get plenty of experience in the field. Most education bachelor’s degree programs have multiple required practicums that will help you learn more about teaching. Education degree programs also typically require student teaching experience. This provides hands on practice to prepare and deliver lesson plans, grade papers, and fulfill other responsibilities related to teaching a class.
The necessary experience for admission to a teaching program will vary depending on the school to which you apply. However, with a solid high school education, you should be able to get accepted to a program. While experience in the teaching field is not necessary for a teaching degree program, it will provide you verification that this is the right field for you.
Related Resource: What are the Prerequisites for Admission to a Teaching Program?