How to Become a Teacher

Teachers play a vital role in the development of children. They introduce students to new concepts and ideas. Teachers not only teach students about the world, they teach the students about themselves.

A teacher's day isn't done when he or she leaves school. There are lesson plans to prepare, tests and papers to grade, and parents and faculty to meet with.


If you want to be a teacher you should be:

  • Organized
  • Patient
  • Creative
  • Dependable
  • A good leader
  • Able to earn your students' trust

Requirements for becoming a teacher vary, but most states require teachers to:

  • Have a bachelor's degree. Elementary school teachers generally need to major or minor in education, or need to earn a Masters in Education for their post-baccalaureate degree. Some states require all teachers to have a master's degree.
  • Have a degree in the subject they're teaching in middle school or high school.
  • Fulfill student teaching requirements.
  • Pass a state teaching exam or the Praxis exam [source: Teachers Count]. Many states use the National Teachers' Examination (NTE), which is administered by the Educational Testing Service. The NTE tests general knowledge, communication skills and professional knowledge, and includes separate tests on any specific subjects a teacher may wish to specialize in [source: ERIC].

Some states, especially those with a shortage of teachers, have established programs to license non-traditional candidates as teachers. These applicants must have a bachelor's degree in the subject they wish to teach, pass a licensing exam and complete a teacher preparation program. They may need to complete a supervised internship as well [source: Teachers Count].