Lifestyle

Published on May 24th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Change Lives: Become a Teacher

(NAPSI)—The nation is in the midst of a critical teacher shortage1 that is affecting the lives of students everywhere.

The retirement of baby boomers is a contributing factor in the shortage the teaching profession is facing. However, with the advances in the way technology is used in the classroom and shifts in strategies to educate students for the 21st century workforce, the K-12 classroom is becoming more dynamic and innovative every day. If you have ever considered becoming a teacher, now might be a good time to enter the profession.

“It has always been a great time to be a teacher, but there is more opportunity in the classroom than ever before,” said Pam Roggeman, Ed.D., academic dean for College of Education at University of Phoenix. “At a time when many schools are facing critical teacher shortages while trying to stay competitive in areas such as STEM education, all stakeholders must do their part to highlight the unique opportunity teachers have to shape tomorrow’s leaders and positively impact their communities.”

A large majority of K-12 teachers (92 percent) indicate satisfaction with their career choice, and more than two-thirds would recommend the profession to others2, according to a 2016 University of Phoenix online survey of teachers conducted by Harris Poll. Additionally, 78 percent of the teachers say seeing students grow is what they enjoy most about teaching.

“Teaching is one of the most important, honorable and intrinsically rewarding professions,” adds Dr. Roggeman. “The College’s survey found that more than a quarter of teachers switched careers to join the profession. People who switch careers and choose to teach bring rich, unique perspectives that can motivate students by tying real-world experience to learning in the classroom.”

Pathways to the classroom

Today, there are many diverse paths to the classroom. Here are some ways to get started:

• Become a substitute teacher. This is a great way to get engaged in K-12 schools and determine which level you feel most suited to teach.

• Volunteer in a school or with community youth organizations. This can help you better understand how children learn and stay engaged.

• Research alternative licensure programs. Explore the programs that lead to licensure.

There are many options for those who want to make career changes and are working full-time.

• Do informational interviews. Talk to teachers and administrators about the field, and the qualities and preparation that lead to fruitful teaching careers.

• Find a mentor. Once you’ve decided you want to pursue teaching, seek out a mentor who can provide coaching and feedback about what it is like to be in a classroom.

Learn More

For more information about K-12 education careers and programs, visit www.phoenix.edu/education.

For more information about each of these programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit www.phoenix.edu/ programs/gainful-employment.

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