Do You Have What It Takes for a Career in Teaching? Part 2

How Do You Know If a Teaching Career Is Right for You?

Teaching is more than a career; it’s a way of life. Those who enter the education field are often passionate about teaching and vocal about the importance teaching excellence has in their communities. No matter where or what you plan on teaching, you will find a shared sense of purpose with those who have also chosen education as a career. How do you know if you are called to be an educator and an advocate for quality education ?

If you’re looking to change careers and become a teacher while working in another field , you will be able to build upon your previous education. You can bridge your past education and experience by earning a certification in education. Teaching is a profession that welcomes experience and dedication.

Let’s explore which qualities and job duties are associated with the most common teaching careers. As we spotlight the most popular teaching roles, you will be able to assess if your personality and passion is a good fit. You will also be able to determine what level of education is required for the teaching area that interests you most. As you do so, you will be able to evaluate if you have what it takes to earn a degree in education – and if you are prepared to take the next step towards earning your college degree.

Spotlight: Teacher Assistants

Important Qualities 

Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to discuss students’ progress with teachers.

Instructional skills. To reinforce lessons, teacher assistants must explain information to students in a way that meets each student's learning style.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teacher assistants must be patient with students who struggle with material.

People skills. Teacher assistants interact with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators. They need to develop good working relationships with the people they work with.1

Typical Duties

Teacher assistants typically do the following:

  • Reinforce lessons presented by teachers by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
  • Enforce school and class rules
  • Help teachers with record keeping, such as tracking attendance and calculating grades
  • Help teachers prepare for lessons by getting materials ready or setting up equipment, such as computers
  • Supervise students in class, between classes, during lunch and recess, and on field trips2 

Education Required

Some districts require applicants to have a high school diploma; others require at least 2 years of earned college credits or an associate degree. An Associate in Education can be earned at a traditional campus or through online teacher’s colleges and universities .

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become a Teacher Assistant, 2012, p.1

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, What Teacher Assistants Do, 2012, p.1