If you have an interest in becoming a teacher, there now exists the opportunity for you to earn your teaching degree online. Many students begin their pursuit of this degree immediately after high school. However, for a significant number of individuals entering the teaching profession, education is not their first career. Adults returning to school face a number of challenges. Perhaps the greatest obstacle facing many adult college students is that they just do not feel they have the time to return to school. Many students find that earning a teaching degree online is the only avenue available to them.
The great news is that a large number of online degree programs exist that will prepare students to become professional educators. Recognizing that many students are saddled with work or family obligations, online colleges provide an alternative for students who just do not have the time to attend typical college classes.
Convenient scheduling and flexibility are the primary reasons students cite for enrolling in online programs of study. When students are unable to attend classes at prescribed times, online studies may be a viable alternative. Class work can usually be completed at a time and place convenient to the student.
Online students and traditional students are taught an identical curriculum. Both groups of students use similar textbooks and have access to college libraries. Online students may use electronic books (e-books) and libraries, but many traditional students are also receiving electronic delivery of course materials. Often, professors who teach online classes are concurrently delivering instruction in a standard college setting.
In the past, many school districts were willing to employ teachers who had earned a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. Today, however, most school districts require that teachers be considered “highly qualified.” This means that teachers must have graduated from an accredited college of education. To meet this demand, many students are opting to earn their teaching degrees through online programs.
Most colleges will require that students complete a period of internship before they will confer an education degree. Online colleges are often able to work with students who have special needs and circumstances. Just because you are employed full-time does not mean that you cannot complete your teaching degree online.
No one enters the teaching profession because of the pay. Admittedly, teachers are woefully underpaid. It has been said that “teaching is the hardest job you will ever love.” Successful educators understand that teaching offers rewards that cannot be measured in monetary values. Teaching does, however, offer some advantages over many other careers. A work schedule that typically only lasts for ten months of the year is something that members of most other professions do not enjoy. Teachers enjoy extended breaks during the school year. The greatest benefit may come from the knowledge that the teacher has a huge impact on the life of his or her students. Other than the parent, the teacher often has more influence on the child than anyone else. That is a huge and rewarding responsibility.
To earn a teaching degree online, many students require financial assistance. Partly because teachers are in such high demand, government grants and student loans are easily available to students pursuing a degree in education. Many states even offer “loan forgiveness” when teachers have completed a prescribed number of years of service. Grants and loans are awarded without prejudice to students enrolled in traditional colleges and to students attending online colleges.