Teacher’s Lounge Blog

Learn more about teacher preparation, test tips, online learning, professional development, and a variety of other valuable teacher topics.

Financial Responsibilities are Sometimes Prohibitive for Prospective Teachers

October 16th, 2019 | Comments Off on Financial Responsibilities are Sometimes Prohibitive for Prospective Teachers | Certification Prep, Teacher's Lounge Blog, Teaching Licenses

Not only does it take a lot of time to become a teacher, but it can also be quite expensive. College itself is a costly enterprise for most individuals, but when adding in expenses for student teaching, buying classroom supplies, as well as certification and teacher proficiency tests, many prospective educators must make major sacrifices.

There has been a debate for years, which will likely continue for many more, about teacher compensation, but that usually does not include the costs to start a teaching career. It costs more to go to college today, but according to the NEA, the average salary for teachers has decreased by more than 4% in the last ten years. In 2018, the average national teacher salary was $39,249. During the same period, the College Board stated that in-state students across the country spent almost $21,000 on tuition, room, and board.

A prospective teacher’s second year in college is often when the decision is made to stick with the program or not. When learning about the money they must spend to achieve their reality; sometimes, students opt not to continue with the teaching program. The cost can be prohibitive for many individuals.

Expenses for teacher candidates include background checks before entering the classroom for observations and student teaching, insurance, entrance assessments, and certification, and content mastery exams. Also, because of the demands of the classroom during student teaching, most people are unable to maintain another job to help pay for these fees.

While tuition and related costs to become a teacher are still rising, there are programs available in some locations to assist future educators in meeting financial demands. It may be possible to apply for TEACH or Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants, which have requirements for taking particular classes and jobs to meet grant specifications. In Georgia, some programs have grants and guarantees for jobs within certain districts to ease worries about getting a job after graduation.

These types of programs can not only ease anxiety about meeting financial obligations to become a teacher but also provides welcome support for those who will teach the children who are our future.

What New (and Not-So-New) Teachers Need to Know Before Entering the Classroom this Year

August 26th, 2019 | Comments Off on What New (and Not-So-New) Teachers Need to Know Before Entering the Classroom this Year | Teacher's Lounge Blog, Teaching Licenses

It’s not only brand-new educators who have the jitters before the opening of school each year. Veteran teachers often feel the same way. Everyone wants to make sure they have everything they need in the classroom, as well as being as prepared as possible to make the school year start on a positive note.

Many studies have asked returning teachers what their recommendations are for the newest educators entering their classes for the first time. Here are just a few of the responses:

  • While academics are certainly important, it is also essential to build a sense of community within the classroom. Get to know each of your students on a personal basis.
  • Classroom management is critical. Outlining your expectations and that of the school right at the beginning allows for a more conducive environment for learning.
  • If you are not already, learn to be flexible. There is always something to interrupt lessons, whether it is a fire drill, administrative paperwork, or an assembly. Plan for the unexpected and life will flow more smoothly for you and the students.
  • Just like there is no manual when you become a parent, there is not one for when you start teaching either. You will be educated every day on the most surprising subjects, from a student’s home life to the best way to teach a complex math concept.
  • Find a mentor at your school if one is not assigned to you. This person will be your best source of information about teaching and school policies.
  • Connecting with your students is more important than standards and objectives.
  • There is probably a good reason (most of the time) why some of your students come unprepared to class, why they fall asleep in the middle of a lesson, or never seem to have money for lunch. Realizing the difficulties some children face before ever entering the classroom can change how you treat them and your own attitude toward them.
  • While you may have planned and hoped to teach middle school science, you might end up teaching middle school English. Being prepared to teach any subject can relieve a lot of stress.
  • Teaching your first year (and sometimes others) can be a real challenge. Look at it as a learning experience and move on.

Keeping these ideas in mind will help you have a better year. Buckle up – and enjoy!