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Gain Experience. Gain Perspective.
You don’t have to walk into your career choice blindly. Real-world exposure can help you determine if teaching is the right fit for you.
Gain Experience. Gain Perspective.
You don’t have to walk into your career choice blindly. Real-world exposure can help you determine if teaching is the right fit for you.

Get Your Hands Dirty

There are a number of ways that you can get deeper exposure to teaching to both decide whether teaching is for you and to start building your skills as an aspiring teacher.

Sign up for TEACH.org in the main menu to receive information about specific internships, conferences and webinars, and read more below for general suggestions for opportunities to gain exposure and experience.

Why

Summer teaching internships generally involve teaching summer school to K-12 students and are arguably the best way to try out teaching. Internships help you:

  • Gain experience and exposure. Allows you to harness and apply your education to gain first-hand exposure to working in the real world while further educating you on the practice of teaching.

  • Learn more about yourself. Encourages personal development that enables you to better understand your goals in the field of education and how to achieve them.

  • Transition into a future position. Employers appreciate hiring those they have already invested time and resources into, and would be more inclined to hire a recent intern at their company.

Where to look

  • If you’re in college or a recent graduate, check your career center and online sites like LinkedIn, WayUp, LookSharp, Indeed and Idealist.org. Each of those sites have good internship opportunities targeted toward college students and recent graduates.

  • TEACH.org shares high-quality opportunities with our subscribers.

  • Summer Internships

    Why

    Summer teaching internships generally involve teaching summer school to K-12 students and are arguably the best way to try out teaching. Internships help you:

    • Gain experience and exposure. Allows you to harness and apply your education to gain first-hand exposure to working in the real world while further educating you on the practice of teaching.

    • Learn more about yourself. Encourages personal development that enables you to better understand your goals in the field of education and how to achieve them.

    • Transition into a future position. Employers appreciate hiring those they have already invested time and resources into, and would be more inclined to hire a recent intern at their company.

    Where to look

    • If you’re in college or a recent graduate, check your career center and online sites like LinkedIn, WayUp, LookSharp, Indeed and Idealist.org. Each of those sites have good internship opportunities targeted toward college students and recent graduates.

    • TEACH.org shares high-quality opportunities with our subscribers.

  • Introductory Coursework

    Why

    If you are in college, it’s likely that there’s a course that is meant to introduce you to the teaching profession. This is a great way to go in-depth to learn whether teaching is for you. Some courses will even have a hands-on component where you have the opportunity to teach lessons to students.

    You will also find interesting courses online, which could be a great way to go, especially if your campus does not have an introductory course or you just can’t fit it into your schedule

    Where to look

    • Your campus course catalog.

    • Sign up for TEACH.org to receive notifications of great online courses.

  • Extracurriculars

    College campuses abound with extracurricular volunteer activities that have you working with school-aged children in some capacity, usually as a teacher, tutor, or mentor. These are valuable, as you are providing a service to your community, while also clarifying your enjoyment of teaching.

    Any extracurricular activity that is classified as “mentoring” or “tutoring” will give you a sense of the rewards of having relationships with students. However, the best extracurriculars to help you clarify your interest in teaching are ones that more closely approximate the job of a professional teacher.

    Here are signs that the activity is going to give you a better sense of what it’s like to be a professional teacher:

    • The activity refers to your responsibilities as “teaching” or “teaching assistant."

    • The activity requires a greater time commitment (e.g. five hours per week vs. one to two hours).

    • The organizing group provides you significant training - this suggests more skill and sophistication is involved in what they are asking you to do.

    • You are working with professional teachers at some point in the program and are in a K-12 school setting.

    • You are doing something that involves lesson plans or lesson objectives, like a professional teacher.

    • You are getting paid, which also implies a more serious commitment and responsibility.
  • Conferences for Educators

    Why

    They may technically be for professional educators, but that does not mean that you could not ask to observe. These events provide a preview into the profession. You will meet teachers, see how they work together in their profession, and learn about interesting topics and new trends in the field.

    Where to Look

    • The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and Inside Higher Ed are among the best places to find up to date lists of conferences and workshops in your area. Meetup can be a great place to find local and informal workshops, and local colleges and universities may also have events that are open to the public and worth checking out.

    • Online Webinars are a great resource for accessing free conference courses and presentations (as well as other training) without having to attend in person.

    • TEACH.org shares high-quality opportunties with our subscribers.