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New teacher in classroom with students.

How to start teaching with minimal experience

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Getting your first teaching job may seem challenging, but it’s simpler than you think. Like with every other career, securing your first job with little to no experience requires considerable effort, patience, and perseverance. 

Teaching jobs often require specific qualifications, so it can be difficult to know where to begin. Whether you’re a recent graduate or someone looking for a career change, these tips will help get you in the classroom.

Do your research

Deciding what and where you want to teach is a big first step in the process of becoming a teacher. Reflect on your skills, experiences, and passions to help determine what subject you want to teach and for what age group. Do you love to read and watch video essays on YouTube? Maybe English Language Arts (ELA) is where you’ll thrive. Do you have the patience of a saint? Teaching elementary might be for you.

If there’s a certain district or city you want to teach in, be sure to look into its reputation and education requirements. It’s also important to be up to date with current teaching standards, curriculum, and technology being used in the classroom. Consider attending teaching workshops and webinars or enrolling in a certification program to build your knowledge.

Sell yourself in the interview

Everyone has their own set of skills, so figure out which of yours is transferable into the classroom. A multitude of soft skills are applicable for teaching, like attention to detail, creativity, and adaptability. Consider how your current knowledge and qualifications are relevant to teaching, and confidently explain why they make you stand out. 

Teaching is a lot of work, but highly rewarding. Express your enthusiasm for educating and empowering students. When you’re a novice teacher, schools look for drive and motivation. 

Explain why you’re passionate, how you plan to be a positive influence at the school, and what made you decide to become a teacher. 

Gain relevant education experience

One of the best ways to gain experience in an actual classroom is to become a substitute teacher. With the ongoing national teacher shortage, substitute teaching jobs are on the rise. Substituting gives you the opportunity to be in classrooms for various subjects and ages, which can be helpful when determining the type of teaching job you want. When you substitute teach through an agency, you’re able to work in multiple districts and are able to build relationships with multiple schools and educators.

You can gain classroom experience by substitute teaching with Swing. Unlike other substitute teaching positions, you build your own schedule in advance instead of waiting for day-of morning phone calls. You can grow your teaching skills and learn from educators across multiple schools and districts, all on your own terms. 

Working in education is difficult, but highly fulfilling. The process of obtaining your first teaching job can be long and demanding, so remind yourself why you want to teach. Don’t feel discouraged when you see specific qualifications or education requirements when reading job descriptions. Remember, everyone starts somewhere.

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