Maybe you want to go back to college to make your resume amazing, truly want to learn, or just to complete your personal goal. Maybe it is a mixture of these things. Whatever the reason, if you are really passionate about teaching, you’ll need to get a teaching degree.
Factors to Consider
As an older student, you will be faced with different challenges than younger students. Balancing adult life with school can be very difficult. There may be other things going on in your life that need attention. You may have a spouse, kids, or a job which all take time.
1) Time Management.
As you may already know, taking college classes takes a lot of time every week to complete to the best of your ability. If you take enough units to be full-time, it means you should be using 40 hours a week for school related things.
When considering going back to school, think about how much time you can devote a week when planning your units. Part-time school might be a better fit for you.
2) Family and Friends.
If you do not have a spouse, kids, or a job, then fitting school into your schedule might be a bit easier. It would probably even be beneficial for you; maybe it will be the place you meet your future spouse or will help you get your dream job. If you live alone and are lonely, college campuses are great places to meet friends.
Your financial resources will also be very different from those of a young person. You probably cannot depend on mom and dad to send money! Additionally, there may be loans and grants that you do not qualify for because of your age. This means that you’ll have to take loans that have higher interest rates.
Your credit score affects the availability of some loans and the interest rates, it can be more expensive if you have a poor credit score.
Hopefully, the degree you receive after completing all of your courses will help you pay the debt back off and then some. Look into what kinds of financial aid you can get before you take loans.
- Get to learn about a field you are interested in
- Get to meet people who are interested in the same field
- Lots of adults return to school so you’ll not be out of place
- Can help you advance in your career
- Can help you improve yourself
- Can help you improve the lives of those around you
- Can be empowering
- Get to learn more about yourself
- Makes your resume look great
- Requirement for the teaching field
- Mentally and emotionally tiring
- Time consuming
- May need to give up other interests while you are in school
When applying for schools, it’s important to know each one’s individual requirements.
To become a teacher, you need to start with a high school diploma or GED degree. You will also probably need your official test scores, to prove your English proficiency, immunization records, and insurance information.
Most college website will list everything you need to be accepted; check these lists out before applying. Different colleges require different things from applicants.
To complete your program and not want to give up halfway through, you should be healthy. This means physical and emotional health. Many students develop anxiety during college because of the additional stress it causes.
As an adult, you may experience this stress a little more because of your added normal responsibilities. You may not be getting enough sleep or feel like you have too much on your plate.
As for your physical health, make sure your body is in good condition so you do not need to take time off.
Stay motivated! Being at peak physical and emotional health when beginning school will help you feel better and work better. It may even result in you getting better grades.
Find a School
Before you can apply anywhere, make sure you know what kind of school fits you. You can either go to a campus, take online classes, or do a mix of both. If your schedule is really full already, you might love the flexibility of online courses.
1) Online and Traditional Education.
Online program tends to work really well with adults because of the flexible hours. You can work in the day or finish an assignment while the baby naps.
If you are a social person, enroll in traditional education. There is something for everyone. Both ways are equally valid.
There are also different kinds of degrees you can get. You can specialize in early child education, elementary education, high school education, or special education.
There are different pros and cons to each, but you will have to decide for yourself what age group you work best with.
What to Expect at School?
During school, you should expect homework assignments such as essays, reports, and critiques. You will need to communicate well with your professors and come to classes well prepared. You will have to really earn good grades.
The most important thing to expect at college or university is failure. You probably will not be automatically good at everything. It will take some work to be good at school.
Do not be discouraged! You will learn what you need to do. Take your failures and learn from them.
Advice and Tips
Make a schedule for yourself. Plan time to do homework, spend time with friends and just relax. When you get really busy, you will be glad to have the schedule on hand. You will be extra glad to have that scheduled free time too!
1) Manage your stress.
If you feel overly anxious, try working out, watching a little TV, or meditating. Taking care of your mental and emotional health is super important, especially during school.
2) Pace yourself.
Do not start with more than you can handle. You can even try starting with one class, just to see how you feel. The biggest mistake you could make is starting with too much.
3) Find a support system.
Surround yourself with people who know what you want to accomplish and will hold you accountable. This could be friends, peers, other students, parents, siblings, or anyone else you trust.
4) Set goals for yourself.
If you want to be on the dean’s list, research it and find our exactly what criteria you need to meet to get there. Create short-term goals that will help you achieve your long-term goals.
Remember why you want to be in school. Remind yourself why it is important to you to finish. Be a self-motivator and work hard to accomplish your goals.