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A Simple Guide on How to Become a K-12 Teacher


Becoming a K-12 teacher is an excellent way to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of young people. Teaching in this sector requires a unique set of skills, knowledge, and abilities that can be acquired through education and experience.

The process of becoming a successful K-12 educator begins with deciding whether or not you have the right qualities for teaching — including patience, empathy, and strong communication skills.

Once you’ve determined that teaching is the right career path for you, there are certain steps to take to become certified as a K-12 teacher, so let's look at them.


Get a Degree

To become a certified K-12 teacher, you must first obtain at least a Bachelor’s degree in education, or an unrelated field followed by additional certification courses. In addition to academic coursework, many universities offer to teach internships as part of the program that allows aspiring teachers to gain real-world experience in the classroom.

Of course, with the rise of digital learning, there is now a range of fully online education programs that can provide the same level of instruction from the comfort of your own home. You can get an online doctorate in K12 education in two years, all from the convenience of your home. This degree of education opens up new opportunities for those who want to attain a teaching career in this area, but don't have time to attend a traditional university.


Pass the Teacher Certification Exam(s)

Once your degree is completed, you must successfully pass any required certification exams to obtain licensure and be approved as a K-12 teacher. These tests are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in the areas of curriculum and instruction, classroom management, and assessment.

You must also demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate with parents and colleagues as well as provide a safe learning environment for students.

On the other hand, you should register for the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. This is a comprehensive, standardized test that all K-12 educators must pass to become certified teachers in their state.

The exam tests your knowledge in different subject areas such as English, math, science, and social studies that are relevant to the teaching field. It also measures your ability to apply the teaching strategies and techniques you learned in school.


Get Experience in a Classroom Setting

Experience is key when it comes to becoming a successful K-12 teacher. Many universities and colleges provide aspiring educators with hands-on experience in real classrooms. During these internships, you will gain an understanding of the daily tasks involved in being a teacher and observe how veteran educators manage different learning situations.

You may also choose to volunteer or seek out paid employment in a K-12 school setting. Working with children and young adults provides you with valuable experience that can help you land a teaching job after graduation.


Find a Mentor

A mentor is an experienced educator who can provide guidance, advice, and support in your journey to becoming a K-12 teacher. Experienced teachers can provide valuable insights into the profession, as well as job search tips and insider advice on how to handle different classroom scenarios. Finding a great mentor can help you gain confidence in the skills you’ve acquired and give you the support needed to be successful in the teaching field.

Additionally, your mentor can help you create an effective resume and cover letter, review job postings, and give you tips on how to ace the interview process.


Learn How to Differentiate Instruction

Differentiated instruction is an important part of becoming a successful K-12 teacher. This approach ensures that all students are learning and understanding content at their own pace and level. As a K-12 teacher, you need to be able to provide meaningful instruction for each student, regardless of their ability or learning style.

You can learn to differentiate instruction techniques by attending workshops offered at universities and colleges, as well as online courses. Additionally, your mentor may be able to offer advice on how to differentiate instruction in the classroom.

Finally, don't forget to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in K-12 education. By staying informed about new teaching methods and curriculum standards, you’ll be able to provide your students with an engaging learning experience that will help them excel in their studies.



Becoming a K-12 teacher requires dedication, hard work, and the right resources. To ensure success in this field, it is important to complete your degree program, pass certification exams, gain experience in a classroom setting, find a mentor who can provide guidance and support throughout your journey as an educator, and learn how to differentiate instruction for students with different learning styles.

By following these steps and staying up-to-date on educational trends you’ll be well on your way to becoming an effective K-12 teacher!

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