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Online education has never been in more demand than now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As many students find this learning style preferable to in-person education, the market for such professionals should continue to thrive.
Are you looking to make a career change? If so, you’ll have to do your due diligence to get the credentials to work in this exciting field. Here are seven tips for how to become an online elementary school teacher.
1. Select a University Known for Educational Excellence
You will need a degree to become an online elementary teacher, and it benefits you to get one from a school known for their program. While it’s no guarantee of employment, many institutions prefer folks with degrees from highly-respected universities with a reputation for producing master teachers.
Fortunately, you can improve your chances of becoming an online elementary teacher by selecting a virtual university. Educators already in the field understand the unique challenges of teaching in this medium, and learning this way will acquaint you with the hurdles your future students will face. It also demonstrates that you have the requisite technical savvy to do the job.
2. Consider Emergency Certification
Depending on the state where you live, you may be able to accelerate your path to your dream career if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Most areas only permit emergency certification when no qualified candidates can fill open positions, but this rule applies nearly anywhere in states with severe shortages.
Please be aware that you will still need to go back and complete the requisite coursework to get a standard certificate. Most states limit the time you can use emergency certification to a year or less. However, this progression path allows you to get your foot in the door, often as a long-term substitute — once you graduate, you’re a shoo-in for the next opening if you perform well.
3. Seek Work in a Related Field
It’s the age-old conundrum: how do you get experience in your field if every employer prefers to hire someone who already has a few years under their belt? One way you can decide if becoming an online elementary teacher is your best bet is by seeking work in a related field. That way, if you discover that working with the little ones tests your patience too much, you haven’t yet invested all of your hard-earned cash — you probably earned a few coins.
What can you do? Anything working with kids, such as coaching or daycare, qualifies. However, if you want to get virtual-specific creds, consider working as an online tutor — many companies will hire you if you have a degree or are working toward one. If you have teaching experience but hope to transfer your career online, nearly any remote side hustle demonstrates the tech-savvy necessary to wow employers.
Volunteering always improves your resume because it shows you give back to your community. It can also provide the skills you need to become an online elementary school teacher.
Your local library is a wise place to seek opportunities. Before COVID-19, many offered free in-person computer classes and the like, and some have shifted these to the virtual world. If they need instructors, it will make a splendid resume addition if you raised your hand.
5. Look at Public, Private and Charter Schools
Becoming an online elementary teacher might mean thinking outside the traditional public school box. Many districts that moved to online instruction plan to return to in-person teaching once it’s safe to do so. However, you can find numerous online charter and private schools that operate 100% virtually.
Because of your students’ young age, many virtual elementary schools offer hybrid programs that blend in-person and online instruction. Such institutions can provide the ideal balance if you generally prefer working from home but sometimes crave human interaction.
6. Start Onsite
What’s true in the corporate world holds for education — schools give preference to candidates who have already proven their work ethic. If there are no teacher positions open at your preferred virtual school, could you get your foot in the door through another role?
For example, if you have experience in curriculum design, some charter schools need folks to update their proprietary offerings. One teacher landed her first job by starting as a part-time receptionist. If your preferred future workplace has a hybrid program, their live classrooms could probably use aides — now more than ever.
7. Remain Open to Seasonal and Part-Time Opportunities
Here’s yet one more method of opening that door with your lower extremity. Maybe that part-time or summer opportunity isn’t the contracted salaried position you want, but it can help you make your presence known.
Sign up for internet job boards that specialize in online teaching opportunities and submit your resume. If seeking summer opportunities, think beyond traditional schools. Many museums and even some corporations offer various courses during this season.
Become an Online Elementary School Teacher With These 7 Tips
If you want to become an online elementary school teacher, you need to start by getting your credentials and then getting savvy with your search. With persistence, you can land your dream career helping children in the virtual world.