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How you can use the Covid-19 pandemic to start a career in teaching

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the everyday lives of people, not only in the United States but across the globe. With schools across America being closed under the coronavirus lockdown, a big challenge faced by families has been homeschooling. While this is a daunting task, you may have found that you enjoy teaching and are, in fact, considering a change of career to the education sector.     

With 20.5 million Americans losing their jobs in April, the worst unemployment rate since the Depression era, becoming a teacher could prove to be a canny move. After all, children are always going to need educating, but if elementary or high school teaching is not your thing, there is also the growing sector of adult education. Whether sharing your skills with others in your field or teaching the next generation of young people, there is nothing quite like the joy of sharing knowledge.  

So, how can you start a career in teaching while the coronavirus restrictions are still in place?

Online classes

It may be a good idea to have a further ‘taster’ of teaching before embarking on teacher training. You could offer online Zoom lessons to your friend’s children, which has the double benefit of increasing your teaching experience and giving your friends a break from homeschooling. This works particularly well if you have a specific area of expertise (for instance, if you have a talent for art or math) and can, therefore, help fill in any knowledge gaps that the parents of the children you are teaching may have. One benefit of teaching ‘tasters’ is that you can see how you handle discipline in the classroom—an entirely different matter to disciplining your own children! 

College and university teacher education programs

Online college and university programs have the benefit of providing both a comprehensive and flexible degree program. You can study any time, any place, with the reassurance that you are not missing any valuable teaching time during the continued lockdown. Merrimack College, for instance, has a portfolio of established online M.Ed. and graduate teacher education programs. These are offered in a competency-based education format, allowing you to move through the online courses at your own pace. All courses are tailored to state and professional standards, thus ensuring that you will gain the necessary skills to meet licensure standards. For more information, visit https://online.merrimack.edu/

Sharing your skills online

If you are not comfortable with teaching elementary and high school aged students or are unsure about the dedication required for a teacher education program, there are other options if you still have the desire to share your knowledge and experience with others. Websites such as SkillShare provide a platform for teaching creative pursuits like illustration and weaving and have a simple application process. If you are passionate about professional development and teaching workplace skills, with LinkedIn Learning, you can teach critical professional skills like project management and leadership training. 

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