Help Others Succeed
Are you passionate about people-centered work that transforms communities? You may want to consider building your future in Education + Human Services.
This career path is for those who want to become future educators, practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and change agents. Together, these professionals strengthen communities, address systemic issues, and support others through direct service, outreach, prevention, and advocacy. They are dedicated to the growth, development, and needs of individuals through work that includes teaching, child development, counseling, psychology, social work, social services, speech-language pathology, human resources, NGOs, and nonprofits.
If this sounds like you or who you want to become, learn how you can move forward to help others.
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Get Hired: Teaching K-12
For complete information on job search strategies, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, interviews, and more, review our starter tips to Get Hired in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.
If you are seeking employment immediately after you graduate with your bachelor’s degree, you have several options, including substitute teaching, teaching in private or independent schools, teaching abroad, alternative teacher certifications, and classified paraprofessional positions. Use the following information to learn about each of these options.
If you do not have significant classroom experience, or you are not sure whether teaching is a path that you want to pursue long-term, becoming a substitute teacher can help you gain experience, and make that decision. Emergency permits are for temporary teaching and there are several permits so find the one that fits with your experience level and goals.
For those who are interested in working in the state of California, some individuals decide to obtain an emergency permit to substitute teach. For details, explore the Substitute Permits Requirements from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
Teaching in Private or Independent Schools
Private or independent schools often set their own standards for recruiting teachers, which means that you may not need a teaching credential in order to teach. Rather, many schools value degrees in related fields, work experience, and natural teaching ability. The desired qualifications and requirements for a teacher will vary from school to school but generally, you do not need a California Teaching Credential to teach. However, a credential could make you a more competitive candidate.
For more information, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has an online career center with articles and job postings to help you learn about teaching at independent schools.
Teaching English Abroad
For details about teaching English abroad, see our International Education tips.
Alternative Teacher Certifications
Alternative teacher certification programs and teacher residency programs often serve to address teacher shortages and the educational needs of under-resourced communities. These typically require a bachelor’s degree, preferably with an academic major related to the subject(s) you would like to teach. These types of programs may lead to a post-graduate certificate, master’s degree, or another educational benefit, such as a stipend.
If service opportunities, gap years, or travel interest you, national service programs may be a good for you. These programs can be competitive. Research their website, attend information sessions, and talk to the regional recruiters who are there to support you in learning more about the program.
- Teach for America (TFA): TFA is a two-year, full-time commitment to teach in an underprivileged area within the U.S. It requires a bachelor’s degree with five application deadlines beginning mid-August and ending early February.
- City Year: While City Year is not a teaching program, it does provide you with an opportunity to work alongside students at schools. It is a full-time, ten-month commitment with four application deadlines beginning in September and ending in April.
- Peace Corps: Each Peace Corps program is a two-year commitment with applications accepted on an on-going basis. If you are interested in teaching abroad with the Peace Corps and serve at least 18 months, you may become eligible to waive some requirements for teacher preparation programs.
The National Center for Teacher Residencies defines teacher residency programs as “district-serving teacher education programs that pair a rigorous full-year classroom apprenticeship with masters-level education content.” If you are not interested in pursuing a traditional, teacher-credentialing path, a teacher residency program may be the right fit for you.
Here are some programs to consider:
- Aspire Public Schools
- KIPP SoCal Public Schools
- Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency
- New York City Teaching Collaborative
- Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC) Alumni Teach Project
- San Francisco Teacher Residency
- Seattle Teacher Residency
- TNTP Teaching Fellows
- Urban Teachers
In California, a District Internship Program is an alternative route to obtain a teacher certification. You can also find these programs through the Commission-Approved Educator Preparation Programs Dashboard. Use the filter “Preparation Pathway - Intern” and “Segment - Local Education Agency” to start a search. The Los Angeles Unified School District Intern Program is one example of these programs. These programs allow you to be the “teacher of record” while completing an organized, professional preparation program.
Typical requirements include: a bachelor’s degree, passing the CBEST and appropriate CSET, and two years full-time experience under the guidance of a certified teacher.
Classified Paraprofessional Positions
If you are not ready to apply for a teacher education program, or go directly into the classroom after graduation, you can look into applying for positions like instructional aides, behavioral assistants, or after school program instructors.
Here are a few job board and recruitment resources to find related work opportunities:
- EDJOIN: The most well-known platform to search for paraprofessional or classified positions in K-12 schools.
- SchoolSpring: Intended for teachers, administrators, support staff, and other roles.
- The Coalition for Diverse Educators: Network of community leaders that train, empower, and develop teachers of color.
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