How to Become a Teacher

Some people determine that they want to be a teacher only after another career. They realize that teaching is their passion, that they want to help mold the minds of young people, and they’re left with one question: How do I actually become a teacher? Many teachers enter the profession directly after college, having earned their bachelor’s degree in teaching or a related degree. But many who wish to transition to teaching already have their bachelor’s degree in a non-teaching field. Without re-earning a bachelor’s degree, how do you become a teacher?  Below lists the following steps those interested in becoming a teacher should take:

Determine Interests

Some people know immediately what grade level and subject they want to teach, while others may have to ponder it for some time.  If you have your bachelor’s degree in a subject such as history, English, or a specific language or science, you may be able to cut down on the time it would take you to finish a new degree by focusing on that subject for a secondary education (high school) specialization. Others who may have entered the business would realize at a later point in life that they have a passion for world history and may decide to pursue a teaching career specialized in that subject. Others may find that they don’t have a specific niche subject and would rather teach a wide range of topics. In that instance, they may be better suited for an elementary education position where they teach all different subjects.

Determine if Teaching is the Right Fit

Determining if teaching is the right fit can be a challenge. One way to do so is to become a substitute teacher. There are a number of ways in Wisconsin to become a certified substitute teacher. Substitute teaching offers an in-person perspective and the opportunity to try out different education levels and subjects.  Depending on a person’s current work schedule and availability, becoming a substitute may not be a viable option. In this case, a person may benefit from shadowing a teacher for a day or volunteering with teaching programs in the area. These opportunities will allow you to interact with students, but not be as time-intensive as a substitute teaching position may be. 

Earn Both Degree and Certification

Once a person has determined that teaching is the right fit for them, they then have to earn their certification and many choose to also earn the master’s degree that traditionally accompanies it. Certification is required in most places in order to teach.  At Wisconsin Lutheran College, we offer a hybrid Master of Arts in Education – Transition to Teaching degree program. With 6 courses online and 6 in person, this program was designed to be flexible and affordable and allow a person to earn their masters and teaching certification and prepare them to lead a classroom.


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