Women and Post-Divorce Employment/Lori Hutchison

Posted on January 26, 2012

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After a divorce, some women must look for employment or begin a new career to support their families. It can be very difficult to decide on a job that will be rewarding both financially and emotionally. Not to mention, many women need a career that allows them enough time to continue managing the household and child care.

One very popular career for women is teaching. The reasons for its popularity vary, but it is a fact that a career in education is rewarding to the soul. Teachers play a very important role in the future of a society, and women seem to innately have the skills needed to be a good instructor and guide.

Teaching is also a great career choice for women with children. While you are working, your children will be in school. You will have the opportunity to be at home with your children during the evening hours. Also, your holiday and vacation days will take place at the same time as your children’s, so you will never need to find a babysitter to watch them during these times.

Whether it be elementary, secondary or post-secondary education, becoming a teacher or teacher’s assistant post-divorce may be easier than you think. There are several routes you can take to begin a career in education. Listed below are those routes:

-Teacher’s Assistant: An assistant provides support to the teacher. They may be asked to do various tasks throughout the day, such as: photocopying, grading, supply stocking, filing and organizing. They also provide instructional support by helping individual students (especially those with special needs) with certain assignments. Employment qualifications vary depending on your state and school district. Some schools require that you only have a high school diploma, while others require at least an associate’s degree. A few schools require a bachelor’s degree.

-Substitute Teacher: Substitutes take the place of absent teachers. Substitution can last for one day, up to a few months; depending on the reason for the teacher’s absence. Teachers will leave you a lesson plan for the days you will be working, and you are to follow that lesson plan specifically. If you will be substituting for a longer period of time, you may be asked to create your own lesson plan. Because this is, in essence, a teaching position; most states and school districts require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree. If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, substituting is a great way to gain experience before making a decision.

-Elementary Teacher: There are several ways to become an elementary teacher. First, if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you will need to go back to school and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field, all you need to do is earn your teaching certificate. This will require you to take some education courses and pass an exam. You can register for these courses through programs offered by your local school district or college. Some colleges also offer programs that allow you to earn your teaching certificate and Master’s in Education at the same time. All of these routes require you to take part in a student teaching program for a few months before you can work as a teacher. Once you have earned your teaching certificate, you are eligible to teach any grade K-6.

-Secondary School Teachers: As with elementary education, if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you will need to go back to school and earn your Bachelor’s Degree in Middle School or High School Education. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you will need to earn your teaching certificate by taking the same route explained in elementary education. Again, some colleges offer a program that allows you to earn your teaching certificate and Master’s in Education at the same time. The only difference between secondary and elementary teaching is that you must choose a subject field to teach, and you typically must decide which grade you want to teach, as well.

-Master’s Degree: Why earn your Master’s in Education? With your master’s, you have the potential to earn a substantially higher salary. You can also teach at the community and technical college level with a master’s degree. In addition, many school districts are actually now requiring all teachers to earn their Master’s in Education after so many years of teaching.

-Private Schools: These schools operate under different rules than public schools. Teachers at private schools often must have a bachelor’s degree, but they are not always required to have a state teaching certificate.

To learn more about becoming a teacher, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Lori Hutchison teaches high school English and owns the site http://www.mastersinteaching.net. In her spare time, she enjoys writing guest blog posts about various topics of interest; especially teaching!

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