The teaching profession is one of the noblest professions known to man. Teachers have taught and molded presidents, heads of states, prime ministers, kings, queens, and a plethora of industry leaders and captains of industries. Teachers are the necessary drivers of civilization, as there are responsible for shaping future leaders, ensuring we have the best brains to continually shape our world and make it a better place. Little wonder the teaching profession deserves the very best brains and individuals with the requisite qualification and character to teach. In this article, we are going to outline and discuss how to become a professional teacher.
We will outline the necessary certifications you need to acquire before you can be certified as a professional teacher. We will also enumerate some of the qualities necessary for you to have in order to better function as a great teacher that inspires and motivates.
Who is a Professional Teacher?
By the use of the word professional, it becomes clear that we are talking about an individual that has undergone the necessary education and is duly certified to be a teacher in the classroom.
Because of the dearth in quality teachers in recent years, and most especially in developing countries such as Nigeria, a lot of individuals with shoddy qualification have gone into the teaching profession just to eke out a living.
These people can hardly be called professionals as most of them do not possess even the least certification that can qualify them to teach. Thus, we end up employing quacks into the classrooms to teach our children; a situation which has severe repercussions on the quality of education our children get.
To become a professional teacher, an individual must pass through rigorous training that encompasses classroom management, proper use of instructional materials, and a host of other training.
Professional teachers have a wide variety of responsibilities, some of which include developing classroom curricula, teaching courses, helping students in their academic guidance, and proctoring exams.
How to Become a Professional Teacher in Nigeria
As stated earlier, to become a professional teacher, you have to go through the requisite training and obtain the necessary qualifications. Below are the step by step guide on how to become a professional teacher:
Earn A Certification In Education
If you are among those who do not know what education are needed to become a professional teacher, we’ve got you covered in this post. In Nigeria, the current minimum qualification to be accepted into the teaching profession is the national certificate in education (NCE).
Prospective student-teachers must have passed through the college of education and obtained the NCE after three years of study.
This qualifies them as the first step towards becoming a professional teacher. NCE teachers are employed in the lower cadre of the teaching profession (nursery, primary and in some cases, junior secondary levels of education)
Alternatively, you can enrol for a bachelor’s degree in education in a university and obtain a first degree in education. Even those who got into the profession through an NCE certification are expected to go for a bachelor’s degree in education if they are to advance in the profession.
Bachelor’s degree holders in education are employed in both junior and secondary schools and are expected to have majored in a particular subject area.
Continue With Further Training And Higher Education
To be qualified to be called a professional teacher, you must continue to develop yourself via professional teacher training courses and programs. If you have an NCE, you are expected to go for a bachelor’s degree.
Those with bachelors are encouraged to go for a masters, and those who have already bagged masters degrees are encouraged to register for a doctorate program. The key is to continually develop yourself and stay in tune with global best practices in terms of teacher education.
It also increases the possibility of higher pay, greater job flexibility, and easier and less stressful advancement into administrative roles. The bottom line is that, for you to be termed a professional teacher, you need a degree(s) in education!
Engage In Teaching Practice
Gaining classroom experience is a must for any prospective professional teacher. Intending teachers must have put in a considerable number of hours in supervised teaching experience in order to be certified for practice.
Student teaching can be undertaken during the pursuit of their qualifications (NCE, Bachelors, masters, or doctorate), or at any other time as part of the training process.
Get Licenced as a Teacher
Those who desire to become professional teachers must be duly licenced. This is the benchmark for entry into any profession in the world. Yes, you’ve been educated and have acquired the certification; yet you still need to obtain the acceptable licence from the recognized body in the country.
For the teachers in Nigeria, you need to be licenced by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN). The TRCN is charged with the power of self-regulation and the ability to lead ideas within the field of expertise in the teaching profession. Find out how register with the TRCN and get licenced /certified.
Characteristics of a Professional Teacher
While proper education and qualifications are necessary to become a professional teacher, there are some inherent qualities that immediately sets an individual apart as teacher material.
Whether you are a primary school teacher or you teach in a secondary school or you are a lecturer in a tertiary institution of learning, you need to possess these qualities and more. Below are some of the qualities of a good teacher:
- A career teacher must be organised and have an eye for details;
- Have the gift of explaining abstract concepts in ways that simplifies them for students to understand
- Have the presence of mind to think on their feet and give intelligent answers to questions often posed by students in class, and also have contingency plans for classroom activities or lessons that don’t go according to plan.
- Be well knowledgeable in their area of expertise in order to be able to answer any kinds of questions posed by students and also be able to develop excellent curricula;
- Have excellent writing and communication skills, as those skills will readily come in handy when teaching, setting exams and homework, or talking with either parents or other school system members.
The teaching profession is one which demands a thorough training and certification in order to ensure the best brains, and hands, and deployed to teacher tomorrow’s leaders. Aspiring teachers have to ensure the get the necessary and requisite education, training, and certification in order to better impart the much needed knowledge and character to our children. In this article, we have been able to dissect and explore the different ways through which one can become a professional teacher. We have also brought to you necessary skills expected of an aspiring teacher in order to better function in the profession. We hope you enjoyed reading this.