When I came in here last 2011, of course I do really want to become a teacher, that's my goal but finding answers on how to become a teacher in America was quite difficult for me at first. So I am hoping that this blog can somehow help someone out there. This is for those who are already here in California or will be here as an immigrant. This may not help if you're looking for a working visa and you are still residing in the Philippines.
Make sure you are authorized to work
If you live in the US, you need to apply for Employment Authorization. This is the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. Go ahead and explore which ones relate to you
Go to the County of Education or School District Near You
I really think that if you want to become a teacher, then the first thing to do is find information from the County of Education near you. Based on my experience, I did went, asked for an appointment, waited in line, but I never got an appointment or never got help. Well the secretary, was really nice and told me, I needed to set up an an appointment with the credential analyst but I had no luck and they never got back to me. If you have the same experience as I am then no worries because there are other county of Education that can help you even if you are in a different county. A very helpful County of Education is the Santa Clara County of Education. I called the phone number and the credential analyst called me back in two days. I went to the Santa Clara County Office of Education without an appointment on a weekday. There's three credential analyst that are willing to help you. I got a number and I got called to be helped in less than two minutes.
I had my original sealed transcript of records from the Philippines, transcripts of the units I took here in California and the questions that I will ask the Credential analyst.
Make sure you know the questions to ask and what path you want to take. It is easier to help you out if you know what your goal is, to teach preschool, elementary, middle school or high school. You also need to know what class you want to teach, General Ed. or Special Ed. Also the kind of credential you would like to get, Single Subject or Multiple Subject. It is just easier for them to answer your questions and guide you if you are clear with what you really want to be.
Websites to read about "Becoming a Teacher in California"
1. Teach California
This website helped me a lot, as it gives lots of information about how to apply for a credential. If you are prepared outside of California then you have to register to the site so that you can "Make and Follow your Personal Career Plan" or read about how to apply for a credential if you were a teacher from a different country.
2. Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Make sure you click about Outside the United States Prepared and read about what suits you. Like with me, my major in Home Economics from the Philippines. So it means, I read about how to apply for a preliminary teaching credential in Home Economics. I also read about becoming a Special Education teacher because I want to become one.
General Education Teaching Credentials
Single Subject Teaching Credential
- Outside the United States Prepared
- Special Education Teaching Credential
- Outside the United States Prepared
This website is very helpful to finding a job or getting into the education system. If you are like me who want to just explore the education system in here, observe and get paid at the same time then this is the job site for you. You may start as a substitute Paraprofessional or Instructional Assistant or any classified jobs. Classified jobs are the jobs you may apply for that doesn't need a credential. You may do this while working on your teaching credential. If you would like to be a Special Education Teacher someday and doesn't have that credential but you have a Bachelors Degree, then I would suggest becoming a Paraprofessional. I was able to use my Bachelors Degree, and three years experience of working in a Special Education Program to comply with the requirements as a Special Education Teacher on a Short Term Staff Permit.
Find a job that you love and you will never have to work for a lifetime.
What worked with me: I worked as substitute Paraprofessional for 4 days and I got hired on the fifth day. I worked in an RSP Mild/Moderate class so I pushed in to Middle School Gen. Ed. Classroom. From there I was able to observe different teachers and worked with different students. I learned the difference between teaching from the Philippines and Education here. Since my major is Home Economics and there's really no opening for it, so going into different classes helped me determine the subject I am interested teaching. After 3 years of working as a Paraprofessional, I decided to subteach and it also helped me decide on what kind of Educator I would like to work on.
I chose to become a Special Education Teacher and I will soon write down something about how I became one.
Goodluck, and Hopefully some of you will become a Certified Educator like me.