The Easy Way to Learn About Becoming a Teacher

Are you contemplating pursuing a career as a teacher? Are you throwing yourself into your college experience, joining clubs, volunteering, and working hard in the classroom? Great! That puts you well on your way to becoming a teacher.

Let me ask you this: do you know what it means to be a teacher? Yes, you have been a student for the better part of your life, but have you ever stopped to really explore what the day-to-day work of a teacher is like? If your answer is no, and even if your answer is yes, let’s talk about the easiest way you can learn about becoming a teacher, informational interviewing and job shadowing.

Put simply, an informational interview is finding someone who is in a career that you are contemplating or aspiring to, approaching them in a professional and polite way, and asking them for 30-60 minutes of their time to learn about what they do and how they got there. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to build your knowledge base on future careers and also to develop a strong and vibrant network.

As for job shadowing, this is an opportunity to connect with a professional, possibly someone whom you already conducted an informational interview with, and ask if you could observe them for all or part of a workday. This gives you the opportunity to see for yourself what a “typical” day might look like in a profession. For more information on job shadowing and informational interviews, check out the following resource from our website:

http://career.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2014/07/PG-INformational-Interview-and-Job-Shadow_AC.pdf

Now, the title of this post promised an easy way to learn about how to become a teacher, so let me tell you how easy it is to connect for job shadows and informational interviews. Go home. What?! If you think about it, chances are, when you go home, you will be really close to all the schools you attended and the teachers you spent so much time with.

With fall in the air, many of us are already thinking about Thanksgiving and others are already planning winter break! Both of these breaks give you windows of time in which you are home with free time and while k-12 programs are still in session. Why not reach out to that favorite teacher you had and ask them to book an informational interview or job shadow now. Trust me, they will be happy you did, and so will you!

By Michael Petro
Michael Petro Assistant Director, Internal Relations Michael Petro