Genevieve Koens asked herself that question. She was doing well working in business after she received her MBA. But when she got divorced, she realized she wanted to spend more time with her kids instead of working up to 60 hours a week at the office. She decided to attend Kaplan University and completed her Master of Arts in Teaching in just 13 months.
Today Koens works in a middle school STEM program - science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 'We do a lot of team work, which kids absolutely adore,' she says. 'When I know what they like, I'll try to put it into the lesson plans.'
Working at a low-income school allows her to feel like she's making a big difference for children and helping shape their future. 'I went from being a business person where my sole goal was to make money for me and my company, to being a service member where I help out kids and their families,' Koens says.
Many states face an alarming shortage of STEM teachers, according to the American Board. If you have real-world experience in these subject areas, your skills could be in high demand as a teacher.
What makes a good teacher? Here are five qualities that make teachers great. Do you embody these characteristics?
Great teachers are passionate about subject matter as well as helping students. Students typically respond well when they know a teacher is genuinely excited about what they teach. If you have a passion and the desire to pass on knowledge to others, teaching could be a good career for you.
2. High expectations
Great teachers set high expectations for all their students. Remember, you're shaping knowledge and transforming lives. Make sure all students learn and succeed, and never give up on underperformers because they may be the ones that need you the most.
Preparing ahead of time and organizing lesson plans helps ensure every minute in the classroom can be dedicated to teaching and engaging students. If you are organized and like to plan ahead, these skills will serve you well as a teacher.
Planning ahead is necessary as a teacher, but great teachers always adapt and are flexible when needed. It's important to recognize how students really learn, and follow their lead. Watch and listen to what kids are doing and saying, and be able to change plans in order to teach more effectively.
5. Role model
As a teacher, you are a top role model in your students' lives. Act as such and show you genuinely care about their future. When you build trust you'll be able to make the biggest difference. To be the best role model and teacher possible, be a lifelong learner. Always hone your craft by learning new technology and teaching methods to help better reach students.
Is it time you make a career change? If you're looking to re-career - start a different career than the one you have now - visit www.kaplanuniversity.edu to learn more today.