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Guest Post Article by: Ed Carter (Ablefutures.org)
Ed Carter has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities. Below is his guest post article:
The U.S. needs more teachers — in 2018, CNN notes American classrooms were short a whopping 112,000 educators, and that number is only expected to grow as fewer college graduates pursue a career in education. While not traditionally a post-service career, military veterans are uniquely positioned to fill the teacher shortage and bring new perspectives and valuable experience to the classroom. If you’re in search of a fulfilling career after military separation, The Ellis County Det. 1452 presents the following guide to what you need to know
The realities of the U.S. teacher shortage
The effects of the U.S. teacher shortage go beyond overcrowded classrooms. School districts are hiring employees unqualified for the jobs they hold, leading to declining educational quality for the nation’s youth, and some positions are even being left vacant. These effects are especially hard in high-poverty rural and urban areas, where it’s challenging for school districts to attract and retain qualified teachers.
The effects of poor educational quality persist long after students have left the classroom. As high school students graduate out of disrupted and understaffed classrooms, they enter post-secondary education unprepared for the academic rigor of university lecture halls. As Rochester Business Journal explains, this can ultimately lead to poverty as students become adults who lack the tools for a prosperous career.
Veterans: An answer to the educator shortage?
As a military veteran, you have a strong sense of service. Why not channel your desire to serve in a teaching career? U.S. veterans have a number of valuable skills to bring to the classroom, such as:
● Advanced leadership and teamwork.
● Experience working with diverse populations.
● Global perspective.
● Experience with administration and policy.
● Patience and resilience.
Pursuing a career in higher education
Education is a worthwhile career path for veterans, but it’s not one you can jump into right out of the military. Teachers require a bachelor’s degree as well as completion of a teacher preparation program before they can become licensed to work in K-12 public schools. Fortunately, there are many online programs designed to help you prepare for your teaching certification, which has different requirements based on where you reside.
Don’t let educational requirements hold you back from a career in education. If you separated from the military after January 2013, your GI Bill benefits never expire. If you attend university full-time, you’ll receive up to 36 months of tuition at a public university as well as a monthly housing allowance and up to $1,000 annually for books.
With these benefits, it’s possible to graduate debt-free and give your full attention to higher education without worrying about holding a full-time job. The possibilities for your career in education don’t stop at a bachelor’s degree. Teachers with master’s degrees enjoy higher pay than teachers with only a bachelor’s degree in many states, even when teaching within the same school, and there’s no limitation on using GI Bill benefits for a post-baccalaureate degree. Your local VA can tell you more about the many benefits you have earned.
You might be wondering what type of degree is required to work in an educational setting. Veterans interested in taking their education careers beyond the public school classroom can pursue a doctoral degree. For those drawn to educational administration or governmental and non-governmental agency work, a Doctorate in Education is the best choice. However, if you’d prefer to teach at the collegiate level, a Doctorate of Philosophy in your field of choice will get you started in an academic career.
Are you convinced that a career in education is the right choice for your post-military career? There are ways you can do this and you wouldn’t be starting from scratch. Enjoy the educational benefits you’re entitled to and find a fresh way to serve our country. Becoming a teacher is a terrific opportunity for military veterans.