The world of teaching can be a rewarding and meaningful career choice. If you’re reading this, then I’m guessing you are considering a career in education but may not be sure if it’s the right fit.
Becoming a teacher after the military allows you to serve again, this time on the home front, and bring your experience into the classroom. There are many opportunities, programs and levels of teaching.
Troops to Teachers
TTT is a DANTES-managed DoD program that provides counseling services and stipends for participants.
The stipend is dependent on the level of service. I suggest you check Dantes Troops to Teachers for the specific breakdowns of eligibility. For those who receive a stipend, the program requires three years of teaching service.
From teacher education to getting certified to employment, TTT is meant to support veterans who are interested in becoming a teacher after the military.
Teach For America
TFA specializes in placing teachers in low-income school systems. The term length is two years teaching where your abilities are needed the most. Recent college graduates, as well as established professionals, are eligible to apply. A small stipend in addition to a teaching salary is paid to corps members.
If you have a degree but no state teaching certification, you may still apply and complete certification during the two-year commitment period. The advantages of TFA are: opportunity to teach without a certification, getting valuable teaching experience, exposure to teaching with a two-year requirement and teaching in domestic locations where committed teachers are highly needed.
Becoming a teacher after the military within the TFA program allows veterans a chance to serve again in another capacity.
If you aren’t quite sure if teaching is the right path for you, I suggest you apply for a position as a substitute teacher. For the public school system, most states have two categories of substitute teachers: short term and long term.
Short-term positions are perfect for those interested in becoming a teacher after the military but aren’t certain if it is the right fit. These usually only require a four-year degree without a teaching certification to obtain a license.
This type of substitute teaching is needed when a short length of time is needed (usually no more than five days). Long-term positions, on the other hand, usually require specific coursework in order to be licensed to sub for longer than five days.
Note that each state maintains unique requirements. Be sure to read up on the state where you’d like to teach.
There are many levels you may want to consider as you explore teaching. Preschool, elementary, middle, high school, junior college, university and vocational teachers have different demands and educational requirements. Spend some time researching and finding what suits your interests and strengths.
Good luck and I hope to see you in the ranks of the educator/veteran elite.