How Do I Become A Computer Teacher?

A field of teaching spawned by the birth of computers and technology, a career as a computer teacher can be very fulfilling. It provides the opportunity to impart knowledge to a wide spectrum of learners ranging from young pupils to teenagers to college students to adults updating their knowledge for employment purposes.

In order to become a computer teacher, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related course is needed. Depending on the level you want to teach, there may be other educational and certification requirements. If you want to teach in a public high school, you would need to undergo a teacher’s preparation program where you will learn techniques in presenting information to students and strategies on how to work with students coming from different backgrounds and possessing different abilities. A teacher education program typically has a student teaching component as well to provide students with the hands-on experience of what the job is like.

Computer teachers who wish to teach in public schools must also be licensed or certified, like other teachers aiming to seek employment in the public school system. While each state sets its own criteria for certifying teachers, the typical requirements include at least a bachelor’s degree, completion of a teacher preparation program, student teaching experience, passing a general certification exam and hurdling another test to prove that they are knowledgeable about teaching computers. Continuing education in the form of professional development classes is often required for teachers to retain their certification. In some states, teachers are asked to obtain their master’s degree once they are certified.

For those who don’t have the teacher education course but already hold a bachelor’s degree, it is still possible to obtain certification by teaching under the supervision of a seasoned teacher. The program also teaches candidates lessons on teaching methods and child psychology. After finishing this alternative program, they are then given certification.

The educational requirements for computer teachers who aim to teach in private schools aren’t as lengthy. They typically require someone with a bachelor’s degree and a major in the subject area to be taught—computers, in this case—but don’t generally ask teachers to be licensed.

A bachelor’s degree isn’t enough for those who want to teach in a college or university setting. In two-year colleges or technical schools, a master’s degree in computer science or related field may be enough to qualify one to teach. A doctoral degree is required in four-year colleges and universities. Keep in mind that applicants holding doctoral degrees are often preferred than those holding only master’s degrees.

In addition to the educational qualifications, those who want to teach computers must also have the aptitude for teaching. Patience and the ability to impart technical information in the simplest way possible are traits that all aspiring computer teachers must possess. They must also be able to communicate very well as they will be delivering the lessons verbally and preparing written reports about student performance regularly. High school computer teachers must also be flexible since they will be teaching computers to students of various levels—from the 9th to 12th grades—and as such, they must be ready to use the appropriate teaching strategy for the level.

Resourcefulness is also an important skill that all computer teachers must possess. This will come in handy in schools that have a dearth of computer funding and lack the latest computer facilities. Some very resourceful computer teachers even apply for grants just to get the needed funding to improve the school’s computer facilities. Resourcefulness also applies to teaching students. There will always be students who will not be able to catch up with the rest of the class, especially in such a highly-technical subject. Computer teachers also have to think of ways to creatively deliver the lesson in such a manner so as to make these students understand.

Aspiring computer teachers must also have practical and hands-on knowledge about hardware and software systems. Most schools put computer teachers in charge of the computer laboratory. They would need to be able to troubleshoot issues when they arise. They are also required to maintain the laboratory and may even be asked to come up with the budget for the computer department for needed equipment and potential software upgrades.

Career Spotlight: Computer Teacher

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