Preparing for a Career in Teaching in Schools and Beyond

One good teacher can change a student’s life. One great teacher can save a life, strengthen a community, and help build the foundation of critical thinking on which democracy rests. Teaching is hard work, but more than most careers it offers a sense of deep purpose as well as a lot of day-to-day fun.

Teaching Options

If you want to teach, UMW offers multiple paths into the profession. As an English major, you can become fully licensed to teach English on the secondary (6-12) level during the time it takes to complete your undergraduate degree. UMW’s College of Education also offers an Elementary Education major, Special Education certification, and several Master’s programs in Education.

Your English and Education academic advisors will help you set up a program of classes that prepares you to start a rewarding job immediately after graduation. Many of your education courses will include a practicum in the public schools to let you discover what grades you most enjoy, learn from practicing teachers, and steadily build your skills as you move from observer to licensed classroom teacher.

How to Prepare for a Career in Teaching

Apply to the College of Education in your first year at UMW to ensure you can graduate on schedule. Courses in the English major count toward your state certification requirements, as do your required education courses.

Plan ahead: your final semester at UMW will be a rewarding full-time internship in the public schools under the mentorship of UMW professors and professional teachers.

Teaching Beyond Schools

While most English majors who want to teach seek out careers in the public schools, our majors also teach in other venues. You can teach English in another country. You can teach in a private school that does not require certification. You can take on teaching and training responsibilities in the corporate world. Like the critical thinking, writing, and communication skills honed by the English major, teaching skills are in high demand everywhere.

For More Information

For more information about UMW’s education programs, requirements, the application process, and opportunities, consult the College of Education web site and speak with your advisor.