October 1, 2013,
September 5. October 5. Both these days have one thing in common. They are dedicated to teachers. While September 5 is celebrated in India as Teacher’s Day, commemorating Dr S. Radhakrishnan’s birthday, October 5 has been designated by the United Nations as World Teacher’s Day.
Teaching is not just another career option and should not be considered one. As a professional, irrespective of the field, one definitely contributes to the society but as a teacher one directly shapes and influences thousands of future contributors in the course of one’s lifetime.
Considered a noble profession then and always, teaching has always been a preferred career choice and often considered the best career for several reasons. With the coming in of several boards of education and emphasis on quality education, the profession has several closely linked options providing opportunities for those who may want to be in the education sector but not necessarily teach.
Along with paying decently well, teaching allows an individual comparatively more time as compared to other professions for family, pursuing other interests, further studies etc among other things.
Whether you choose to teach young ones or older, a basic requirement for succeeding in teaching is a love for children. Let’s discuss teaching courses first and then move to allied career options.
You can consider opting for the following courses, most of which can be pursued after 12th:
Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education
If you have the enthusiasm and the patience to deal with young children, then a diploma in early childhood care and education is a suitable option. Major universities across the country offer diplomas in early childhood care which can be pursued after 12th. Some institutes also offer post-graduate diplomas in early childhood care.
There are several pre-school chains with nationwide branches offering their own certification/diploma courses in early childhood care which you could consider.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University also offers a year-long diploma in early childhood care after 12th.
Diploma in Education (D.Ed.)
The Diploma in Education (D.Ed.), a three-year course to be pursued after 10th, will qualify you to teach students at the primary level. Each state has its own entrance for the course. On the basis of your scores, you can apply for admission in various colleges and institutes.
Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.)
The Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) qualifies an individual to teach in secondary and senior secondary sections. Similar to D.Ed., each state has its own entrance for the B.Ed. after which an individual can apply to colleges and/or universities. To be eligible for B.Ed., one has to have completed graduation.
B.El. Ed. and M.A. in Elementary Education
Delhi University offers a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Elementary Education which you could consider if you are looking at professions closely allied to teaching but not necessarily teaching and/or looking to gain an all-round perspective on education.
If you love sports and would like to make a career of it, sports education is one option you can definitely consider. Several universities offer a Bachelors in Physical Education after which you can do a one year teacher education course in the subject to become a sports teacher. Several universities also offer a diploma in physical education. Similar to D Ed. and B Ed., these courses also have an entrance exam.
With a teaching/education degree, you can also consider applying for and working with various educational departments - government and otherwise such as the CBSE, state education boards, ICSE, IGCSE etc. These educational think tanks will provide you with the opportunity to make contributions to educational reforms.
Teaching the teachers!
If you prefer to teach those who will teach in schools, you can apply for the NET examinations after a Masters degree and apply as a professor in universities offering teaching courses.
The options discussed above are usually the courses that come to mind when one thinks of teaching.
However, as mentioned earlier, with the increase in number of boards that schools are getting affiliated to, the exponential increase in the number of schools and the growing awareness about quality education, a number of career options have opened up for the educational enthusiast.
The following career options may not necessarily have a degree/course that you can pursue but an interested mind, a decent amount of exposure to the field of education and a whole lot of enthusiasm may just be enough:
With the increasing emphasis on all round development, schools want to ensure that children have a balance of studies as well as other activities. Many schools would like to employ a professional curriculum planner who helps design the year plans for classes depending on their developmental and educational needs. A degree like the B. El. Ed or the M.A. in Ed will help here.
Content Design and Creation:
If creating content excites you, then there are several interesting options. There are several publishers who create textbooks that are used by schools; you could consider working with them. Similarly, each state board has its own textbook publishing department which you could consider working for. There are also several organisations that create educational content on interactive media/internet etc., you could even consider them. For all of these, a teaching degree/diploma and/or exposure to the field of education will help
NGOs working in the field of education may interest you. With a teaching degree, you can choose to teach in classrooms or you could be part of the content creation/implementation teams in these NGOs. If you are unsure about this option, you could consider volunteering for NGOs during school vacations and see how it suits you.
If the current education system is not to your liking, for whatever reasons, you could consider working for alternative schools that are based on different ideologies. This is a very niche segment and you may not always find schools of this kind but if it is of interest then that is the way to go.
Schools for children with special needs
If you have the sensitivity to deal with children with special needs, you can consider doing diploma/certification courses in special education and work with either NGOs or schools working with these children.
A little off track!
The field of education has endless possibilities and here are a few options that you may want to consider. But be warned! These are the less tread grounds but can be immensely rewarding if you have the determination and the enthusiasm to see them through.
Designing educational toys
With a little creative bent of mind, you can carve a niche for yourself in creating toys that have a learning embedded in them. There is an increasing awareness among parents on providing quality playing time for children and if you market yourself smartly, you will find yourself doing well.
Toy and book libraries
Toy/book libraries, where you can source and stock toys/books from various toy brands for all age groups, is another off-beat option that you can consider. Similar to creating educational toys, the key here is to market yourself well.
Parents these days want their children to be productively occupied when they are not in school. There are a whole host of activities being offered to such parents such as abacus, Vedic mathematics, phonics, to name a few. You can consider teaching these.
Your own school!
It is not as daunting a task as it seems! All you need is tons of enthusiasm, decent capital investment, a good team and obviously recognition and certification from a board of education. But no dream is too big to achieve and I would assume that a teacher/teacher aspirants’ biggest dream would be to start her/his school.
In many ways therefore, teaching can be considered the best career option and even if one does not want to be a teacher, there are just as many career options in the education sector closely allied to teaching.