Online College Courses in Teaching
Teaching is one of the most fundamental careers in our society. Teachers educate our nation's next generation of leaders and workers, and provide a wide range of instruction to K-12 students, including the core areas of reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. Teachers also play a crucial role in preparing students for college.
Education majors and elementary education majors are required to take courses in teaching before they can go on to earn their state teaching license. Students who plan to earn a degree in an area outside education, such as biology or mathematics, but who also want to include teacher education in their undergraduate degree program, will need to take teaching courses as well. Such courses might include Education of the Exceptional Child, Classroom Management, Teaching with Educational Technology, and Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). These teaching courses may focus on preparing teachers to educate certain categories of students, provide intervention for at-risk students, identify gifted students and provide adapted instruction for them, and effectively command the attention of students.
Online college courses in teaching can be a good option for students who are having trouble fitting a required teaching course into their busy schedule. Many online colleges offer these courses asynchronously, meaning students can log in to their courses at a time of day that works best for them, rather than logging in at specific times each week. This flexibility can be vital to the academic success of working students.
Online college courses for teachers are also ideal for those who are already teaching, but are interested in taking an individual course to broaden their knowledge. While online courses are certainly convenient, remember that not all online college courses teachers enroll in are created equal. Make sure that the institution offering the course is accredited by searching the name of the school in the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited postsecondary institutions. Beyond this, research the school's overall reputation. Finally, if you intend to transfer the credits you earn from an online teaching course to another school, verify with the other school that the credits are transferable.
Teaching and Your Career
If applied toward a bachelor's program in education, online courses in teaching can bring you one step closer to attaining teaching licensure, and open you up to a wide variety of teaching careers. With a state teacher's license, you can pursue opportunities teaching kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school students at public schools. At the middle and high school levels, teachers specialize in specific academic areas, such as biology, English, Spanish, history, or mathematics, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With more specialized training, teachers can become qualified to teach special education students or ESL students. People who take teaching courses in early childhood education and meet additional state requirements may be qualified to teach preschool-aged children.
Outside of public schools, career opportunities are available at private schools, including prep schools, charter schools, and parochial schools. Finally, alternative teaching careers are available at private educational institutions or by becoming a private tutor.
In general, taking an online teaching course can help you gain a better understanding of effective teaching methods, improve your ability to deliver classroom instruction, help you target your teaching to better educate specific types of learners, and aid you in developing creative strategies to get students to learn and absorb material. Finally, online teaching courses build on your existing communication and critical thinking skills, helping you to think fast on your feet and giving you an edge in both your professional and personal life.
Free Online Teaching Courses:
- Concept-Centered Teaching – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Introduction to Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Open Pedagogy — A New Paradigm for Teaching and Learning – University of Michigan OpenCourseWare
- Research for the Classroom Teacher – Utah State OpenCourseWare
- Implications for Educators of Gifted Minority Students – University of California-Irvine OpenCourseWare