If you’ve been at all interested in the education sector recently then you’ll probably have seen a massive increase in the number of “online teacher certification programs” that are designed to help you get qualified as a teacher but without having to attend any physically…
These certification programs have only recently been introduced, mainly because we’re only now at the stage where we have a fast enough internet infrastructure that’s widespread enough so that the majority of the population has access. These training programs are legitimate, they are very similar to face-to-face lectures, but they are done over the internet through your home personal computer.
In a nutshell these are alternative teacher certification programs; programs that allow you to train to become a teacher if you don’t have an approved teacher education program under your belt. The reason these training programs have been introduced is to try and encourage a new demographic of teachers – those that may have already established themselves in other careers but now are looking for a change of scenery in a job that’s more fulfilling.
The great advantage about taking an online teacher certification program is that you are free to study the material in your own time. This is a major benefit for those in full time employment who may not have any hours to spare during their usual 9-5 day.
Of course, with this comes an obvious disadvantage which is why the course is not for everyone. Working independently is fine for those who have the drive to motivate themselves to get through the lessons, however for those who are less organised in their work it is all too easy to fall behind the syllabus and find yourself with a massive back log of work to get through.
Another possible disadvantage, although it hasn’t really come to light whether this is just merely speculation or whether it’s a valid concern, is that schools may not consider an online certification to be on par with a “proper” teacer certification program. Again, there haven’t been any studies to back up this claim, so it’s clearly not a major deal.
So, the question that is always asked is, how is the training delivered? There are a number of ways that your coursework lessons will be delivered – some are videos and some are interactive. Webinars are one of the latter where you will be able to interact with the host (who will be your teacher) and other classmates. Obviously, certification programs vary from one to the next, but these interactive sessions will generally happen once or twice per week. The rest of the time you’ll be on your own sifting through digital materials such as video, articles and PDF reports.
Generally speaking most online teacher certification programs do have an offline element to them aswell. Given that most people who enroll in an online program do so because they have a time constraint (perhaps they are working a full time job or have other commitments) these offline courses are generally condensed down into full time residential courses of a couple of weeks in duration.
I’d fully recommend anyone who wants to become a teacher in Texas to at least consider an online certification program – generally speaking they’re cheaper and far more flexible with your time, which opens up many doors for people who would otherwise be unable to qualify as a teacher!
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