"If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make the most of your talents and dedication, if you want to make your mark with a legacy that will dedure — then join the teaching profession."
– President Barack Obama
March 10, 2009
What Are the Benefits?
The Benefits of Having a Teaching License & Some Teaching Experience
Perhaps you are interested in teaching, but are not convinced it is something you want to do right after graduation or for your entire career. The UNC-BEST program is a great opportunity to learn more and open the opportunity to teach forever. The coursework will help you know whether or not science education piques your interest and intellect while the student teaching internship will allow you to try classroom teaching on for size. In the following section, we discuss the many benefits of participating in the UNC-BEST program and holding a science teaching license, regardless of whether you end up working as a classroom teacher.
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- Develop Communication Skills
Every job requires skills in communication whether you are explaining a diagnosis, marketing an idea or training a new hire. Knowledge of how people learn and how to communicate information with clarity and coherence are skills that support any profession. A teaching license provides evidence of knowledge and preparation for these essential skills and will help you be more competitive with job searches as well as applying to graduate or professional schools.
- Develop Leadership Skills
Teachers must be a leader to students and peers, as well as establish a compelling vision of their subject for students. Successful teachers see themselves as inspirational advocates for the children they teach. Experience as a teacher prepares individuals to become leaders and the knowledge gained from experience as a teacher is readily transferrable to other professions.
- Develop Rich Knowledge of Science
The absolute best way to develop a rich, conceptual understanding of a subject is designing compelling and understandable ways to portray concepts to a diversity of learners. The rich understandings of subject matter developed through teaching can be applied to future graduate studies, work in industry and/or work in another academic setting.
- Guaranteed Employment Opportunities
North Carolina’s public schools need 525 new science teachers each year, while the University of North Carolina system’s 15 teacher education programs, collectively produced just under 200 science teachers in 2006-07. Since science consistently represents one of the greatest needs schools have for qualified teachers, you will always be able to find a job as a science teacher. Many schools also offer generous signing bonuses to recruit science teachers. Furthermore, since 43 U.S. states have reciprocity agreements with North Carolina, a North Carolina teaching license will provide ongoing access to employment wherever you live.
- Access to Informal Science Education Careers
Perhaps you enjoy science and learning, but worry that classroom teaching may not be the right career for you. There are many opportunities to work in science education that do not involve teaching in a high school classroom. You can work with informal science education programs in museums, science-technology centers, planetariums, zoos and aquaria, botanical gardens and arboreta, parks, nature centers and/or environmental education centers. You can also be involved in developing science materials for the media including print, film, broadcast, and electronic forms. Furthermore, a teaching license makes you a competitive candidate for education or outreach jobs with community-based organizations and projects, including youth organizations and community outreach services
UNC-BEST students Michael Edge and Devon Hubbard work on a pendulum during an activity in PHYS 410.