The field of education includes public and private K-12 teaching, as well as opportunities within institutions of higher education. Education also includes informal education institutions such as City Year, Americorps, Teach for America, tutoring, and literacy training. Education opportunities include both certified and non-certified teaching positions.
Certification, or licensure, is required to teach in public schools. If you are not certified you can get a teaching position in an independent school or a teaching apprenticeship or fellowship. The field of education offers non-teaching positions as well. Private schools and colleges often offer jobs in residential life, admissions, financial aid, student activities, and coaching. NAIS and the Chronicle of Higher Education are great sources for job listings.
Make an appointment with Meg by calling Career Planning at (207) 725-3717 or by submitting our online appointment request form.
Certification, or licensure, is required to teach in public schools. TeachersCount, an excellent overall resource for those interested in teaching, explains below:
“The requirements for teacher licensure/certification are set by each state, and a state’s Department of Education website will have the most comprehensive listing of that information.” For a compilation of requirements for all fifty states click here.
While licensing requirements differ among states, most states expect teachers to fulfill the following requirements:
- You must hold a bachelor’s degree, and, in some states, a post-baccalaureate or master’s degree. For elementary education, you will usually need either a major or minor in education (for a bachelor’s degree) or a master’s degree in education. Kindergarten and elementary schools require teachers to have taken special courses in the teaching of reading, mathematics, physical sciences, and the like. Bowdoin graduates, then, who wish to teach in elementary schools should plan on a year of post-graduate education in order to earn certification or plan to teach in independent school.
- For secondary subjects, you will usually need a degree in the area you wish to teach and completion of an approved, accredited education program (such as the Bowdoin Teacher Scholars Program) that fulfills student teaching and practicum requirements.
- In addition to your major, you may be required to show proof of a strong liberal arts foundation. You will likely need to pass a state test or the Praxis exam administered by the Educational Testing Service. Some states also require proof that you have taken a variety of college courses in basic subject areas (English, math, science, social studies, and language), especially for obtaining licensure in elementary education.
Alternative Teacher Certification
In recent years, a number of states, cities, and universities have begun offering alternative routes to certification as a way of attracting career changers and non-certified individuals interested in teaching. Typically, these programs consist of intensive teacher training and graduate school courses combined with an intensive teaching and/or internship experience in a school.
While post-baccalaureate teacher-education programs can take up to two years to complete, alternative certification programs usually allow you to begin teaching in a short amount of time (though you still have to take classes to obtain your alternative certification). Most programs offer students the option of obtaining their master’s degree in education at a subsidized rate.
For a summary of programs by state, as well as more information on alternative certification, you can visit National Center for Alternative Certification or National Center for Education Information.
Teach for America, The New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey Program, New York City Teaching Fellows, and the Mississippi Teacher Corps are four highly competitive, alternate-route teaching programs for college graduates who are not education majors.”
Additionally, most large cities sponsor teaching fellows programs.
Teaching at a Private School
If you do not wish to pursue certification look into teaching at a private school or consider working as a paraprofessional (also known as a teacher’s aide), a non-certified instructional staff person whose duties may include providing one-on-one or small group tutoring for students, assisting with classroom management, providing instructional assistance in a computer lab, conducting parental involvement activities, providing instructional support in the library or media center, acting as a translator, and providing instructional support to a student under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Independent School Teacher Placement Agencies
Why not let someone else do the job searching for you?
Teacher Placement Agencies are a free resource, and you don’t have to be a certified teacher! You provide your professional information and qualifications, as well as preferences, and they do the work for you.
How does it work?
Most agencies work with schools of all types, including coeducational and single sex, independent and charter, day and boarding, urban, suburban and rural, secular and denominational. Through interviews, hiring conferences, college visits and a comprehensive application process, the agencies gather the specific details of each candidate’s search; including experience, subject area expertise, geographic preferences, coaching, and extracurricular interests. They then match you up with schools who are hiring.
How do I register with an agency?
Below are links to some a few of the larger placement agencies. Follow the specific instructions for each agency.
Other Valuable Resources
Graduate Schools of Education
The best source of information about getting a graduate degree in education is Bowdoin’s Education Department. Graduate schools of education generally offer several programs and degrees. The master’s degree in education is recognized by several titles depending on the institution, but each carries the same weight: for example, Harvard Graduate School of Education offers an M.Ed. (Master’s of Education), University of Pennsylvania offers an M.S.Ed. (Master of Science in Education), Stanford University School of Education offers an M.A. in Education (Master of Arts in Education), and Brown University offers an M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching). Universities offer a number of master’s programs, ranging from nine months to two years in length. As well as programs leading to a master’s with teaching certification, graduate school of education offer such programs as counseling and psychological services; education policy; education leadership; higher education; early childhood education; language and literacy; teaching, learning, and curriculum; education, culture, and society; arts in education; and international education policy. Consult specific schools of education for program offerings and admissions requirements and speak with Education Department faculty members at Bowdoin for additional guidance.Like the master’s degree, the doctorate in education degree is recognized by several titles depending on the institution, but each carries the same weight: the Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) and the Ph.D. in Education (Doctor of Philosophy in Education) are the most common. The doctorate in education degree prepares students to assume such roles as university faculty members and senior-level educational leaders, policy makers, and researchers.
Teaching Fellows Program
Idealist is a great resource to assist you in your effort to find teaching fellowships.
Below are fellowship opportunities Bowdoin students have pursued in the past:
Blue Engine: An education nonprofit that recruits, trains and supports a professional corps of Blue Engine Teaching Assistants (BETAs) dedicated to academic acceleration in high-need public high schools in New York City. In school-based teams, BETAs work alongside classroom teachers to provide academic instruction to small groups of students in core skills including Algebra, Geometry, and English / Language Arts (ELA). BETAs decrease the teacher-to-student ratio and collaborate with teachers to customize instruction, increase academic rigor, and build empowering relationships with students at each academic level. Our BETA teams work with every student in the grade level–not just high achievers and not just students who need more attention—a feature of the program that was designed to provide a way for students of all ability levels to have safe, individualized spaces to learn.
Uncommon Schools: A network of 28 charter public schools across Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. All of the schools are managed by a Home Office, based in New York City, and regional teams. We provide wide-ranging support including management and coaching of school leaders, professional development, staff recruitment, fundraising and more. This way, our schools in Boston, New York City, Newark, Rochester, and Troy can focus on teaching and learning. Search the site for teaching apprenticeships, summer fellows’ positions and leadership positions.
Achievement First: The Achievement First Teacher Residency is an amazing opportunity for recent top college graduates, with little or no teaching experience, who want to explore a career in education. Teachers-in-residence are exposed to best practices in education reform, gain hands-on experience in the classroom assisting teachers, and learn about the administration of a high-performing charter school. Teachers-in-residence receive a stipend of $25,000 and full health benefits.
The New Teacher Project: TNTP prepares exceptional teachers for the students who need them most – those in our country’s most disadvantaged communities, where too many children start school behind and struggle to catch up. TNTP teaching fellows acknowledge the immense challenges of poverty but reject its limitations. They believe that every lesson has the power to inspire, every hour in the classroom is precious, and every student has the potential to succeed. Together they are proving the transformative power of great teaching, and proving what’s possible in public education.
MATCH Corps: The Match Corps is an innovative, one-of-a-kind residential tutoring program that provides more than 300 hours of tutoring yearly to each student in the MATCH Charter Public High School.
Great Oaks Charter School: Great Oaks Charter School provides college preparatory education to low-income students in Newark, New Jersey. Their Tutor Corps program offers yearlong teaching fellowships to recent graduates interested in an intensive experience working in an urban education environment. Once admitted to the program, fellows also have the option of committing to the three-year Teaching Residency program, where they receive additional coursework in education, gain New Jersey teacher certification, benefit from job placement assistance, and have the option of earning a masters degree upon completion.
Various US Locations and Hong Kong
Breakthrough Collaborative: Breakthrough Collaborative offers an intensive eight-week summer fellowship for current students and recent graduates where aspiring educators and at-risk middle school students learn from and teach each other simultaneously. Under the guidance of experienced mentor teachers, Breakthrough fellows are placed in classrooms across the US and in Hong Kong where they engage directly with students in a college preparatory environment. Some locations offer housing for fellows but placement is not guaranteed; consider applying early to increase your chances.
New York, NY
NYC Teaching Fellows Program: The NYC Teaching Fellows program recruits and prepares high-quality, dedicated individuals to become teachers who raise student achievement in the New York City classrooms that need them most.
City on the Hill Teaching Fellowship: The Urban Teaching Fellowship at city on a Hill is a one- year, $16,000 fellowship intended to train and certify individuals interested in a career teach in urban public high schools.
Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowships: Service in Citizen Schools immerses educators in real-world teaching and community building. And they bring that knowledge to outstanding careers. Hands-on experience with students at some of the most challenging and rewarding schools in the country, combined with a Master’s Degree program.
Greenwich Country Day: The Co-teacher program employs 25 college graduates participating in a one or two year experience fostering exploration of the elementary and early childhood teaching profession. Participants explore all aspect of an elementary classroom. Additional responsibilities include either coaching athletic teams in grades 6-9 or working in the “Afters” program in grades 1-3. These after-school activities give co-teachers a chance to work with children of different ages and to broaden their professional experience. A one hour seminar series meets twice a month to supplement classroom experience. Compensation includes housing, an annual stipend of $24,000, generous medical and dental benefits, and tuition assistance for graduate school. Greenwich, Connecticut is located approximately 30 miles east of New York City.
Tabor Academy: Tabor Academy is a coeducational, rigorous, college preparatory boarding and day school. Tabor enrolls students demonstrating academic ability, strong motivation, sound character, emotional stability, and a willingness to participate fully in the school community. Tabor is founded on the belief that a healthy school community finds common ground while embracing differences and, therefore, accepts a racially, ethnically, religiously, economically, and internationally diverse student body. Tabor students are expected to respect one another and to care for their school.Tabor’s academic, artistic, athletic, and community programs provide distinctive opportunities for students to achieve genuine understanding and significant skills and to identify and pursue personal goals. As “the school by the sea,” Tabor sustains a unique maritime heritage that embodies, in all its programs, the qualities a seagoing life requires: thoughtful preparation for and awareness of the wider world, perseverance, courage, good humor, a sense of direction, and humility.
New Haven, CT
The Foote School: Foote is a vibrant place where teachers and staff strive to balance exuberance with reflection. Every effort is made to help children achieve their potential with limited class size, small group instruction, and attention to the individual in an encouraging atmosphere.Teachers provide careful grounding in verbal and mathematical skills while fostering creativity and self-confidence. These skills are integrated into a rich and imaginative curriculum of literature, history, mathematics, science, technology, writing, foreign languages, the arts and athletics.
Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School: The Associate Teacher Program is a teaching opportunity designed for well-qualified college graduates. Typically joining the faculty for a one to two year appointment as salaried full-time employees, Associate Teachers will be introduced to a program of guided work in the classroom, instructional immersion, professional development, and exposure to the theories and methods of early childhood education.
Phillips Andover Academy: At Andover on a one-year teaching fellowship, the recent college graduate (or graduate school degree recipient) is introduced to teaching in a program of guided work in the classroom, professional seminars, and exposure to theories and methods of experienced faculty. In addition to supervised teaching experience, a teaching fellow receives a stipend of approximately $22,000 plus medical insurance, life insurance, and a 50 percent contribution to dental insurance. Apartments in a school dormitory or house and meals in the school dining hall also are provided.
The Groton School: The Teacher-Intern program serves recent college graduates interested in working under supervision to develop the varied skills required of secondary boarding school teachers. The program offers as wide an exposure as possible to all aspects of a secondary boarding school. The intern’s responsibilities will include supervised teaching under the guidance of an experienced member of the department, observation of other classes, and teaching or assisting in at least one other class. The fields open to interns are English, Mathematics, History, Classics, French, Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Religion, the Arts (not Art History), and Admission. Interns also help coach athletics during at least two but preferably three seasons, assist in dormitory supervision one evening per week and every fourth Saturday evening or as needed, and participate in other areas of school life commensurate with their interests and talents.Teacher-intern appointments are for one year and carry a salary of approximately $27,700 plus living quarters, meals in the School Dining Hall, and full utilities except for telephone. Medical insurance is provided with interns paying 25% of the premium for whichever plan is chosen.
Culver Academies: This is an internship for those interested in independent boarding schools. Culver Academies, in Culver, Indiana, places interns with a mentor in his or her academic discipline. Interns also assist with extracurricular activities throughout the year, and live in the dormitories. The compensation includes a salary of $22,000, as well as room and board.
Pike School/Lesley University: Designed for people with little previous teaching experience, The Pike School/Lesley University School-based Internship/M.Ed. Program (Teacher Training Program), in conjunction with Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, seeks to develop reflective, visionary educators. This one year, site-based teacher training program leads to Massachusetts initial lcensure and a master’s degree in elementary education.
Project Coach: Project Coach Fellows work as mentors and supervisors for the Project Coach Program while pursuing a master’s degree at the Smith College Education and Child Study Program. They will be working towards Massachusetts licensure in their area of study while performing a wide array of duties for the Project Coach Program. The program is designed for individuals who enjoy working with and encouraging young people from diverse backgrounds, have experience as a college athlete, and want a career in education.
Seattle Teacher Residency: A residency program that places graduates in urban Seattle public schools. Residents study for 14 months as full time students at UW, and receive a stipend to offset tuition costs. The program is a year long, and places residents within elementary schools; residents are matched with a mentor during that time. Participants will leave the program with a Washington State K-5 Elementary Education Residency Teaching Certification.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Teacher Residency: Residents train under current San Francisco teachers while taking classes at a university to work towards their credential and Master’s degree. This program provides either reduced tuition at University of San Francisco or loan forgiveness at Stanford. The program is designed to fill the hardest to staff subjects in the San Francisco schools.
Chicago Teacher Residency: Academy for Urban Leadership places its residents with a full-time teacher mentor in Chicago public schools for a full year of training. Residents also participate in a Master’s program at National Louis University, which will fulfill the requirements for an Illinois Educator License. Residents are supported financially, with either $30,000 or $40,000 (Mathematics teachers) and discounted tuition for the year.
Estes Park, CO
Eagle Rock Fellowship Program: Public Allies is an Americorps, 10-month apprenticeship program. The Public Allies Eagle Rock Fellowship Program is for college graduates. Fellows work with students ages 15-21 who have not been successful in traditional schooling. Compensation includes a monthly stipend of around $1,500 dollars.
Ryan Fellowship: Accelerate Institute created the Ryan Fellowship in order to shape and provide leaders for charter schools. The Ryan Fellowship has a 4-week long training at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before the year-long fellowship. The qualifications vary by teaching location.
Basis Charter Schools: Basis runs a multitude of charter schools around the country, and have various teaching fellowships at their locations. Fellows are mentored by Deans and current teachers, and gain in-class experience. Compensation is competitive and based on educational attainment.
Outdoor & Environmental Education
First, Check Out These Top Programs
Wilderness Ventures: Founded in 1973, Wilderness Ventures runs more than 30 outdoor experiences for teens every summer that run from several days to several weeks. In a wide variety of locations around the world, Wilderness Ventures emphasizes intensive outdoor education, leadership, and environmental stewardship. The program provides young people with a chance to learn about themselves and gain valuable skills in a challenging but supportive environment. Employment opportunities are available for those interested in leading expeditions; check out their website for more information.
EXPLO Exploration Summer Programs: A summer enrichment program for young people from ages 9 to 17, EXPLO is dedicated to unlocking the potential in its students by offering them opportunities to grow and explore their curiosities and passions. EXPLO programs take place on several US college campuses and positions are available for those interested in engaging with program participants as leaders, advisors, and educators.
High Mountain Institute: The High Mountain Institute is dedicated to nurturing personal and community growth through interaction with the natural world and to the idea of “simple in means, rich in ends.” Learning by experience, academic excellence, and education that inspires intellectual growth are fundamental principles of all our programs. The High Mountain Institute promotes these tenets to local and national students through its own curricula and by supporting other events and organizations that further these goals.
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS): A nonprofit educational institution which takes people of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions, teaching technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics in some of the world’s wildest and most awe-inspiring classrooms. With courses ranging from 10 days to a full academic year, NOLS attracts highly motivated students who want to learn how to lead. The hands-on, learn-by-doing approach means that graduates get the skills they need to be competent, responsible wilderness travelers.
Rippleffect: Stay in Maine this summer working at Cow Island in Casco Bay (Portland, ME). Rippleffect hosts youth development programs as well as leadership adventure programs for people of all ages. This is a fantastic local organization. Visit them at the Maine Employers Career Fair and check for job postings in eBEAR.
Teens to Trails: Another opportunity to stay in Maine connecting local teenagers with the great outdoors.
Outward Bound: The mission is “to inspire character development and self-discovery in people of all ages and walks of life through challenge and adventure, and to impel them to achieve more than they ever thought possible, to show compassion for others and to actively engage in creating a better world.”
Overland: Overland offers 28 carefully crafted outdoors, community service and language study programs to boys and girls ages 12 to 18. Each program has clearly defined goals: hike to the summit of a mountain peak, reach out to a community in need, master another language. Add exceptional leaders and small, supportive groups, and an experience of unsurpassed quality results for our students. Whether the setting is a mountaintop in the Rockies, an impoverished neighborhood in the Southwest or a classroom in the châteaux country of France, Overland’s students thrive in an environment of friendship and fun, as they learn from our inspiring leaders and discover their own strengths through their accomplishments.
The Student Conservation Association: The Student Conservation Association (SCA) offers a variety of opportunities at National Parks and Historic Sites. Work an internship or as a member of a crew. Serve as a trip leader to high school students or as a Park Interpreter for school groups. The SCA also offers a variety of back country trail crew positions and ecological research opportunities as well as other “indoor” experiences. The best part? You can work for a summer (3 months) or post-graduation for longer-term positions (6 to 12 months).
Apogee Adventures: Apogee offers outdoor youth adventure travel. Apogee’s primary goal is for students to have fun, form lasting friendships, and to return home with a feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence that will carry over into all aspects of life. Based out of Brunswick, Maine and run by a Bowdoin alumnus, Apogee hires summer Trip Leaders to lead overnight Outdoor Adventure/Community Service trips in New England, Québec, Montana, the Pacific Northwest, and the Caribbean.
Chewonki: A camp for boys and girls with a wilderness classroom and sustainability office located in nearby Wiscasset, Maine.
Walking Mountains: Pete Wadden ’09 currently works there and suggests that you take a look at the seasonal naturalist or graduate educator fellowships offered by this Colorado-based organization.
American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA): The premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States.
Ancient Pathways: Based in Flagstaff, Arizona, Ancient Pathways is a wilderness skills company specializing in desert survival and primitive technology. The focus of all Ancient Pathways courses is to provide hands-on training in practical survival skills and outdoor safety techniques.
Aspen Education Group: Headquartered in Cerritos, California, Aspen operates in 13 states and the United Kingdom and is recognized nationwide as a leading provider of education programs for struggling or underachieving young people. Aspen’s programs exist at the intersection of therapy and education for students who have demonstrated behavioral issues that are interfering with their performance in school and life. Aspen programs range from short-term intervention programs to residential treatment, and include a variety of therapeutic interventions including: boarding schools, wilderness therapy, residential treatment, special needs summer camps, and weight loss programs.
Bay Area (San Francisco) Wilderness Training: BAWT is a project of the Earth Island Institute. It’s mission is to create opportunities for urban youth to experience wilderness first hand. BAWT’s primary strategy for achieving its mission is to provide Bay Area youth agency staff with wilderness leadership training and outdoor equipment so that they, along with the youth they serve, may explore the power and beauty of California’s wilderness.
Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center: BOEC was established in Breckenridge, Colorado, in 1976 as an educational organization to provide outdoor experiences for people with disabilities and to train the instructors who work with special populations. Ultimately, BOEC strives to integrate disability with ability, providing outdoor experiences to all. BOEC welcomes people of all abilities from around the world to spectacular natural classrooms in the Rocky Mountains and beyond.
CanAdventure: Based in British Columbia, CanAdventure Education was born out of a desire to increase access to therapeutic wilderness programs for troubled teens in Canada.
Jack Mountain Bushcraft and Guide Service: This year-round bushcraft and wilderness survival school and traditional Maine guide service, located on the banks of the Aroostook River in Masardis, Maine, runs field-based, college-level semester and year-long immersion programs in bushcraft and wilderness guide training, courses on traditional north woods crafts, and classes on sustainable living and wilderness survival. It also guides canoe, snowshoe, and fishing trips in northern Maine.
Nantahala Outdoor Center: Located in western North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains, NOC strives to share its special environment with the public through whitewater rafting, hiking, pedaling, and paddling trips.
North American Association for Environmental Education: Search for additional environmental education opportunities via the NAAEE website!
Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO): A leader in wilderness medicine training in the United States, SOLO is the only school in the country with a campus dedicated solely to teaching wilderness medicine (on 300 acres in the heart of the White Mountains).
The Tracker School was founded in 1978 by Tom Brown, Jr., America’s renowned Tracker and Wilderness Survival expert. Based on the teachings of Stalking Wolf, the Apache elder from whom Tom began learning when he was seven years old, the school has expanded to include over 75 classes, divided into eight course tracks. Each course covers the three major categories of survival: tracking, nature observation, and awareness — and aims to help achieve closer attachment to the Earth, and the skills and philosophy that will help the student live in harmony and balance with Creation.
Internship in Educational Policy
Center for American Progress: An independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. We believe an open and effective government can champion the common good over narrow self-interest, harness the strength of our diversity, and secure the rights and safety of its people. Interns will be directly engaged with the organization’s policy experts and participate in a variety of activities, including research, writing, and web-based projects. They will also assist staff with administrative tasks and help organize the organization’s many conferences and events.American Progress offers a monetary stipend as well as a transportation subsidy for interns.
Children’s Defense Fund: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for more than 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation. Interns provide administrative and program support to CDF’s professional staff; draft memoranda on current and future policy issues, conduct research, track legislative activities, attend hearings and coalition meetings, and participate in a wide-range of other CDF activities.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights offer a substantive, fast-paced internship program designed to give undergraduate students interested in civil and human rights, public service, advocacy, journalism and online communications, real-world work experience in the policy arena. The program provides interns the chance to increase their knowledge and awareness of civil and human rights issues, enhance their understanding of coalition politics, and observe the legislative process of our federal government. Interns are fully integrated into staff activities and involved in field operations, development work, web content, and communications work.
National Council of La Raza (NCLR): The largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Internships are available to work with a number of NCLR offices in California, Texas, New York, and DC.
The Education Trust internship program is for individuals who believe that all students can achieve at high levels and who want to work as part of a team committed to that goal. The program is designed for undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students who are capable of doing staff-level work under minimal supervision.
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