Before college

You’re considering a career in teaching, but where should you start?

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Every teacher makes a difference

Whether you illustrate subtraction to a second grader or help a high school sophomore discover cell mitosis, your influence will be felt for a lifetime. Educators are the most critical factor contributing to a student’s success in school. In this career, you’ll work hard while building skills that set you up to succeed no matter where your professional journey takes you.

Explore the profession by:

Learning about life in the classroom

Discovering the benefits of being a teacher

Searching for volunteer opportunities in the classroom

Reaching out to local teachers to hear their first hand experiences and perspective

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Understand the process

Choose a pathway

One of the first steps on your journey to becoming a teacher is to choose a pathway. There are many options to fit your unique needs and experience. Explore pathways 

Pick a program

Once you determine the pathway that will best support your unique learning needs, you can identify which educator preparation program might be the best fit. Explore programs

Get certified

To become a teacher in Washington, you must earn a residency teaching certificate. Certification requirements include completion of a preparation program, assessments, student teaching, and background checks. Explore certification

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Still in high school?

Many of Washington’s finest teachers felt their calling years before they actually enrolled in a teacher preparation program. Sound familiar? Consider talking to your school counselor about courses that explore the teaching profession.

Teacher academies

Your high school may have a teacher academy course that helps you earn college credit while also exploring the teaching profession. These courses are often called Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) or Careers in Education, and they are designed to bring more students of color into the educator workforce.

The RWT program supports you as you complete high school and apply to college. The program’s goal is not only that you pursue teacher certification, but that you also become an education leader who makes a difference in your community.

If you participate in these programs, you may be eligible for additional financial aid.

“I want to become a teacher because I believe there are not enough teachers who look like me.”

Faride Cuevas, Recruiting Washington Teachers graduate
Burlington-Edison High School

Sunrise Over Crown Point at Columbia River Gorge

Washington offers a variety of diverse and desirable regions. Where will you teach?

Explore Washington’s regions