Early-child Education: What to Know about Online Programs
The decision to pursue degree programs online is one that many people make in the modern era. They know that by doing so, they can work toward a change in careers or a first career without entirely changing their current schedules. However, the program focus and the adjustments they have to make do depend upon the specific program. If you are interested in an early-childhood education program online, you need to keep some important information in the forefront of your mind.
Select an Accredited Program
If you want to work in the field of education, you must select an accredited program. Accreditation is important in virtually any career that you want to enter. However, it plays an additional role in teaching. Let’s say that you signed up for an online program without accreditation in another field. Once you graduated, you could apply for jobs with private companies. A private company might decide that despite the lack of accreditation, you have the necessary skills. Since schools are generally governed by state rules, they cannot offer you that flexibility.
Understand Residency Requirements
Even though you are obtaining your degree to an online program, a residency requirement play a role in the prerequisites for graduation. A residency requirement is a period of time that you are required to spend taking classes on the actual campus. Sometimes, resident requirements are for a certain duration. For example, you may have to spend one month on campus each year. In other cases, they are for a certain number of credits, so you might have to take nine credits on the actual campus. In any case, you need to ensure that your schedule allows you to do so.
Learning how to become a teacher involves more than just staring at the pages of books and posting responses to discussions online. In general, you need to engage in some practical scenarios. Many schools require that you observe classrooms for a certain number of hours each semester, and they also require that you have a full semester of student teaching. You might think an online program works because you can complete all of the requirements from your home. With teaching, that is generally not possible. You will need to make time in your schedule to account for these practical components. Keep in mind that when you student teach, the process is usually treated as a full-time job. Therefore, you may need to take several months off from your current job, rearrange your hours and find childcare for your kids.
Strong Internet Abilities
During a number of your classes, you will likely read textbooks and answer questions, submit essays online and participate in internet discussions with your classmates. However, you also need to see how other people teach. Therefore, you may need to have a strong internet connection that allows you to view videos with ease. Your professors may post videos showing you effective methods for handling a classroom, or you may have to watch and critique your classmates give lessons. On top of that, you may need to plan and present your own lesson. As a result of these possible requirements, you will need to have strong video and audio capabilities on your computer. If you are concerned, you should speak with the school to find out if any support is offered to help you.
Online programs provide you with flexibility and accessibility. However, you must keep in mind that not all skills can be taught entirely over a computer, and teaching is one of them. You will need to make room in your schedule for in-person and live-chat sessions.