The road to become a teacher is riddled with bumps and potholes. Aside from mastering your major, you need to learn how to handle all kinds of people from all ages, acquire skills in arts and crafts to make effective teaching aids, and practice your communication skills to effectively teach lessons—among other things. More than a profession, teaching is a vocation; it’s a life’s work.
Excellent teachers go beyond what is expected of them. They actively take steps to improve themselves. They keep up with the latest trends and news in their field. They’re lifelong students that never stop learning. When you give a teacher a lesson or a topic, they’ll turn it into a learning experience their students will remember for life.
Getting a teaching job can be tough, especially for new graduates. Schools are always looking for experienced teachers. You’ll have to gain some teaching experience, which can mean getting a low-paying teaching job or becoming a teacher volunteer. You’ll also need certain certifications to practice your profession. Even when you have all of this, getting a stable teaching position in a good school can still be a Herculean task. That’s why even as an undergraduate, you have to take every opportunity to build up your resume.
In 1910 at the University of Missouri, Pi Lambda Theta was established to recognize the commitment of education students and educators to academic excellence and to the teaching profession. Now the organization is regarded as one of the “nation’s most prestigious honor societies.” Members of this society are considered to be highly qualified educators. Becoming a member of Pi Lambda Theta gives you an advantage in your field.
There are several requirements for joining Pi Lambda Theta. You have to have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be a qualified candidate. Other than that, you must also be one of the following, as per the requirements on their website.
- Undergraduate seniors, recent graduates, or graduate students who intend to pursue a career in education; or
- Current educators or education professional/support staff.
Once you’re become a member of the society, you gain several perks. Aside from a custom-made certificate, gold honor cords you can wear on your graduation, and an online badge for your LinkedIn profile, you can be granted educational scholarships for your undergraduate or graduate studies. You’ll also get to build connections with professional educators who can give you opportunities for future employment. Moreover, as stated on their website, your Pi Lambda Theta membership will give you access to affordable “professional liability insurance that covers you during clinical observations and preservice teaching assignments.”
Once you’ve decided to pursue your passion for teaching, you’re in for a rollercoaster ride. However tough and at times exhausting it is, teaching repays you with the deepest and most genuine satisfaction of touching the hearts of people and irrevocably changing their lives.
Pi Lamba Theta. n.d. “About PLT.” Accessed November 25, 2016.