After leaving behind their military careers, many veterans still want to do their part to make a positive impact in our country. Starting a brand-new career in a field that could inspire others and educate them in a way that no one else can is one incredible way to do just that.
Many former service men and women choose to become a teacher after they return home for good. Whether they choose to go into elementary, high school, or college-level education, you can be assured that they will put their own creative spin on their teaching by adding some of their military experience to their curriculum.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to shape young minds and enhance the knowledge of tomorrow’s generation, perhaps you should get started on your training and your teacher resume as you begin a path toward a career in education.
Key Points You Can Add to Your Teacher Resume
When you become a school teacher, you get to use many of the skills that you were taught during your time in the military. Leadership skills, experience, and various areas of knowledge can help you obtain the type of teaching job that you want. By adding all of your strengths to your teacher resume, you could be placed in a teaching role that would showcase many of the skills that you used each day.
If you had any technical training including computer programming, that knowledge could help you get a great job as a computer science teacher or other roles in the area of computer education. It’s important to add any and all training that you received while in the service to your teacher resume. You may not think that something could be beneficial to a career in education, but there are any different aspects that make a good educator a great teacher that go far beyond a college degree.
Special Programs to Help You Get Started with Your Teaching Career
Two of the best programs designed to help veterans become qualified educators include Troops to Teachers and Teach for America. These programs give veterans a head start in reaching their goals of becoming an educator with benefits such as connections with hiring officials, individualized counseling and transition planning.
Troops to Teachers
Troops to Teachers was started in 1993 and since that time the program has helped over 20,000 veterans successfully begin a career in education. The program can help you get your start on the path to becoming a public school teacher.
This program provides counseling and referral services for those who participate and help them meet all the educational and licensing requirements needed to become a teacher. In addition to that, Troops to Teachers also helps veterans secure a teaching position.
Some of the benefits to using the TTT program include:
Any current or former member of the United States Armed Forces would be eligible for the program. They can receive counselling, referral services, and assistance with employment.
Those in the program who meet certain military service, educational, and application requirements could also be eligible to receive TTT financial assistance up to $10,000 which would provide financial support while they transition to their new career.
To get started with Troops for Teachers, visit their website at proudtoserveagain.com. Click on Program Application, select Apply Now, and select Save & Continue to begin the application process.
Once the application is submitted and processed, you will be contacted by someone from the TTT Program Office by email. They will inform you of the services that you are eligible for based on your education, military service time, and the date of your application.
Teach for America
Teach for America is a program that focuses on providing quality public education to all areas of the U.S. These days in the public school system, the quality of the education that students receive is based in part on where they live. Those who live in wealthier regions often receive better overall education and training than those who live in mid to lower class areas. It’s an unfortunate problem that shouldn’t exist at all and Teach for America is trying to reverse the issue by placing qualified, professional educators in low-income communities.
Teach for America works with all types of promising educators, and they have a special program for veterans hoping to start a teaching career. Their Military Veterans Initiative puts the knowledge, training and leadership skills of America’s veterans to work in our nation’s classrooms that have the greatest need for a high-level quality teacher.
The reason why Teach for America wants veterans to assist with their education program is because of their extensive training in leadership. The program hopes to recruit veterans to become teachers so that they can pass along that lifelong leadership development to the children who need it most.
How Your Military Background Can Impact Your Style of Teaching
Those who have a military background can make excellent teachers. Veterans often have a low tolerance for disobedience and provide students with fair consequences if they disobey the rules. What may seem too strict for some educators could be the exact type of discipline that students need in areas where drop-out rates and violence in schools are higher than average.
Also, many veterans were trainers, coaches, and teachers before they ever received a degree in education while they were still in service. They have the experience needed to demand attention from students and gain their respect as well. They also tend to have the patience needed to deal with an unruly classroom.
Earning a Degree in Education
Earning your degree after you have served your time for your country can be an overwhelming experience. Going to college can seem like you are in a completely different world after you have been used to being around people in the military for so long. And it isn’t just getting used to the people around you that’s difficult, you also have to deal with completing assignments on time, getting to class, writing essays, and taking final exams.
There are some veterans who feel like they can’t deal with the pressure of going to class or taking tests. If you feel that way, you really shouldn’t let that stop you from starting a new career in education. Your military experience has prepared you for these obstacles and so much more. Because of your training, you can deal with the stress and complex problems that come along with being a student.
To achieve your goals of earning a degree in education, you should prepare yourself for the transition. Allow the counselors and other administrative staff to help you as needed. You should also be open to a new mindset. Just because you are in class with students who are at least 4 years younger than you, doesn’t mean they are inferior. Be open-minded and be a part of the team instead of a leader. Save the leadership skills for when you are the teacher.
Another thing that can help if you are taking classes on-campus is to seek out other veterans so that you can interact with other students who are dealing with the same struggles you are. Some schools will offer veteran-specific orientation or classes so be sure to ask an advisor if these options are available to you.
There is assistance available from various programs that offer counseling and advice for veterans who are returning to school to start a new career. One educational support organization that has helped many veterans find their place in the civilian world is DANTES.
Veterans that need assistance getting started with their new career should visit the DANTES website for helpful videos, information, and connection with a counselor who is ready to help. DANTES, also known as the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, assists current and former service members pursue their educational goals and earn a degree or a certification either during or after their service.
Why Veterans are Choosing to Become Teachers
Many veterans are choosing to become teachers because they want to help care for our nation’s children. A retired U.S. Air Force E-6 Technical Sergeant Darrell Jones stated that the fact that he served in the military gives parents and students a sense of security and comfort. The parents know that there is someone who is not only providing quality education to their children but also will be dedicated to the overall well-being of their class. “This is not a trust I take lightly.” Jones said in an interview with PBS News Hour. “When my students ask if I have any children, I always say, Yup…130! 128 of you guys and two of my own.”
Is a Career in Education the Right Choice for You?
Becoming a teacher can be a rewarding experience that allows you to take the leadership training you received while in the military and help dozens of kids learn more than what they could ever get from a textbook alone. Organizations such as DANTES and Troops to Teachers have plenty of useful information that can help you get started on the right path to a successful career in education. And if teaching isn’t the right career path for you, you can still use your training and help from counselors to find the perfect career options for you.