Exploratory Program

The school experience is the heart of the Center for Career Changers to the Classroom because it allows the prospective career changer to visit and work with a mentor teacher in the schools to obtain a view of teaching in the twenty-first century.  The program includes a structured learning experience in the classroom and specialized classes about teaching as a profession.

The Center for Career Changers is collaborating with Maryland community colleges to provide the experiences needed by prospective career changers to make an informed decision about teaching as an encore career.

Select community colleges offer a course entitled Teaching as a Next Career. Please contact your local community college to find out more about this opportunity if you do not see the college listed below.   For specfic information, see the tab above Learn More, and click on How to Apply.

The one-credit course offered by the community colleges is composed of three components:

Introductory Classes

Community colleges will offer introductory coursework on teaching methods, school culture, assessment, and classroom management.  These classes provide the prospective career changer with basic information about schools and classroom instruction and assessment.  It is a base of knowledge with which to view the classroom and begin to understand the work of a teacher.  Format will vary; community college classroom classes and online classes will be offered.

Initial Experiences in a School with a Mentor Teacher

An assignment is made to a school and mentor teacher; both the career changer and the mentor teacher receive orientation packets; the career changer becomes acquainted with the culture of the school and the students; time is taken to review the student and faculty handbooks, visit the faculty room, review the Maryland Voluntary Curriculum, observe and reflect on lessons taught by the mentor, and tutor individuals and small groups as well as assist the mentor in other classroom duties.  This takes no more than two days.

Classroom Experiences with a Mentor Teacher

The career changer receives experience with teacher duties; works with individual students and/or small groups; creates lesson plans and assessments for tutoring assignments and reflects on the lessons; possibly teaches a whole class lesson (one suggestion would be to teach a lesson on how one applied knowledge of the subject in one’s profession – this would be planned with outcomes and an assessment). During the entire classroom experience, prospective career changers are expected to keep notes and write journals on the experience.