April 20, 2022

How to Become a Teacher Without a College Degree - Ep. 41

How To Become A Teacher Without A College Degree And Start Your Career Debt Free

There Are Many Alternative Paths To Become a Teacher!

Becoming a teacher is one of the most fulfilling careers that you can take. It's one of the best careers where you can directly contribute to the community in a meaningful way.

But most of us know that it doesn't pay as much especially if you're paying off your student debt. So, what if you can skip the college degree entirely and fulfill your goal of being a teacher?

Watch the full episode to learn more!

Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • How to be a teacher without spending years and going into debt for a college degree.
  • What are the different paths that you can take as a degree free teacher.
  • Why you can make a much bigger impact as a degree free teacher as well as a healthier work experience compared to a regular, public school teacher.

Enjoy the episode!

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Want to learn which jobs you think require a college degree but actually don't? Check out the previous episode!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha guys, and welcome back to the Degree Free. We are hosts Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed. 

Hannah: Welcome back, welcome back everybody as always, we are happy to have you here. Now, if you would like to get degree free news, career opportunities and important announcements about resources and cool stuff that we found that helps us to teach ourselves important skills you are gonna want to get our newsletter. It is free. You can get it by running over to degreefreenetwork.com and signing up. 

Ryan: Yup, absolutely. And if you haven't already, please like and subscribe, we'd love to have you as a loyal listener every week. Without further ado, let's get into today's episode. Today, we are gonna be talking about how to become a teacher without a college degree.

Hannah: Yes. 

Ryan: So, this is kind of related to the episode we did last week, which is the jobs that you think require a college degree but don't, so we're doing teachers specifically because it is one of the careers that people think that you need the college degree the most. And that is just not true, right? 

Hannah: Yes. 

Ryan: And like we said, you can go back and listen to last week's episode, but we'll just sum it up right here. If you throw in a bunch of qualifiers to that sentence, we can make it true. So can you be public school teacher to children in the United States without a college degree, the answer is no, right? You need a college degree. Okay. So that being the caveat right there and honestly the vast majority of teachers are public school teachers.

Hannah: Yes. 

Ryan: Okay. So, let's get that out of the way. If you want to be a teacher in the public school system and you want to teach children, you have to get a college degree. 

Hannah: Correct. 

Ryan: Right. Not saying that it's worth the expense of a college degree and everything like that. That's another conversation that we can have at a later time. But if you want to do that as a career, go get a college degree. Okay. Now, if you just want to be a teacher and you don't mind how that happens, this episode's for you. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: Right. So how do you become a teacher without a college degree? 

Hannah: So the number one, the most, the most straightforward path is just gonna be teach at private school the end. Because private schools are not required to require bachelor's degrees to teach at them, while some of them may have the listed on their job listings, you could probably still apply. And if you had a compelling or unique experience or just a really good resume or you know somebody who works at the school and they know that you'd be competent at teaching then apply. And you know, you may, you may be able to get a job that way. Other versions of private schools would be full-time tutors or teaching to home, homeschool pods, which is now becoming really popular because the homeschoolers in the, in this country doubled in the last two years. And then like co-ops so people that bring their kids and kind of share a teacher, similar to a homeschooling pod but a slightly different set up.

Oftentimes to those teachers can be paid the same or more as public school teachers and oftentimes they have smaller class sizes and they get better outcomes, so. 

Ryan: Yeah, private schools. The're gonna be one of the easiest ways. We don't have to like go through any stretch of the imagination, right? There's 34,000 private schools in the nation, pick one and try to become a teacher at it, right? It's just, it's just like applying to any other job, right? You're gonna have to figure out what experience they want to see, and you're gonna have to convince them to give you the job. 

Hannah: Probably one of the easiest ways to do that, to just kind of like off the cuff would be if you graduated from that private school and you have a specific experience, just go back to the school and tell them you'd like to work for them. That's, that's probably a really good way to, that's a good way to do it. 

Ryan: So the next one is gonne be being a substitute teacher. 

Hannah: Yeah. So you can be a full-time substitute teacher without a college degree that you, they basically take anybody with a pulse who can pass a basic background check. And for anybody who has ever gone to a public school, I feel like it's pretty likely that at some point in your public school experience or maybe even in your private school experience, that you had a substitute teacher for either like three to six months or some of you even a year like that happens kind of a lot. Like, I definitely had classes in public school where I was taught by substitute teacher for the entire year. So I was taught by somebody who did not have a college degree for the entire year. 

Ryan: Right, exactly. And this is one of those things that a lot of people that, want to talk about, you know, you can't be a public school teacher or that throw all these qualifiers in when we talk about you can be a teacher without a college degree, they're going to say, well, substitute teacher is not a real teacher. I disagree. I think that it is so, I mean, and it says, so on your paycheck. 

Hannah: Do they, do they do all of the same work for that, do they do all the same work? Yes. 

Ryan: Right, so substitute teachers don't have the same requirements that the public schools systems have, I know that me personally, I have had substitute teachers for, I don't know about the whole full year, I think maybe once, but definitely a long time, definitely months and months. And then I have, I know for a fact that some of them did not have college degrees, but they were substitute teachers.

And a lot of them too, they were substitute teachers in the region in which I lived. And so they were like, there'll be like, okay, well this week I'm here and then next week I'm at the school across town, right? And so, they are full-time substitute teachers. They're just not full-time in that classroom or full-time at that school teaching that subject.

Hannah: So in that same vein of like substitute teachers right now, California and Arizona specifically are granting emergency provisional teaching licenses because they are so short on teachers. And while a lot of districts are gonna say they require a bachelor's degree, the way that they're going about doing this, I think it's extremely likely that if you apply with any sort of relevant experience working with kids, it'd be likely that you would get hired.

Cause that's how hard up they are for teachers that they're just granting these provisional emergency licenses to, like I said, I think it's probably just anybody with a pulse from what I was reading. So, definitely worth something that's looking into if you're really intent on that, that might be a way to get your foot in the door, which is get one of these while they're handing them out and then just figure out what your path is from there.

Ryan: And to clarify when how to saying anyone with a pulse, it's not like a derogatory statement, although it sounds pretty derogatory in connotation just that right now, they're desperate. 

Hannah: That's mean, they need people to do work. 

Ryan: Right. They need people to do work and then also substitute teachers. Not a lot of people are lining up through substitute teachers either.

Hannah: That's a good example though. Like I bet subsi, somebody with like what five, six years of substitute teaching experience would, would be somebody who would be a great candidate for being given one of these emergency teaching licenses. 

Ryan: Yeah, I would, I would think so. 

Hannah: Yeah. And you could just say, Hey, look, I have 10 years of you know, full-time substitute teaching experience. I've primarily subbed math, science or English as a second language classes. And those are the ones where they're, they're granting these licenses like crazy because they need people really badly. 

Ryan: And then the last one that we wanted to kind of talk about is going to be like teaching in a trade school or an adult slash like continuing education school. 

Hannah: So these schools have some, have something called a CTE that's Career and Technical Education and what they do is they take your years of experience and then they, they sort of codify them and then they'll use that to determine whether or not you're qualified to teach. So basically what you do is you submit this CTE, which is you know, your experience laid out and then typically the school will give you an offer. And then oftentimes what, after you accept the offer you go to a one-year teacher prep program while you were teaching and then after that year is over, then you take state exams, and then now you are a, you are a teacher. So that kind of undermines it's like you said, it's very specific. You can't be a public school teacher without a college degree. False. You can't be a public school teacher of children sometimes without a college degree is more accurate. 

Ryan: Yeah. And so, with this, especially, especially thinking about trade schools, being a teacher in those, it makes sense intuitively because you are teaching them how to do a skill.

Hannah: A profession. 

Ryan: Right. Exactly. So like whether it's Like carpentry or becoming an auto mechanic or something like that. You, your, or like even how to like make pots? 

Hannah: I was thinking like cosmetology, I was thinking of like, you know, hands-on. 

Ryan: Sure. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: Things like that where you're actually teaching them how to do something. It doesn't really matter if you have a college degree or not.

Hannah: No. 

Ryan: Right? I mean, did you know how to do the job? 

Hannah: Yeah. Can you do it? Can you show somebody else how to do it? 

Ryan: Right. Do you know how to do it? And can you teach somebody else how to do it? That's what they care about. And which makes sense because that's what you're doing.

Hannah: And the same thing is, the same thing is true of those adult and continuing education those are difficult to get people to staff. Those are, those places, those sort of public institutions have always had a hard time keeping staff. And so there are a lot less picky because they have to be, they have to take whoever they can, who has relevant experience. So if somebody has, like, I would imagine somebody who has experienced working at like adult, an adult daycare, running classes would be an ideal example of somebody who would submit, you know, experience to a, an adult or continuing education school and say, look, I have all of this experience teaching and this adult daycare or, or what have you. And so, that person is now considered. Well yes, you have experienced to do this there you go. 

Ryan: Right, absolutely. 

Hannah: So that, that person for the record would be a public school teacher. 

Ryan: Yep. One of the last things, Hannah kind of touched on it where in our first point where we were talking about private schools, but I kind of wanted to go a little bit deeper or at least mentioned it a little bit longer.

As far as teachers go, there are other ways, right? The homeschooling pods that you can teach the co-ops, but even like you said, a private tutoring, right? There's, if you're a private tutor and you have, you know, a certain amount of students, you can turn it into a business and you can make way more money than on what a teacher does, right? I mean, I'm not saying that money is your motivator. I'm just saying that, that is something because you're not within the confines of a school, right? You might not have, you might say, oh, I'm a tutor, but I mean, you're a teacher. 

Hannah: You're a teacher. 

Ryan: Right? Like you teach, you teach, 

Hannah: You get paid to teach.

Ryan: Right. You teach math, just like anybody, just like anybody else does, right? But you just make more. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: I mean, it's gonna be more difficult because you're gonna have to market your business and all that stuff that ends up having to do with running a business, running and owning a business, but it's possible to do it in non-traditional routes, all I'm saying. 

Hannah: And just to put that in perspective, like, just to put that in perspective for, for somebody, if you have 12 students, like if, if just to put it in perspective how this would work, functionally. You have 12 students and you charge each of them a thousand dollars a month to be taught by you full-time. That is not a small amount of money. That is $120,000 a year, which is twice what most teachers make. So in some places like that's about three times what a teacher would make. And so I do find it interesting that people are so, get so up in arms about it and are so like intent to just gate keep this title on like these people that do that not only do they have a better job and that they make quite a bit more money, two, they have quite a bit more freedom, three, they have smaller class sizes, which is the biggest thing for the success of kids. Anybody that's studied anything about education knows that the smaller classes you have, the more successful the kids are in the class.

That's just like, that's just like basic. Everybody, everybody knows that. And then it's the fact that these people are absolutely teaching and oftentimes, and oftentimes get equivalent or higher outcomes than students from public schools. So, it's just interesting cause like by what criteria are they not teachers, they are people who get paid to teach and they do so they make more money at it. They have a better quality of, of teaching in that they have a better quality of experience while they teach. Like they're probably having a much better experience than a public school teacher. And then three, the kids are getting a better benefit. So like, I, I don't really, I've never really understood that and I think it's just interesting to point it out because that is growing. That's a growing industry and it's gonna get bigger too, as time goes on. 

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And math in public, it's a little, $140,000 plus. 

Hannah: Oh, well, there we go. Well, that teacher's a baller.

Ryan: Yeah.

So, yeah I just wanted to kind of quickly go over that while it's not technically a teacher, right? I mean, you're more of a tutor or you're more of a, whatever, 

Hannah: You know, I will say technically it is a teacher. 

Ryan: Right. I know, but 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: You don't, you understand what 

Hannah: I hear, I hear yeah. 

Ryan: In not, in, not in a traditional title in which a lot of people that are critics of the things that come out of our mouths say 

Hannah: True. 

Ryan: Right?

Hannah: And true. 

Ryan: And So, all right, whatever. 

Hannah: Okay. Fine. Whatever you can have it. 

Ryan: But anyway, that's today's episode is a really quick one. There are a bunch of ways to become a teacher without a college degree. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: Right? I mean, like we said at the beginning of the show, the vast majority of jobs out there for teachers are going to be in the public school system and 

Hannah: Teaching kids. 

Ryan: Teaching kids and in order to, order, in order to do that in the United States, you need a college degree.

Hannah: Yes. 

Ryan: Okay. That is settled. And that's the majority of jobs we're clear there. You and I both agree on that. 

Hannah: Yes. 

Ryan: And we agree with everybody else that, it says that as well. 

Hannah: Yes. 

Ryan: Right. But here are a bunch of different options for you to be a teacher to hold the job title and the career of a teacher without a college degree. Yeah, pretty straightforward. 

Hannah: Pretty, pretty simple. If you'd like to see degree free news, like talking about provisional teaching licenses and opportunities like that ways to teach yourself so that you can get good jobs or work that you want and just resources that Ryan and I have found to be really helpful in our journey too, then sign up for the newsletter it's @degreefreenetwork.com just run on over there, it's free. 

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And like I said, at the beginning of the show, if you haven't already please like and subscribe, we'd love to have you as a weekly listener. We post new episodes every week and we'd love to see you here. And then if you guys want to get in touch with us the best way to do it is [email protected].

We love to get your feedback of the show. Just if you want to say hi or if you have some questions, we definitely love to hear from you guys. If you guys disagree with what we're saying about this teacher stuff we'd love to hear from you or if you are a teacher in a public school that teaches children, we especially want to hear from you as well.

But yeah, that's pretty much it, if you can follow, give us a follow that'd be great. I'm @ryankmaruyama at all the socials. She's @hyannahmaruyama as well. And the podcast is @degreefreepod until next time guys, Aloha.

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