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King University News :: The Choice to Become a Teacher

One of the most important career paths anyone could choose is to become a teacher. People who teach have an innate passion for learning and sharing that knowledge. King University’s Department of Teacher Education is well-known for producing high caliber teachers who are eager to educate young people not only in our region but also across the nation and the globe. 

Currently, King’s Department of Teacher Education graduates have 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis™ I and II examinations. These exams satisfy Tennessee’s licensure test requirements. Required tests include Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) tests (Praxis™ I) along with Subject Assessments (Praxis™ II)., which include the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) 

“100 percent of King’s Science and Math teachers were hired while 88 percent of all Teacher Education graduates were hired for the ’13-’14 school year,” says Gloria Oster, assistant professor of Education, program coordinator of Teacher Education, and associate dean of the School of Education for King University. “Right now there is a great need for science and math teachers. If someone were to graduate with a degree and teaching license in those areas, he or she would not have any trouble getting a teaching job anywhere.”

Oster adds that students thinking about teaching as a career should allow the passion for what they love to ignite that passion in others. “Teachers have a burning flame inside that shows they care about learning. Students can invest in the future by sharing their gift or talent with others, thereby positively impacting both their own future and others.”

Ideally, students should decide to become a teacher by the sophomore year. Doing so enables students to take education classes and still have plenty of time for their student teaching.

Tennessee K-12 public schools are converting to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which have been adopted by 44 states with another four becoming initiative participants.

According to the CCSS Initiative, the Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, emphasizing problem-solving. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. With American students more fully prepared for the future, communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

“We teach students with what they need to know in order to be effective in dealing with the new Common Core standards,” says Oster. “We talk about instructional strategies that will help future teachers both engage students and help them master those standards. Our teacher candidates also receive plenty of hands-on learning through field experiences.”

Students may earn teacher licensure in the following areas: Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, or Secondary Education. Fields of study include Interdisciplinary Studies for Elementary and Middle Grades, Biology, Chemistry, English, French, Spanish, History, History/Government, Math, Physics, and Physical Education. Students studying Music Education may certify for K-12. Additional endorsements include English as a Second Language for K-12.

King junior Kaitlynn Clark is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies in both Elementary and Middle Grades with an additional certification in English as a Second Language. Of her experience at King, Kaitlynn says, “When deciding on a program to enter, I spoke with a number of area teachers, all of which recommended King by saying King’s School of Education is the best. King is definitely doing a great job preparing me for my life as an educator. After I graduate, I plan to continue my education at King by studying for my Master of Education degree.”

“In areas of need like math, science, and foreign language, it is possible to obtain a teaching position before becoming a licensed teacher,” adds Oster. “The State of Tennessee’s Department of Education has approved this method as a way of dealing with the teacher shortage as long as the 11 pedagogy licensure standards are met. We encourage those considering this option to enter King’s Master of Education program, which meets one evening per week for 16 months and fits well into most schedules.” 

Many who choose teaching as a profession are inspired by people who taught them. “We talk about a teacher’s heart,” says Oster. “If you have a teacher’s heart, you are interested in helping other people be successful by giving them something valuable you know you have been given.” King’s Department of Teacher Education hopes to further the dreams of young people who have a teacher’s heart, to help them become successful teachers.

If you are interested in becoming a teacher, contact Gloria Oster at or 423.652.4731 or visit


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.