If you have the drive and passion to teach but lack the certification, no worries my friend. There are plenty of non-certified opportunities for you. Here are list of some you can consider.

Substitute Teacher

Although both certified and non-certified candidates can substitute teach, this is an excellent way for recent graduates with little or no teaching background to get some experience and make contacts. Substitute teachers fill in for full-time teachers who are out sick or on vacation. They typically carry out a teacher’s lesson plans, create their own, or simply “keep an eye on” students. Substitute positions are typically on a per-diem basis, so you will probably need another source of income to help support yourself.


Aides work in all kinds of schools under the direction of teachers. Specific duties vary according to the needs of the teacher, although Aides are often involved in routine tasks such as grading papers, checking homework, and taking attendance. Many Aides work with special needs students, in both special needs and inclusive classrooms. In these cases, Aides provide individual attention and guidance to one or two students. In residential special-needs settings, Aides typically wake their students, help them dress, supervise meals, and work after school hours as night supervisors and activity organizers. Since Aides work so closely with their students, they often develop significant relationships with them and a teacher may rely on the Aide’s judgment when implementing a new program for a child.


Internships are generally full-time positions and often involve as many responsibilities as a regular teaching position, although significantly less pay (if any). Interns teach, co-teach, observe, and plan classes, usually working under a senior teacher who has several years of experience. Internships are an excellent way for recent graduates to get student teaching experience, but they can be difficult to secure. Within the public school system, your best bet is go back to your hometown and speak with former administrators and teachers. Private schools sometimes require summer or yearlong internships (“teaching fellowships”) before they will hire you as a full-time teacher. Boarding schools tend to offer the most internship opportunities because they can offer room and board as a form of payment.

Teaching Abroad

Although certification and experience are required for most K-12 overseas teaching jobs, you can teach English language abroad quite easily. In fact, many positions require nothing more than your enthusiasm and creativity. As an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher abroad, you could find yourself teaching a class of government officials in Spain, wealthy businessmen in Germany, or a group of college students in Japan. The opportunities are virtually endless! Language teachers rely heavily on visual aids, games, songs, props, and other creative tools in order to encourage conversation and practice.

In order to teach in some countries, you will need some type of certification, but this can be accomplished in a matter of weeks through hundred of available training programs. Organized programs, such as JET WorldTeach, and the Peace Corps, are another option and offer more structured overseas teaching opportunities.

Teach for America

Teach for America (TFA) helps match schools across the country with young and motivated “teacher wanna-bes.” Any student with a strong commitment to public service and an interest in teaching may apply, and no prior experience or certification is required.

If accepted into the program, Teach for America will train you and place you in a school district. Districts from all over the U.S.–primarily in rural and inner-city locations where the need is greatest–seek new teachers through TFA each year. Teaching positions are for two years and can often lead to full-time job offers. Joining the program is free, and teachers are paid according to the assigned district salary scale.

Private School Teacher

The duties of a private school teacher are typically the same as those who teach in public schools. Private schools hire graduates to teach a full load of classes as well to perform various other duties, such as leading extracurricular activities or acting as a residential supervisor. Since experience and certification are usually not required, positions with private schools are easier to come by than public school positions, although the pay can be significantly less. As a result, teachers at private schools often go on to pursue other interests after two to three years, although some do stay and take on administrative positions in addition to their teaching responsibilities.

Grant Opportunities

Many state, federal and privately-funded agencies offer grants, or funding, to college students and recent graduates to pursue educational or community service projects. If you’re interested in pursuing some type of education-related project, you should develop your idea and begin researching potential sources of funding in your school’s Career Service or Student Activities Office. While these aren’t “jobs” per say, grants do provide a means of gaining valuable and often unforgettable educational experience that can work to your advantage in the future.