Here's some mail I got:
I'm a college freshman studying to be a (gasp!) history teacher. I know, I know, "watch out, the market is flooded!!" Let's assume that there is no turning back (I'm a follow your dreams kind of guy), the problem I'm dealing with is what I should be looking for now as far as part time jobs are concerned. I'm still working at the ol' mom & pop store and want to get something that will be a little more geared to developing my "skills," even if it has nothing to do with teaching directly. My question: before you received help from the College Job Office, and before you went searching on your own, what sort of things did you do on the side? How early did you know that you wanted to teach, and what sort of "part time" decisions did you make?
In 20/20 hindsight (that is, I should have done this):
It's a true staffroom cliche that "Teaching is all about the kids". To gain experience, and find out whether you will really like teaching, work with kids. I'd suggest taking jobs or volunteering where you work with a large group of kids so you can get a feel for the group dynamics (and a head start on the classroom discipline). Also, if one age range doesn't fit too well, try another (teaching grade 1's, or grade 7's, or grade 12's, is totally different) - most teachers find they have a preferred age or ages.
Here are some suggestions:
To get a job/volunteer position as a coach or some kind of teacher's helper, just go by the office of a few local schools and tell them you'd like to volunteer doing this, or this, or that. Chances are, at least one of the schools will desperately need a volunteer to do this, this, or that, and then you're in.
P.S. - Note that if you do volunteer in a school, when a job opens up, who are they going to hire - a totally unknown person? or you, someone they know that they've seen work well with the students and who brings to the school (name whatever you've been volunteering here).
P.P.S. - I don't really believe the "watch out, the market is flooded!!" statement. If you market well-enough, you can always find a job. I did, with lousy references, in a climate of 20% teacher unemployment because I mailed over 100 principals directly three times until someone had a last minute opening. Persistance pays.