February 24, 2018

Teaching Degree Options

Exploring Teaching Degree Options

Do you think a career in teaching might be right for you? Are you having trouble choosing a teaching degree that fits you best? We will explore the manyteaching degree options to determine which one would work best with your talents and abilities.

Grade Level Undergraduate Teaching Degree Options

The first step in selecting an appropriate teaching degree is to ask yourself which grade level you would be best suited to teach. Elementary school teachers will be educating the youngest population of students. As a middle school teacher, you will be working with students from age 11 to 14 or 15. In high school, a teacher will be involved in the education of 14 to 18 or 19-year-olds.

In an elementary school setting, you will need to have skills in communicating with very young children as well as a lot of patience. Being an elementary teacher is extremely important. You are responsible for creating a love of learning in these students’ lives. It is crucial that you have a knack for working with young children in helping them best harness their personal strengths and learn to cope with their weaknesses in a positive way. Early childhood education majors do not have a specific content area they study since they will be responsible for teaching each subject area in their classroom.

Middle school teachers sometimes face the most challenges. This age group experiences so many changes with their body, academic abilities, responsibilities and personal life. If you are equipped with tools to work with tweens and teens, this is the right fit for you. Every middle school teacher is responsible for getting the students ready for high school and beyond by establishing each student’s education goals. Middle childhood education degrees can be in language arts and reading, mathematics, science or social studies. Some people choose two of these majors instead of just one so they are able to teach multiple subjects.

As a high school teacher, the responsibilities shift slightly. There are more high stakes tests in high school, so often times the teachers will be helping the students prepare to succeed in these types of assessments. A high school teacher will help each student accomplish their education goals. The educational goals of a high school student will be determined by their future career choice. Some high school students will choose to attend college, while others will enter the work force right away. You will be able to impact their lives as young adults by helping them become responsible and independent individuals of society. Secondary education degrees include language arts, integrated mathematics, science and social studies.

Special Interest Undergraduate Teaching Degree Options

The following are special interest undergraduate teaching degrees:

  1. Special education – Working with students with mental, emotional, learning and physical disabilities.
  2. Business education
  3. World language education – With a concentration on French, Latin, German, Russian, Spanish or Chinese.
  4. Intervention specialist – Working with those who are either, deaf/hard of hearing, or have mild to intensive special needs.
  5. Physical education
  6. Marketing education
  7. Technology education, which was formerly known as industrial arts education
  8. Art education
  9. Domestic arts education

Degree programs vary depending on which college, university or online school you choose to obtain your education. If you have interest in a special content area, you will need to be sure that the schools you are researching offer that particular degree program. Some students will choose to first obtain an undergraduate degree and then add on an endorsement, graduate certificate or a master’s degree.

Endorsements, Graduate Certificates and Master’s Degree Options

Some colleges will offer endorsement or graduate certification programs that focus in on a more specific population or content area. For example, a special needs education teacher may wish to earn their graduate certificate in autism spectrum disorders, transition to work or assistive technology.  If you are exceptionally talented in math, you might want to earn your graduate certificate as a mathematics specialist.

There are also many master’s degree options for an individual in the education field. If you desire to become a school administrator, you will need a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision. A graduate program is also offered for anyone interested in a career as a school psychologist.

The following is a list of other education master’s degree programs:

  1. Business education
  2. International education
  3. Curriculum and teaching
  4. Kinesiology
  5. Sport administration
  6. Food and nutrition
  7. Intervention specialist
  8. Leisure and tourism
  9. Career and technical education

Doctorate programs are also available in some education areas. Two of those areas include higher education administration and leadership studies.

Choosing the Right Teaching Degree for You

It is a good idea for a potential education major to meet with a school or career counselor. The counselor will administer assessments that will measure your strengths and abilities to best match you with the grade level and subject area you will thrive in. Shadowing teachers in several different grade levels and content areas can also be extremely helpful in deciding which education degree to pursue. When you make the decision with a lot of research, you will be sure to set yourself up for success and guarantee a fun and rewarding experience in your teaching career.

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