Teacher education is one of the more scrutinized, and one of the most criticized, undergraduate degree programs available in colleges. Education pundits continually comment that degree requirements and standards for licensure are too lax, and that recent graduates are not adequately prepared to face elementary, middle or secondary school students in the classroom. Media coverage of teachers at all grade levels as being underpaid, under-appreciated and under-resourced certainly has not helped. However, I still meet high school students who want to consider becoming teachers. I’m sure that you have, too.
Depending on the college and state, teacher education programs will require competency in a liberal arts major (English, Mathematics, Foreign Language, Art, Music, History, Natural and Physical Sciences) as well as coursework in education. An elementary education degree program, while a major by itself, will require such competency in order to be certified to teach in grades six through eight. Prospective secondary school teachers pursue the major as well as a certification, which might also be labeled a minor. Special education programs will require competency in a second major when a prospective teacher wants to have the flexibility to work in a class at any grade level.
While teacher education courses on campus are likely to have similar content, the approaches to introduce students into the classroom will be different. Here are some questions to ask when considering a teacher education program:
If costs are a concern—new teachers have always earned lower entry-level salaries than recent graduates in business, computer science, engineering or nursing, among other professions—consider the direct charges (tuition and fees, room and board) of the college for the first two years against any aid your receive as the benefits of the program for that time. Unlike business, engineering and nursing programs, where transfer from another major after the freshman year is quite difficult, an education program might be able to offer transfer admission if you have fulfilled core liberal arts requirements, even at a community college.
Teacher education and the teaching profession are too often criticized. But even detractors would agree that there cannot be enough good teachers to educate future generations. Its quite important to be sure that you want to become one of them.
Need help on the journey to college? Contact me at email@example.com, or call me at 609-406-0062.
Sharing is caring!