College Major of the Month: Teacher Education
Do you know what your teachers do? Wondering what you can do with a teaching degree? In this month’s featured College Major of the Month, we’ll take a look at majoring in teacher education and discover what a teacher’s job really involves.
A teacher’s job isn’t just time spent in the classroom lecturing or giving exams. Teachers spend time outside of the classroom planning lessons to teach (including the hands-on activities you do in class), answering student and parent questions, attending faculty and training meetings, grading assignments and exams and more.
What jobs exist for teacher education majors?
As you know, teachers are employed in public school districts and at private schools worldwide, and they can teach students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Opportunities for teachers are expected to grow throughout the next decade or so, especially as many current teachers approach retirement age. Special education, math and science teachers are in particular high demand.
How much do teachers make?
Salaries for teachers depend largely on amount of experience and level of education, as well as what state you live in. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, K-12 teachers make a median annual salary between $53,400 and $55,050. An April 2014 Salary Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers said that new education graduates made an average starting salary of about $40,836.
What are the education requirements for teachers?
Requirements for teacher education programs vary by state. Typically, a student will major in education and select a specific age group to concentrate on (such as K-6, K-8 or high school), depending on how state licensure requirements are arranged. In addition to majoring in education, students seeking to teach at the high school level often may be required to double major in a specific area (such as English, Chemistry or Biology) or take additional credits hours in their academic specialty.
While many people think teachers get the summers off, it’s important to know that in order to maintain a teaching license, teachers are generally required to take continuing education courses each year. In some cases, those courses could lead to a master’s degree.
How can I prepare in high school to major in teacher education?
Talk to your favorite teachers, and ask them what the job is like. In addition, volunteer at camps or organizations where you can help younger children.
What scholarships are available for teacher education majors?
There are many college scholarships and other types of financial aid to help teacher education majors pay for college. For example, there’s a federal TEACH Grant program that provides up to $4,000 per year to a student who is specializing in a high-need field or plans to (after graduation) teach at a school or agency that serves low-income populations.
The website Teach.org has a list of several scholarships available to students studying teacher education, and CollegeScholarships.org also has a list of national and local scholarships for education students. Be sure to check with local and state teaching organizations, school districts and other educational organizations to find additional scholarships.