Education & Teaching
As a teacher you have the opportunity to improve people’s lives with the gift of an education. Bachelor’s degrees in approved education programs are a good route to teaching at the early childhood and elementary levels. Secondary school teachers may also take this route, although some have a bachelor’s degree in the subject they teach combined with a master’s degree in education.
Programs in early childhood education help you learn how to plan and run activities appropriate to the needs and development of children under the age of 8. Through an approved early childhood education program and practice teaching, you can become licensed to teach students in preschool through Grade 3.
Elementary Education degrees cover the pedagogical approaches to teaching math, language arts, science, and social studies. You’ll learn to plan activities, assess students’ learning, work with diverse student populations, and maintain an appropriate classroom environment. Elementary school teaching licenses may cover early childhood (kindergarten through third grade) or the elementary school teaching (grades 1 through 6 or 8).
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in the field you wish to teach, you can complete a teacher training program. Alternatively, you can obtain teacher training through a master in education program. Master’s programs are also available in specialized fields like curriculum development and school counseling. Ph.D. programs can open doors for educational administration and education research positions.
Certification is a must for public school teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some states require that private school teachers be certified as well. State education boards or licensing committees grant teaching certificates that cover specific grade levels and/or specialized subjects.
Requirements for certification are typically a bachelor’s degree, completion of an approved teacher training program, and practice teaching in the classroom. Depending on the state and type of license, you may have to meet additional requirements such as passing a basic skills test, demonstrating subject matter expertise, completing graduate work, and/or meeting continuing education requirements.
Education Job Opportunities
Employment of teachers is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations. Teachers who are licensed and are geographically mobile will see the most job opportunities.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.