Education (Elementary)

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Major in Education

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“We value education because we are knowers by nature, having been created by God to know him, know ourselves, and know his world… Like everything else in God’s world, therefore, education is something that can (and must!) be undertaken to the glory of God.” ~Doug Ponder 

As you think back over your years in school, chances are you easily recall favorite, unforgettable teachers who inspired, encouraged, challenged or motivated you. Few careers are as important or rewarding as those found under the vast umbrella of education! Many who major in education possess a sense of calling somewhat unique to this helping profession where the goal is to effectively teach others and develop the minds of young learners. Often subdivided by specific age categories such as early childhood, elementary and secondary (high school), an education major is designed to hone your teaching skills in multiple subject areas and equip you to work effectively with a wide variety of ages and learning styles. In this major, you will learn how to successfully formulate lesson plans, manage a classroom and attain teacher certification.  If you are fascinated by the process of learning, enjoy instructing others and love spending time with children, then a major in education may be a perfect fit for you!

Beyond these passions, what are some of the other traits needed in order to flourish as an education major? New technologies and teaching techniques are constantly being developed, research sheds light on how we learn best, and schools and government work to implement ever-changing standards of education. In order to keep up with all these changes, it’s imperative to be an enthusiastic lifelong learner yourself. Teachers who do not keep growing become stagnant and ineffective, so flexibility, creativity and adaptability are important! Since education entails juggling many “moving pieces” like planning, instructing, grading and administrating, strong organizational skills are imperative, as well. Good communication skills are also a must. The effective relaying of information occurs during classroom instruction, but also when working on a broader team of administrators, educators, and parents. Finally, compassion and patience are essential in a profession that is highly relational, demanding and filled with diverse learners with varying academic, social, emotional and physical needs.

As an education major, you can expect to take core classes in math, science, English and writing and then complete classes on pedagogy (teaching methods and practice) as it relates to these same subjects. You will engage in hands-on teaching exercises and spend time observing teachers in a variety of classroom settings. You will conclude your college experience with a semester of student teaching. Other courses you will likely take include:

  • Educational psychology
  • History of education
  • Instructional technology
  • Philosophy of education
  • Child development

Once you have your education degree, the career opportunities are ever-expanding. Teachers are needed in private, public, charter, Christian and alternative school settings. You may be hired by an online school, as an adult educator, private tutor or have opportunity to teach abroad. If teaching to a classroom of students is not your thing, consider an educational degree in a related area such as:

  • Guidance counseling
  • School administration
  • Curriculum development or design
  • Library science
  • Admissions or recruiting
  • Educational policy-making or research

If you feel excited about the idea of truly making a difference in the lives of others and impacting future generations, then perhaps God is nudging you towards a major in education!

 

 

A future in Education

By Amber Gragert

Most people are able to look back on their childhood and remember many of their teachers from school and usually have at least a few favorites that made a lasting impression on them. Families are the foundation of society and, in my opinion, teachers are some of the cornerstones atop that foundation that hold society's structure in place. Education is vital to the cultural, economic, social development and health of our communities
and nation.

Majoring in education will mold you into a vessel of knowledge to pour into young minds. CS Lewis once said, "The task of the educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts." Today's youth struggle to see the joy in learning, but you could be the educator that waters the struggling seeds of knowledge and has the privilege to watch them grow. Through your coursework, you will turn your talents into skills every good teacher needs to inspire students of any age or learning style. Learn how to set up and manage a classroom, create lessons and, most importantly, teach those lessons in a way that reaches each student in ways they can succeed.

In classes like Early Childhood Development and Educational Psychology, you will study how people learn and, in turn, how to best teach those people. You will also learn the planning of classroom activities, learning theory and school health and safety issues, along with lots of field experience as you learn and develop your craft for teaching while logging hours for your teaching certificate, if you decide to go that route. You could also further your education by specializing in a specific area or subject like: special education, child development, English or mathematics.

The best educators have an interest in social science, are well organized, flexible, adaptable, have a great deal of patience, have strong communication skills and a strong desire to make a difference in the world - by way of teaching young people. Albert Einstein once said, "It is the extreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." Therefore, creative minds and showmanship are also welcome - awaken that joy for learning!

Some work on furthering their education level by obtaining specialized certifications, &/or earn their master's or doctorate degree. There are also many other options besides teaching for those with a degree in education. If a classroom setting isn't your cup of tea, you could think outside the classroom box. Perhaps the role of a principal, guidance counselor or librarian is more suited to your career interests. Further out of the box could be something like an instructional designer - they are the people that develop educational theory and methods for teachers and students to have the best classroom success. There are many possibilities for those interests in or out of a classroom setting.

Teaching can be tough mentally and emotionally, so it's not for the faint of heart. But the gift of teaching is a very special one from the Lord, so if you feel called to it, then be encouraged and remember, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 ESV. Looking at history, we can see the world changes with each generation. Be the exciting and life-changing teacher that helps to mold and shape young minds for the betterment of the world and for the glory of God.