Careers in Education
Careers in education are ideal for those who enjoy interacting with others and believe in their ability to bring meaningful change in people’s lives. Within the field of education, different age groups and subject areas provide a wide variety of career options. But education careers are not limited to teaching jobs. They also include non-teaching staff. To enlighten you on this topic, we will give a brief background of various careers in education.
Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers teach students from kindergarten up to the 5th grade (in some states, elementary education refers to 1st through 5th grade). They educate students in various subjects such as science, math, social studies, reading, and writing. It’s important for them to be hands-on and engaging in delivering instruction. Also, they should know how to differentiate to meet individual needs of students.
If you want to become an elementary school teacher, you must have a Bachelor’s Degree and hold a state-issued license/certificate specific to teaching elementary students. Each state may have specific licensing requirements.
Middle School Teacher
A middle school teacher educates students on a single subject in grades 6 – 8. Although most only teach one subject area, some may teach an extra elective class. As with all teachers, a middle school teacher creates age-appropriate lesson plans, gives assignments, grades students, and meet parents when needed. He/she should be patient, organized, optimistic, and good at classroom management.
Middle school teachers are required to hold a Bachelor’s degree and a state-issued teaching certificate. They need to choose a single subject area in order to receive a certificate in that area.
High School Teacher
High school teachers teach students from grades 9 – 12. Typically, they are responsible for teaching a single subject (or related subjects) at one or multiple grade levels. The job involves creating lesson plans, testing, and grading.
If you want to become a high school teacher, you should have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. The degree can be in Education/Secondary Education, concentrating on the subject you want to teach (for example, English, Math, or Science).
A math teacher is responsible for teaching math skills to students at various levels. Teachers who only teach math subjects are usually found in middle schools and high schools. Math teachers are required to teach basic and upper-level concepts in a manner that is age-appropriate. They also need to plan, test, and assess to help their students succeed.
Elementary school math teachers are certified in elementary education. Those who teach middle school teach general math classes and in some cases, higher level math (such as algebra). Teachers at the high school level specialize in higher level subjects such as algebra, trigonometry, geometry, etc. Middle school and high school math teachers have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, a degree in Secondary Education, or a Master’s Degree in Education.
Science teachers share information about science in general, or in a specific field such as biology, chemistry, or physics. They also explain, set up, and perform experiments while ensuring the safety of all students. Good science teachers break down complicated topics into understandable parts to make learning easier. Aside from experiments, visuals can also aid in teaching scientific concepts.
To become a Science teacher, you must hold a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Education with teacher preparation courses specific to science. Preferably, the degree must come from a college/university accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Many Science teachers have a degree in Secondary Education or Education, with an endorsement in Science.
History or Social Studies teachers usually teach at the middle school and high school levels. A history teacher teaches about various aspects of history, such as national, state, local, or world history. Good history teachers will go beyond memorization of names and dates. Instead, they encourage students to analyze and reflect on the learnings from historical events.
A history teacher should have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. But some states may require a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Many certified teachers hold a degree in Secondary Education or Education with an endorsement in History or Social Studies.
ESL stands for English as a Second Language. An ESL teacher teaches English to students who are non-native speakers. One of the most important qualities an ESL teacher should have is patience. Also, he/she should be familiar with different cultures as students could have diverse backgrounds.
An ESL teacher must obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and teaching certificate. An ESL certification can be obtained from accredited colleges and universities. Often, ESL teachers are required to be certified TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers.
Knowledgeable and skilled at various techniques, art teachers can cover any art-related topic, from mixing colors to art history. They try to bring out the creativity in their students, providing an outlet for self-expression. Although they can teach at any grade level, art teachers are most common in middle school and high school.
Usually, art teachers hold a Bachelor’s Degree in education with a specialty in art. This program is offered in many colleges/universities. An accredited institution can offer a dual program wherein you can earn a Bachelor’s Degree and a teaching certification.
Music teachers share their knowledge of music to their students. In lower grades, this means teaching new songs, keeping tempo, and singing on key. In older grades, it may include teaching how to play an instrument or preparing for musical pieces.
If you want to become a music teacher, you must complete an educator preparation program and receive a Bachelor’s Degree at a college/university accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Many institutions offer dual programs wherein you can earn a degree and a teaching certificate simultaneously.
PE teachers focus on the physical development of students. They teach basic skills in various sports while ensuring safety during such activities. Also, PE teachers encourage students to have an active and healthy lifestyle.
If you want to become a PE teacher, you must have a Bachelor’s Degree and a state-issued license to teach P.E. A license can be obtained by completing a teacher education program focused on health and fitness. Take note that the teacher education program should be accredited by the CAEP.
A school counselor (also known as a guidance counselor) assists students in areas of academic achievement, social, personal, and career development. School counselors play an important role in help students overcome difficult challenges that can affect their studies. They help keep students on the right path both socially and academically.
If you’re aiming to become a school counselor in a public school, you must possess a state-issued credential to practice. To get this credential, it’s usually required to obtain a Master’s Degree in School Counseling along with an internship/practicum.
School librarians assist and teach students the fundamentals of using a library and its resources. Also, they collaborate with teachers in finding materials and resources that can enhance classroom instruction.
What are the qualities of a school librarian? He/she loves books and want to inspire others to read. They have excellent communication skills and can interact well with other people. Requirements for becoming a school librarian include having at least a Bachelor’s Degree and passing any district-required librarian examinations.
A principal is responsible for hiring teachers, making sure that school rules and regulations are followed, and handling student discipline cases when they cannot be resolved at the classroom level. He/she also meets with community members and parents whenever necessary.
A principal should be diplomatic but willing to stand up for what they believe is right. He/she should be professional in dealing with teaching staff, students, and parents. Most importantly, a principal should be the leader of the school, not merely a boss.
A principal is considered as the head of a school and must be highly educated at the Masters or Doctoral level. A majority of principals have a Master’s Degree in education, educational administration, or educational leadership. Also, they need to earn administrative credentials through their state.
There are tests to pass before one can become a principal. The administration level tests focus on administrative elements, such as budgeting, leadership skills, and applicable laws. Some districts allow principals to be hired with a Master’s Degree in any form of leadership, but basic teaching degree and certification are required.
Careers in education are recommended for people who are passionate, caring, patient, positive, and inspirational. These jobs can be challenging, but they can also be rewarding. Besides having the required degree and teaching experience, professional development for educators can help you succeed in this field.