Do you enjoy explaining to others how things work? Did you used to line up your stuffed animals and teach them “school”? Are you at home speaking in front of a group of people? Do you imagine yourself in the shoes of the teachers you most respect? If so, you might consider becoming a teacher. Education programs in colleges are thriving, and most school districts are constantly hiring teachers.
However, being a teacher is much more than just getting up in front of a bunch of people and talking. You have to write lesson plans for an entire year. You have to adapt your teaching to the specific students in your classroom—understand their learning styles, determine their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies to help them best understand and remember the concepts you are teaching them.
Of course, a vast array of options exist in the field of education. Just look through bulletins from a few universities and you’ll find majors in special education, math ed, science ed, social studies ed, elementary ed, and much more. You can specialize in a specific area to teach high school students or you can focus on teaching younger learners. If you are especially dedicated to helping those with learning disabilities, you can study special education.
If you want to teach, think about what topics most interest you. If you’re passionate about history but couldn’t stand biology labs, you probably wouldn’t want to teach a science class. However, you might find yourself right at home explaining the chronology of the kings of queens of England and attempting to get your students excited about the topic. You might love working with young children, or you might go crazy after five minutes with five five-year-olds. You must have the patience necessary to explain concepts over and over to children who have attention spans that last a few seconds on one topic.
Check out colleges and universities that have majors in education. Look through the classes they offer to get a feel for what you would learn in the classroom. Talk with professors and students at each school to find out more. What kind of practical experience do they offer? Will you spend much time observing and teaching in an actual classroom? Write down questions that will help you determine more.
A major in education can prepare you for a very rewarding career. Who knows, you might be the next teacher that inspires your students to become teachers themselves! Begin your search for the best colleges with education programs today.