There are those that know they want to become an educator at a very early age. Perhaps they have always had the teaching gene inside them the entire time. This might even describe someone you know. There are often young children that will play school with their stuffed animals before they themselves can even read. It is interesting to see a five-year-old play school when they haven’t even been in a classroom yet.
As you become older, and if you still want to be a teacher, there are some choices that you will have to make. Education degrees are usually only for certain grade levels. Of course, if you want to add more degrees down the road so you can teach at other grade levels, that is totally acceptable. It can just get expensive though.
You should probably have an idea whether you want to teach elementary, high school, or college before you start taking education classes at the university you have chosen to pursue your dream. If you aren’t quite sure yet, there are a few things to consider when making your choice. Keep these in mind when you make your plans for being a future educator.
Maybe you enjoy working with younger children the best. It can often bring a smile to your face as you help little children grow both socially and academically. However, you also need quite a bit of patience. And there is nothing more tiring than chasing around 3-5-year-olds every day. Teaching preschool will make running a marathon child’s play. There are certain college degrees for teaching preschool that will only enable the person to be an educator for preschool to third grade. If you know for certain you would like to only teach these children, it might be worth it just to focus on this age group then.
Acquiring a degree where you can teach kindergarten through eighth grade will give you a certain flexibility. If you teach for a few years at a certain grade level and feel it is not for you, you can always switch to another age group rather easily with a degree that covers all of elementary. Though, you may have to take certain classes focusing on specific subject areas to be able to teach at the junior high level.
When teaching younger children, there is less of an opportunity to truly sink your teeth into a discussion with the class. Elementary school is meant to just touch on subjects without really going much deeper. However, with high school students, there is an opportunity to teach lessons that they will hopefully recall forever. If you want more depth to your teaching, high school may be the way to go. Plus, in the districts I am familiar with, high school teachers tend to earn about $10,000 more a year than the average elementary school teacher. A bump in pay can make dealing with teenagers a little easier.
Junior colleges will often let you teach as long as you have a Masters in the field you are teaching. Four-year colleges and universities will many times require a doctorate. While you may not get to know your college students all that well, quite a few courses are only once or twice a week, this may not be a bad thing. Also, college professors are paid much better and have less of a work schedule in general.
There are advantages and disadvantages to teaching at each level. One has to carefully look at what it is they are trying to achieve throughout their career in education. If you know you want to be an educator but have doubts about which grade level to teach, iAchieve may be able to help. We offer college counseling and planning that may be able to guide you into making the best decision possible.
Written by Ryan Crawley