What Do You Have to Major in to Become a Teacher?

Teachers educate children and adults at various stages of life. They can teach different subjects at the preschool, elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels. Aspiring teachers can choose a major based on the level and subject they want to teach.

What Aspiring Teachers Can Major In

A bachelor's degree is the minimum level of education required to earn a teacher's license, which is necessary to teach at public schools. The State Board of Education usually grants teacher licensure, and students should check their state's requirements before deciding on a major. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in different areas of education. Depending on the age and subject they wish to teach, students can choose from an array of options.

Practical Experience

A component that all education curricula include is student teaching, which usually occurs during senior year. These field experiences place student teachers in real classrooms with active students. Student teachers gain hands-on training under the supervision of certified teachers. Many states require teachers to complete student teaching to qualify for licensure.

Early Childhood Education

A major in early childhood education suits students intending to teach pre-kindergarten to third grade. This major teaches them to serve as a role model as well as an educator, since such teachers often play a vital role in the early development of children.

Elementary Education

Individuals interested in teaching at the elementary level, which typically includes kindergarten through eighth grade, can major in elementary education. At this stage, education majors can specialize in a specific subject, including English, math, history or science.

Secondary Education

Aspiring teachers who want to work with older students specialize in secondary education, which can encompass between sixth and twelfth grade. They can also choose a specific liberal arts field to concentrate in, such as English literature, calculus, American history or physics.

Postsecondary Education

Students intent on teaching at the college or university level need to pursue a master's degree or doctorate in graduate school. As undergraduates, they can major in whichever subject they would like to teach.

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