Elementary education is a career in which you can find the satisfaction of helping children learn; you can work closely with other caring adults; you can become a leader in your field; you can be challenged by organizing information and communicating it to others; and you can contribute to the future of the world by educating tomorrow's leaders.
Elementary education prepares you to work with children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Your studies will include three areas:
Courses in the humanities; social and behavioral sciences; mathematics; and biological, physical, and earth sciences will expand your world. A sound general education is especially important for elementary teachers who are called upon to teach every subject to children.
An area of concentration is a goup of courses with related content that will enhance teaching in elementary education. Each area of concentration has 15 semester hours. Your choice of an area of concentration includes English, English as a Second Language, mathematics, modern language, science, social studies, or special education.
The professional portion of your program will include courses in educational psychology, foundations of education, children's literature, instructional media, and the methods of teaching the many different subjects covered in elementary schools. Along with college classwork, you will observe and assist in the elementary schools, teach lessons you have planned, and discuss your experiences with other educators.
As an elementary teacher, you will be called upon to:
- Teach children reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, and physical education.
- Adjust your teaching to challenge every child in your class to learn.
- Work with other educators to plan for the learning of children in your school.
- Share with parents and others what your students are learning and your commitment to teaching.
To find out if a career in elementary education is a wise choice for you,
you can do several things:
- Test your interest by working with children at a playground, library, camp, or church school.
- Volunteer to work with Scouts, 4-H, or other community programs.
- Talk with your teachers and former teachers about the requirements and rewards of their positions.
- Read about teachers and teaching. Several popular novels and biographies tell a teacher's story.
- Check with a librarian.
- See if your school has a future teacher's organization or a program for high school students to work as aides in elementary classrooms.
- Check with the University's career planning and placement office about current personnel needs in elementary education.
- Check with your counselor about scholarships or other financial assistance programs open to future educators.