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Teacher Education and Professional Development is a degree category that consists of the following common degrees:

  • Elementary Education

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $46k

    Elementary Education

    Do you love working with young children? Are you passionate about helping them learn and grow?

    Becoming an elementary school teacher may be a great career option for you. Read on to find out what the educational requirements are for this vocation.

    Elementary school teachers provide young students with the support and guidance needed to excel academically, professionally, and personally. They often lead a class of children through a school day with lesson plans that are both activity-based and formal. The goal is to engage their students by increasing their focus and creativity—so as to make their learning experience both enjoyable and meaningful.

    There are many things to take into consideration when dealing with young school children, which is why there are certain educational requirements and regulations for teaching elementary school. Every state in the US requires elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree—note that there are some states that require teachers to also earn a master's degree after certification, so it's best to check your own state's requirements.

    The most popular way to become an elementary school teacher is to get a degree in general education with a specialization in elementary education. Curriculum includes classes in: child psychology, educational psychology, curriculum development, student assessment, human development, and educational best practices. Students also learn how to create lesson plans, manage a classroom, and understand group dynamics.

    Aspiring elementary school teachers must also complete a student teaching program, or internship—which usually lasts a semester or two near the end of a bachelor's program. This gives students experience in managing a classroom, developing lesson plans, correcting homework, and leading parent-teacher conferences—all under the supervision of a mentor elementary teacher.

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  • Early Childhood Education

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $45k

    Early Childhood Education

    When compared to other levels of education, early childhood education (ECE) is a relatively new field. It refers to the school years that precede compulsory education. While kindergarten was once children’s first outside-the-home exposure to the basics of the alphabet and numbers, ECE is rapidly changing this, preparing more and more students at an earlier age – not only to be lifelong learners, but also to be comfortable and adaptable in social situations.

    A degree in early childhood education provides students with ECE fundamentals and helps them develop leadership and advocacy abilities, as well as the administrative skills required to work in the field. Typical coursework in degree and certificate programs focuses on the following:

    • Child Growth and Development
    • Communications for Early Childhood Professionals
    • Observation, Recording, and Assessment for Effective Curriculum Planning
    • Creating Resources
    • Positive Behavior Guidance for Young Children
    • Technology and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
    • Supporting Children and Families
    • Children with Exceptionalities
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  • Teaching

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    N/A

    Teaching

    For those who would like to make a difference in society, a career in teaching may be a viable option to consider. The reasons for wanting to be a teacher can be as personal and as unique as each individual that is called to become one. However, the one common denominator is the desire to impact people’s lives and to effect change. There is an enormous need for great teachers and for those who want to improve the quality of education.

    When it comes to teaching, there are several academic paths one can take - postsecondary certification - bachelor’s degree - master’s degree - doctorate. Choosing which academic path to take can be made simpler by deciding what grade level one ultimately wants to teach, or what specialty one wants to pursue. (See Program Options below for details on the various academic paths.)

    What we are focusing on in this article is a teaching degree, or or a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). This degree is not required in most states to become a teacher, however many teachers choose to pursue an advanced teaching degree in order to get practical experience in putting lessons together and working with children. Those who choose this degree have made the decision to take teaching to the next level and become better teachers by gaining practical and effective teaching and classroom management skills.

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