So you want to be a teacher, but aren’t sure what teaching concentration you might be interested in. On top of that, you then have to decide at what level you want to teach: pre-K, primary, secondary, or higher education. There are a lot of options to choose from, so here are five great teaching concentrations you might be interested in.
If you’re interested in working in education, but aren’t sure about working directly with kids as a teacher, an administrative role might interest you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary, middle, and high school principals make an average of $90,410 per year. By going into administration, you support both students and teachers by creating and maintaining an environment that is best suited to learning. You’ll be responsible for the upkeep of facilities and manage school activities, needs, and staff. This concentration will also be a good match for you if you are interested in public relations and like dealing with the public, as school administrators are often the public faces of their school districts.
2. Fine Arts
If you are a creative type, concentrating your educational career in the fine arts is a wonderful idea. Whether you become an art teacher or a music teacher, the arts are an often overlooked, yet still important, factor in a student’s education. While the downside is that many schools cut their art programs due to cost, the upside is that many students are enriched by the fine arts, oftentimes more so than other subjects they are taught in school. Helping students to find a creative outlet can help with issues such as identity and depression and can even, in the most extreme circumstances, save lives.
3. English As A Second Language (ESL)
More and more children in schools do not speak English as their first language and need teachers who specialize in teaching subjects specifically to them. This concentration is a particularly good idea if you already speak a second language, whether it’s something with broad use in the United States (like Spanish) or something more specialized (Somali in Minnesota due to the large population of Somali immigrants there). ESL teachers don’t just teach English, they teach all subjects, adapting the lessons to non-native English speakers.
4. Special Education
Special Education is a great teaching concentration for aspiring teachers who really want to make a difference. With this concentration, you’ll be working with many different kinds of students and their different needs – anything from physical to mental to emotional. You will have to be able to adjust general education requirements to fit the needs of your students. Contrary to popular belief, special educators actually do make a decent salary: $56,800 per year, on average. If your interests have more of a social services bent, this teaching concentration might be for you.
5. Early Childhood
Choose to specialize in early childhood education if your dreams involve teaching younger children and being an integral part of their development. Students wishing to concentrate their education degree in this area cultivate the unique ability to present educational topics to children for the first time, and have to explain difficult or complicated subjects so young children can understand. You must also, perhaps obviously, truly enjoy dealing with children, because it is not an easy job when your students get distracted easily or are unable to listen to reason.
There are many, many options available for a student who wants to go into teaching. Between the myriad of subjects you can teach and the grade level at which to teach them, there is sure to be a combination that will appeal to you and be the best choice for you. There are a lot of great teaching concentrations for young educators to consider that will truly make a difference in the lives of their future students.
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