There are quite a few good concentration areas in high school education to choose from. Several of those areas are in high demand, making them good choices to concentrate on when earning a degree in education. The following are some good concentration areas for students hoping to teach at the high school level.
Foreign Language and ESL
There is perhaps no specialization more in demand among high school teachers than foreign language instructors. This also includes instructors who specialize in English as a second language, or ESL. ESL teachers can solely teach English to non-native speakers or they can teach any other subject in a manner that takes into consideration the language ability of their students. As more students enter school systems who either do not speak English as a first language or want to learn a foreign language to be a part of an increasingly globalized society, opportunities to teach language will only increase. Students who want to teach ESL will want to obtain special training and certification in ESL. Certain positions, such as going abroad to teach English, may not even require an education degree. In these cases, students can simply complete an ESL certification course in addition to an already-held bachelor’s degree in another subject.
A science concentration is also a very good concentration area in high school education. This can be in any number of subjects, including chemistry, physics, biology and environmental studies. Teaching the sciences encourages students to open their minds and learn about the forces that shape their world. Science teachers teach students both through theory and by demonstrations through practical experiments. In addition to a teaching degree, students should be sure to get a degree in the area of science they wish to teach. A master’s degree in a specific scientific field can open additional educational job prospects as well.
Math is taught in nearly every school and is considered a core competency. Main math courses taught in high schools include algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus. Math is an excellent concentration for students who enjoy the logical, methodical ways of mathematics. Math is a key component to many popular degrees such as engineering and technology, meaning students will need a strong fundamental understanding of mathematics to enter those careers. However, math continues to be one of the main subjects where teacher shortages are rampant according to the United States Department of Education, making it a good concentration area in high school education.
School art programs are often the first victims of funding cuts. In spite of that, many states report a shortage of fine arts teachers. For students with a passion for teaching and art, this specialization is worth considering. The arts can include teaching visual art classes, band, choir, dance, theater and more. The arts remain critical to the emotional well-being and academic performance of high schoolers. Most students find that art of some form enriches them, challenges them, provides them with social outlets and helps them understand both the world and who they are as a person.
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Education students wanting to become high school teachers upon completing their degree should have a concentration to go with it. A concentration will make students more marketable as they search for a job. All of the above subjects are poised to be a good high school concentration area for the foreseeable future.