If you’re thinking of majoring in middle school education, you’ll want to be sure of selecting a good concentration area – but what are the best concentrations to consider? Are there concentrations in middle school education that would pay better than others? Are there concentrations that would put you in greater demand as a teacher? Let’s take a look at some great concentrations for middle school educators and discuss why, exactly, you might want to choose these over others.
In the recent past, middle schools have experienced a significant increase in need for skilled teachers who have the training and expertise to support students with special needs. Special education is a middle school concentration that is in high demand right now. According to the BLS, special education teachers’ salaries tend to be higher than other middle school teachers’ salaries do; the median salary for a special ed teacher is $58,980 per year, versus a median of $57,720 per year for other middle school teachers.
If there’s a class that middle schools have challenges finding good teachers to teach, it’s math. The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators reports that more than 10 percent of schools in the United States have experienced perpetual difficulties in filling mathematics teaching positions since the year 2000.
In corporate America, the rise of “big data” has resulted in huge numbers of job openings for mathematically literate workers. Proficiency with data is becoming essential for leaders in virtually every vocation. It is critical for every student to receive outstanding mathematics education, particularly during the middle school years; middle school is the time period when a student is likeliest to gain the most important foundation in this essential subject.
For all these reasons, mathematics is an outstanding middle school concentration for aspiring educators to consider.
General Science Education
Scientific literacy is crucial for success in numerous career paths that are important components of American society and industry. Unfortunately, significant shortages of middle school science teachers in the American public school system pose a threat to our students’ abilities to gain the scientific training they need.
America is currently facing a shortage of qualified nurses, nursing home staff and other healthcare professionals. If today’s middle school students do not receive high-quality science training, these shortages will continue.
With the strong demand for science teachers in today’s school system, any science is a concentration worth considering. General science is a particularly versatile choice for middle school teachers.
These are all excellent concentrations to consider, but they’re only worthwhile if they’re topics that are actually of interest to you. For a number of reasons, it’s important to choose a concentration that will keep you interested in, engaged with and passionate about the topics you’re teaching.
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As a teacher, your enthusiasm for your concentration will be apparent to your students – and it will also be apparent if you completely lack enthusiasm for the material you’re teaching them. Your success as a teacher is directly tied to your abilities to motivate students to get excited about the topics they’re learning from you. So you definitely want to avoid choosing a concentration just because that concentration is in high demand. You’ll need to have at least enough interest in the concentration to carry you through an entire career of continual learning and sharing insights about that specialization. A passion for the subject is perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a good concentration for middle school education.