Teachers in elementary settings can start a career with a bachelor’s, but it is in their best interest to advance their careers by earning specific elementary education master’s degrees as they teach. There are a long is of master’s degree programs majoring in education, but not each of these are tailored to cover topics that pertain to elementary-level teaching or specializations. Here are some of the more specific degree options that will aid in your advancement:
A Master of Arts in Teaching
While teaching strategies are covered in a Bachelor of Arts program, the strategies that can implement by students as they pursuing their teaching certification aren’t covered in depth. To learn more in-depth knowledge on various teaching strategies that can be used for students with different disabilities and learning styles, teachers in elementary settings can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching.
A Master of Arts in Teaching, also known as a MAT, gives teachers hands-on teaching experience while in school. Graduate students can choose the subject area in which they would like to cover advanced coursework on and the curricula will include information on methodology and stylistic approach, as well are the implementation of pedagogical theory. Most undergraduate students will go directly from a BA program to the MAT program and work as a student teacher.
How Does a Master’s of Education Vary from a MAT?
An M.Ed. degree program varies from the MAT option because of the curriculum covered and the instructional design. Instead of learning by doing, like you would in a MAT program, you will cover research-based curriculum and theory as opposed to practicing strategies. Expanding knowledge in specialization areas and also learning more about administration skill set is much of the focus in M.Ed. programs.
Master of Education in Special Education
If your goal is to one day because a specialized teacher in the Special Education field, you should consider earning a Master of Education specializing the curriculum in a Special Education subset. In most states, Special Education teachers are required to pursue a specialist instruction credential or license, according to Teach California.
Many states even require specialists in this role acquire a master’s degree before they can apply for their license. An M.Ed. in Special Education will cover the specific subsets of special education that the practitioner is planning to teach in, whether it be autism or learning disabilities.
Master of Education in Curriculum Development
Yet another option for teachers to advance their careers in the elementary setting is to pursuing their M.Ed. in Curriculum Development. Curriculum developers can work in the classroom or at an administrative level in the district. If you’d like to help shape curricula and evaluate the success of current designs, earning an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction is what you need to do.
Some of the covered content will include instructional theory, culture in the class setting, inclusive instruction, planning for school improvement, STEAM education and more. This degree can land you in a teaching leadership role or help you get qualified to move up into administration roles later in your career.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Master’s in English Language Learning Online 2018
According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary of a teacher with a master’s degree is $64,883. This is almost $30,000 higher than the average starting salary with a bachelor’s. Teachers who currently are in the classroom can benefit from an M.Ed. If you want to increase your earning potential, browse the specific elementary education master’s degrees and enroll in the best program for you.