In order to become a teacher who works in a classroom on a daily basis with students, a person must first earn a degree in education. The average teacher starts his or her career with a bachelor's degree in education. In the United States, most students will take between one year and five years to complete the degree coursework, and most programs and states require teachers to complete at least one year of student teaching before they are eligible to graduate. Course work covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from lesson planning, policy, leadership and educational technology to child development, educational psychology and pedagogy. Most teachers will choose between a bachelor's in elementary education or secondary education, depending on the age of students they wish to teach. Many programs then have students choose one or two subject areas to specialize in before completing their degree.
Once a teacher has earned his or her bachelor degree, they will then typically go on to teach in a classroom. However, in order to advance in most school districts in the United States, they need to earn a master's degree as well. In fact, in New York and Massachusetts, a teacher must earn a master's degree in education before they even set foot in a classroom. When a teacher is working toward a master's degree, they must choose a major to focus on. Many of the master's degree majors include counseling, school psychology, curriculum, administration and special education. Teachers choose their master's program major based on where they want to take their career. For instance, a teacher who wants to be a principal one day will earn a master's in administration, whereas a teacher who wants to move up the ranks but remain in the classroom might earn a master's degree in instruction.
One of the top-ranked educational schools in the country is Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education. This school offers bachelor, master and doctoral programs for its students. Its masters programs have a wide variety of specialties, including reading education, organizational leadership and behavior analysis. The college focuses on providing hands-on learning opportunities for students, and it prides itself on the fact that many Vanderbilt alumni remain in the teaching field for longer than graduates of other programs. In addition to its hands-on learning approach, the Peabody College of Education is committed to doing continuous research on the field of education in order to improve the industry.
Additional Education Degrees