Most conventionally structured school systems include kindergarten through fifth grade in elementary school and sixth through eighth grade in the middle school, with the remainder in high school. It’s helpful to have an idea of which grade levels you’re interested in teaching before enrolling in an education degree program at Grand Canyon University. Your preferences will influence whether you choose a BA or BS program in elementary or secondary education.
Elementary students are a great deal of fun to teach. Because it’s such a dynamic period of development in a child’s life, it can also be challenging. Strong elementary school teachers have extraordinary patience and strong emotional intelligence. They also aren’t easily bothered by loud noise levels. In terms of academics, pursuing a degree in elementary education may be right for you if you prefer:
- To plan hands-on, project-based lessons
- To teach all subjects instead of specializing in one subject
- To work with one class for a school year instead of multiple classes
If you’re interested in teaching middle school, consider enrolling in a secondary education degree program. Good middle school teachers are those who have a knack for relating to students who are 11 to 14 years old. This age group has its own unique challenges, as typical middle schoolers:
- Are fiercely independent
- Are heavily influenced by social pressures and the opinions of others
- Seek validation for their self-identities from adults
Sometimes, teaching high schoolers can feel like a balancing act. These students need to prepare for independent life beyond school, but they still behave like adolescents and often need to be reminded of the rules. Consider getting a secondary education degree to teach high school if you:
- Want to specialize in one subject
- Enjoy the challenge of motivating students
- Are willing to spend extra time helping students who fall behind
- Can find unique ways of making the material more interesting to disengaged kids
Regardless of the type of school in which you would like to teach, it is important to remember that effective teachers care for their students, are passionate about teaching and are creative in designing and implementing relevant, rigorous and culturally inclusive lessons to ensure that their charges are best equipped to become contributing members of their communities.
The College of Education at Grand Canyon University offers a range of bachelor’s degrees to choose from, including degree programs in both elementary and secondary education. Click the Request Information button on this page to begin searching for your calling in life.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.