There are many different aspects to becoming an education major that most students aren't familiar with. A lot of students will decide to switch to becoming an education major but often won't know exactly what will be involved. And with so many preconceived notions based on education majors that are often wrong, it can be hard to know what to consider when making the decision.
Here are eight things to consider before becoming an education major.
1. It's not an easy major.
So many people often believe that education is an easy major, but I cannot stress enough how much it is not. If you ask any education major, they will tell you flat-out that it's hard. Education courses require a tremendous amount of work.
Most of them are not difficult content-wise (although depending on what you're taking some of them are) but require a huge amount of work and effort. Not to mention the amount of testing that you will undergo to either officially get into the education program or to graduate. So, if you are choosing an education major because you think it's going to be an easy field, you will be disappointed.
2. Your reason to be a teacher should not be to have a paid summer break.
Although this is always considered an added bonus for choosing to become a teacher, this shouldn't be your only reason for choosing this profession. You should want to make a difference or help others. If you only choose it to receive snow days or a paid summer break, then you'll most likely end up switching to another major or quit teaching later on. Teaching involves a lot of work and dedication which is why you will need to have more reasons for wanting to become a teacher.
3. You should have a general idea of what grades you want to teach.
You don't need to specifically know what grade you're thinking about teaching, but you should have a general idea of what specific area you want to teach. Ask yourself if you would like to work with high school students, middle school, or younger students. You definitely don't need to know one specific grade that you want to teach since you'll find out once you start student teaching, but you should definitely know what type of teacher you want to be.
4. Working with students will be both rewarding and challenging.
Working with students can have its rewards, such as learning from students how to change your teaching methods, but it can also be challenging. You will encounter students who will test your patience at times. However, in the courses you will take you will learn how to overcome these challenges and use them as an opportunity for learning.
5. You will be making a difference in students' lives.
If you want to become an education major, you should know that one of the benefits is that you will be making a huge difference in the lives of your students. You won't be simply helping students learn in order to use their knowledge for their future career, but rather you will be changing their perceptions and impacting their lives. You won't believe how much you can bring meaning to students and how your behavior can impact a student's life in a huge way.
6. Don't be intimidated by the salary.
A lot of people often focus on the salary that a teacher makes, which ends up discouraging them from becoming a teacher. And yes, the salary is low where you will often make $45,000 a year. However, students who are authentic education majors don't get easily dissuaded by the salary. They want to teach because they want to make a difference in other student's lives and make a change in the world. They don't focus on the low salary but rather on the benefits that come with becoming a teacher.
7. It will involve communicating with others.
Many students don't consider this when choosing to major in education, but it does involve being able to communicate with others. You will have to give a lot of presentations, present lesson plans in front of a classroom of students, or independently manage a classroom. However, if you're shy, you can easily overcome it once you get enough experience in the classroom as long as you're open to talking in front of others.
8. You should have an interest in working with students in whatever grade level you choose.
If you're going to choose which type of students you wish to teach, you need to be sure. I can't tell you how many times I've heard other students choose to teach a specific grade level and then find out later on that they chose the wrong grade and have to change their major. It's better that you're sure what grade level you want to teach sooner rather than later since being an education major requires taking tons of classes. It's OK if you have to go an extra semester or two, but you don't want to have to go more than an extra year.
So before you decide to choose education as your major, you should make sure that you consider these eight things beforehand. Being an education major can have a lot of challenges but also a lot of benefits. You should always make sure that you are choosing to be a teacher for the right reasons. Choosing to major in education will require a lot of dedication and work. But any education student will tell you that it's definitely worth it.