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Benjamin Franklin once famously stated, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Teachers continue to evolve the way subjects are taught in our school systems, directly benefiting students. They keep up-to-date on the newest information and find new ways to teach core concepts while involving every student in the room. Effective teachers not only prepare students for future careers, but they often times inspire their students to pursue the profession.

An education major focuses on the management, methods and principles of teaching students from elementary to secondary school. You also can specialize in a certain subject to teach, such as English or math. Good skills to have include organization, attention to detail and great communication. Instructing is only half of what makes a good teacher--listening to students' questions, responses and needs is the other part of the equation.

Lastly, patience will be a helpful skill to have, whether you end up teaching kindergarteners or high school students.

Something to consider

During your final semesters at college, you'll most likely have the opportunity to student teach a classroom for a semester. This experience will help you get a foot in the door and can lead to other career opportunities since most states require previous teaching experience for entry-level jobs.

Also, you'll need to take The Praxis, created by the Educational Test Service (ETS), that measures the knowledge and skills of future teacher candidates and is used for the state licensing and certification processes. The three types of Praxis include: Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core), Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) and Praxis II Subject Assessments. Check with the state you would like to teach in to see which Praxis test(s) you'll need to take and passing score requirements. Visit for more information.

After graduation

As an education major, you have many options when it comes to deciding what type of teacher you want to be. Possible job titles include kindergarten and elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, secondary teacher, English/science/math teacher, preschool teacher and special education teacher.

Although it varies by state, to teach in any U.S. state, you will need a teaching license and/or certificate. According to, all states require a bachelor's degree (at a minimum) and the completion of a traditional or alternative teacher preparation program. College graduates will need to take a certification exam and pass a background check. Many states also require student teaching experience. Visit to see what your state requires.

Where you could end up living

Teaching, generally speaking, has opportunities across the country. For example, according to My Next Move, in 2013 there are 44 states with average to above-average job opportunities as a secondary school teacher. They include Louisiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont. Living in or nearby a larger school district, or close proximity between districts, the more job opportunities you can find.

Salary and occupation outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2013 the average salary for secondary school teachers was $58,260 per year and over 946,000 people employed with that title. Other teaching jobs had similar average salaries in 2013 as well, varying from $56,320 for elementary school teachers to $56,630 for middle school teachers.

Growth rate also varies among types of teaching jobs and the regions they are located in. For secondary school teachers, the growth rate is six percent, which is slower than the average for all occupations. While on the other hand, kindergarten and elementary school teachers have a 12-percent growth rate, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The reason for this is that student enrollment growth in high school is expected to be slower than enrollment growth in other grades. Growth will also depend on state and local government budgets, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As an education major, you have the power to inspire the future generation through your teaching methods and management.

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Visit our Free Scholarship Search to find college scholarships for education majors.

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