By Janelle Higdon
As an elementary education major, your diploma comes with a superhero cape.
Students majoring in elementary education are not just training to teach kids the answer to life’s great question of 2+2. Elementary education majors are preparing to change the world through the lives of moldable, eager, young people.
Students are impacted deeply by their elementary school teachers
Do you remember elementary school? There’s a good chance that if you do, some of your strongest memories are of your teachers. Elementary school teachers are at the ready to impact impressionable kids, and the impression that they leave is a lasting one.
Kids who are nurtured and challenged by their elementary school teachers are set up for success as children, and for the rest of their life.
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Elementary school teachers lay the foundation for life
Fundamental building blocks of life include learning to read and write. We caught up with teacher Erin Chambers ’15, who graduated from North Central University with a major in Elementary Education to learn about additional important skills that students learn in their elementary years.
Essential skills learned in elementary school, according to a teacher
- How do I write my name?
- How can I be responsible for my tools (i.e. desk, pencils, etc.)?
- What is a sentence?
- What are the parts of a good story
- Where are we in the world?
- How do we count and add?
- What is community?
- Who am I and who is my family?
TEACHERS GIVE MORE THAN BOOK-KNOWLEDGE
Beyond foundational knowledge that students glean in their elementary school years, elementary education majors have the opportunity to impact students by helping them learn concepts that will make them better humans.
These life skills (shared with us by teacher Erin Chambers) can not only change the lives of elementary students, they can shift culture.
For example, if someone is saying a student’s name incorrectly, an elementary school teacher can help the student stand up for themself by using their words to assert themself and make the correction. These simple actions train students for other areas of life.
- Social skills:
Teachers with a degree in elementary education will be equipped to help their students learn basic social skills by collaborating with partners and groups as well as interacting with adults
Regardless of moral conviction, teachers can help students realize that not everyone is the same, and learn to work well with people who are different.
- Work ethic:
Academics come more easily to some students than others. Elementary education teachers can help students understand that working their hardest in school will help grow their brain for tasks in and outside of the classroom.
- The ability to have honest conversations about hard topics:
Depending on the student population, topics that are hot in the news may be a source of fear or aggression in students and parents. Teachers can be poised to help students talk through these challenging issues in a safe and healthy way.
- How to have fun:
Even though it takes work, school can be fun with the right attitude! Students majoring in elementary education can share their excitement about learning with elementary students. That energy is contagious!
Your elementary education major will change the world
Just imagine for a minute, a world saturated with empowered, kind, young people. Your degree in elementary education can help shift culture, and can help transform the way children approach conflict and challenges in their life.
Becomming a teacher is not just a career path, it’s a calling.