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Education isn’t the cakewalk you think it is

People don’t realize how hard education majors actually have to work. (Northern Review photo/Emma Miller)

People don’t realize how hard education majors actually have to work. (Northern Review photo/Emma Miller)

“You’re an education major? Wow, you must have it so easy!” 

Any education major has heard phrases like this numerous times. Every single major is difficult in its own way. Each has its own assignments, challenges, and expectations. Education is not an exception.

Education majors are required to complete the same amount of credit hours as every other major in conjunction with completing field experience hours. Students could be required to complete up to 50 hours of field experience on top of regularly scheduled classes in a given semester.

It is more than just planning how to entertain a classroom of 25 students when completing lesson plans. Education majors have a responsibility to meet copious standards set at the district and state level. Potential teachers also must create lessons for students of all ability levels. 

Easier said than done.

Brittany Holub, a senior education major, noted how meeting these standards puts a strain on students. 

People don’t realize how hard education majors actually have to work. We have the same amount of classes as everyone else, while also working in a classroom every week. When we are in the classroom, we have the ability to make a difference in a child’s life and not many majors can say they have that opportunity.” 

Education majors must complete a full semester of student teaching their final semester. Yes, this means fewer classes compared to other majors. But it also means working full time in a classroom just as any teacher would. Students are creating lessons for weeks of content and eventually take over the classroom as if it was their own. Though rewarding, this experience is very time-consuming and can be very stressful.

The final task to becoming an educator is to complete and pass edTPA. This rigorous form of assessment determines if you are able to become a teacher or not.

Students are required to submit well-executed lesson plans, videos of teaching, and countless pages of commentary, all of which are graded based on many different rubrics by a Pearson-appointed evaluator. Their evaluation determines if you get a passing score and are able to get your teaching certificate. Education majors are also required to complete state-mandated tests before being able to graduate. Each major has at least three of these tests and some have upwards of six depending on there specific major and concentrations. If these tests are not passed, one is not able to obtain a degree in education.

Maybe you will see education majors reading a children’s book in the library, but what you won't see are the lesson plans, the scaffolding actives, the accommodations, and the heart and soul behind them.

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