Teaching is an art, one mastered through extensive practice.
In practice, both methodology and knowledge prove critical, and a teacher must consistently improve upon both to truly work magic. Part and parcel to working magic in the classroom is a teacher’s ability to bring subjects to life for students. If a teacher can do these three things, he or she has tapped into the essence of a truly great educator.
As a teacher with advanced understanding of a specific subject area, you may have extensive knowledge and a unique ability to bring education to life. Add to this a master’s in teaching, and you’ve may have a strong platform through which to develop your teaching methodology. Through practice and experience, you might develop the raw materials to become an amazing teacher.
Now that you know that your future may hold exciting potential opportunities, let’s look at how you can meld your knowledge with your methodology. The following teaching subject areas are ones commonly a part of K-12 education systems. Following each teaching position is an idea of how your extensive knowledge of this field might benefit students in the classroom.
Math teachers teach various levels of mathematics in K-12 education. They teach subjects such as:
- Basic math
- Algebra 2
How can your practical expertise in the field of mathematics to serve students in the classroom?
Many students don’t understand math’s practical application. They assume that knowledge of the subject is confined to homework, classwork, and examinations. As someone with an in-depth knowledge of the subject, you can encourage students to apply their knowledge of math to life outside of the classroom. You can also teach them how the skills they develop while doing math impact their studies in other subjects and in life. In short, you can help make math meaningful for students.
Natural Science Teacher
Natural scientists teach core or elective classes in K-12 education. They teach courses in subjects like:
How can your practical expertise in in the fields of natural sciences serve students in the classroom?
Many students find science fascinating once they understand that it’s real. Left only as collections of theories in a book, the subjects fizzle and disappear from students’ minds. As someone with experience working with a natural science, you can provide firsthand evidence of science’s logic, wonder, and reality. By demonstrating how science lives outside of the book, you can help students understand its critical importance.
Social Science or Social Studies Teacher
Social scientists teach core and elective classes in K-12 education. They teach subjects such as:
- Psychology (also sometimes classified as a natural science)
- Political science
In some cases, social scientists teach social studies, a curriculum that combines knowledge from many of these subject areas.
How can your practical expertise in the social sciences serve students in the classroom?
Students often see evidence of the social sciences in their own lives. Yet they fail to see the fields’ larger implications. As a once-professional in the field, you can broaden their understanding of how theories in this expansive area shape populations and societies beyond their own experiences. Through this broadened application, students can gain a more nuanced appreciation of the roles social sciences play in the world.
Language Arts and Reading Teacher
Language arts and reading teachers teach core and elective classes in K-12 education. They teach classes like:
- Creative Writing
- Critical reading and writing
How can your practical expertise in the field of language arts and reading serve students in the classroom?
As is the case in many subjects, students need to know that what they’re learning matters. For many students, reading, writing, and thinking skills are ones reserved for coursework, homework, and passing classes. As someone who once worked in an area of the language arts, you can show students that their hard work and devoted exploration can expand into their everyday lives. You can show them how their skills in the language arts can affect change and influence and improve upon their lives and others’.
Art teachers teach a range of subjects, many of which are elective courses for students. They teach courses in areas such as:
- Performance arts (drama, improv, music, and dance, for example)
- Visual arts (painting, sculpting, and drawing, for example)
- Media arts (photography and web design, for example)
- Art history
- Art and culture
How can your practical expertise in the arts serve students in the classroom?
As someone who has lived, breathed, and endured the creative process, you can help students engage in theirs. You can move beyond theory and demonstrate to students the challenges and virtues of living a creative life. Best of all, you can guide students through their own creative processes, drawing from your personal and professional experiences.
Physical Education Teacher
Physical education teachers teach students how to be fit and healthy. They teach classes in subjects such as:
- Exercise science
- Nutrition and healthy living
- Exercise, sports, and other physical activity (sometimes in the form of gym classes)
- Outdoor adventure
- Mental strength and fitness
How can your practical expertise in the field of physical education serve students in the classroom?
Your experience in physical education has likely prepared you to work with people who have a broad range of physical capacities and skillsets. This type of knowledge deeply benefits students who depend on you to meet them where they are and to help them find successful and more personalized programs. By knowing how to tailor education to students, you’re more likely to influence them to live healthy, vibrant lives.
As you can see, knowledge and experience are part of what makes a good teacher great. However, no matter your degree of knowledge and experience, you must add to the mix effective teaching methodologies and a distinct ability to bring subjects to life. When considering what makes a good teacher great, this trifecta is the alchemy. We hope you’ll begin your journey to pursuing a career as an educator now!