W&J Education DepartmentThis page created by: Shannon Plance, Ali Gumpf, Lauren Schieb
Washington and Jefferson is a school well known for its rigorous and demanding academic programs. The Education Program can not be excluded from the list of programs one should look at if they are interested in a major/minor with dedicated advisors, informative, descriptive courses, and the opportunity to participate in internships that will introduce you to the field ,the professionalism, and the dedication that being a teacher truly encompasses.
For many people, being a teacher is a dream that they have held since they themselves where a young child, being molded for the world in their elementary classrooms. For others, it may be a newer dream, realized after a summer job as a camp counselor in high school made them realize that they wanted to aide in the development of young minds. At W&J, whether teaching is a longstanding or newfound dream, the academic program is structured so that everyone can achieve their ultimate goal. The W&J Education Program attracts dedicated students who are passionate towards the goal of aiding young individuals in their pursuit of knowledge.
If you, like many wish to achieve a future in education, and be surrounded by many of the things that you may have enjoyed in your childhood and schooling, there are three options available to you. The certifications available through the W&J program are;
If working towards a certification in Elementary Education, you will be certified to teach Kindergarten to sixth grade for majors in child development and education.
After completing the certification requirements for Secondary Education ,you will be certified to teach grade levels 7-12 in areas including; biology, English, mathematics ,physics, chemistry, social studies and social science.
Special Certification certifies you in the areas of art education, environmental education, German, French, and Spanish for grades K-12.
As an education major or minor, students will be expected to attend internships as a mandatory part of their coursework. This gives students the chance to observe teachers in a classroom, and to also spend time working with a class and planning lessons of their own. Microteaching (teaching within your own education course) is also a valuable aspect of the teaching experience and education program. Microteaching gives the students a chance to plan lessons, write lesson plans, and instruct their peers. This valuable resource introduces them to the professional and organizational demands that will be expected in the classroom, as well as giving them a chance to improve their teaching skills through the feedback that they recieve.
There are four steps according to the Education Department that a student must take if they wish to achieve teacher certification. To achieve certification you must do the following things:
Apply for admission to the program- normally the best time to do this is the spring of your sophomore year.
Apply for student teaching in the spring of your junior year.
Recommendation for Certification can be received after a successful course of student teaching, this usually occurs the spring after your senior year.
Apply to the State Dept. of Education to be Certified - After Graduation
The W&J Education program is designed to be rigorous in order to train students to become the best educated, professional teachers possible. It has succeeded in graduating remarkable young men and women who will no doubt go into the field to only help continue the cycle of excellence in education.
Getting older does not necessarily mean that you have to stop having fun and suddenly become boring and mundane. The beauty of choosing to work in a career such as education is that you can be an adult without having to completely grow up. Now, I'm not saying that you have the freedom to be a kid all the time. You have to determine the times and places for absolute maturity, but sometimes it helps to maintain some of those adolescent qualities in order to establish a real connection with those you work with. Though education majors may be the most obvious choice for those looking to work with young people, W&J offers many choices of activities outside the classroom that allow for personal improvement and fun, whether you plan to work in a classroom or not. Some activities may even allow you to reach new conclusions regarding your profession of choice!
Those of us who refuse to grow up have many interests outside of the classroom, ranging from sports--W&J Women's Rugby Club, W&J Ice Hockey Club, to theatre--Theatre Program, to traveling--Study Abroad in Deutschland, Study-Abroad in Dublin, Ireland, Study Abroad - Japan, A Semester Abroad -- Italian Style, as well as many other activities-- W & J Intramural Sports, Special Olympics, and clubs--Newman Club. Some may seem unrelated to the education as a profession, so they might surprise you, but these help to increase the versatility of the participants, hopefully allowing for a more successful job hunt. The more exposure one has to the world, both inside and outside of a classroom, the more valuable they will be to a future employer. Any teacher who has special experiences to bring to the classroom will be more able to reach each individual student. Also, you can learn so much about the kind of person you truly are, or could someday be, as a result of some of the various opportunities provided when the books are closed. These activities help you to grow and develop as a person during the essential college years. So get involved, and learn about yourself in the process.
**Based on an Online Interview conducted with Ryan Bunting-Senior Elementary Education Major on April 10, 2007
1.) What drew you to the Education major? Had you always wanted to be a teacher?
I have always wanted to work with children. I originally wanted to become a pediatrician but after doing well in a few biology classes but not doing so well in a few chemistry classes, I realized that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a doctor. So then I decided to potentially teach biology, so I took an education class and loved it. But after taking that class, I realized that I wanted to teach more then just science and that I did not want to work with high school students. I wanted to make an impact on a child at an earlier age. I believe that if you reach a troubled child at a young age then you have a chance to change that child's life around. Plus, growing up I realized that Black males, in particular, are some of the more "troubled" people in schools today and that bothered me. So I am making it a point to help save as many young Black males as I can. I'm going to help every child I come into contact with but my primary objective is to be a role model to young Black males.
2.) What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of this major?
One of the negative aspects is that a teacher can not save every child. There are going to be some children that will be lost. Also teachers do not receive any appreciation for what they do until years later; it is not an instant gratification type of job. A positive thing about this job is that it keeps you on your toes; something new and different happens everyday. Plus, the times when you save a troubled kid and help him/her do something with his/her life, you feel like the happiest person in the world. That feeling gives you inspiration to want to continue to teach and to continue to influence more lives. Also seeing a child's expression when they learn something for the first time still makes me feel warm inside because I have done my part to help this child become an intelligent adult.
3.) Do you have a favorite internship/student teaching memory?
I would have to say when my current fourth grade class danced to the song "Steppin in the name of Love" by R. Kelly, for my old kindergarten class and then we all taught them the steps to the dance. That was a great time. We were only up there for 20 minutes, but those were the most memorable 20 minutes I have ever had.
4.) Education is a time consuming major. How do you balance your school demands and social life?
It is all about what you want out of life. My life goal is to be an educator, so everything else but God and my family comes second to that goal. Now when I say that, it doesn't mean I do not have any fun because that is far from the truth; it just means I am very organized. I do assignments ahead of time and any free time is spent to doing something for education. But in order to balance social life and education, you must be very organized.
5.) What kind of activities to you recommend for younger Education majors?
I would recommend applying for the Johns Hopkins University - Center for Talented Youth Program, volunteering at a boys and girls club, working at a summer camp, and working at after school tutoring programs. The more you teach and are around children the more comfortable you'll feel when you begin teaching.
6.) Any service opportunities you recommend?
Washington Park after school tutoring program, Education mentor program, Johns Hopkins - Center for talented youth program, and the JFK Summer Program.
7.) Have you, or do you know someone who has studied abroad? What are your opinions regarding this opportunity?
I have not studied abroad but I have been to several foreign countries. I do know someone that has studied abroad and I would highly recommend it. Not only do you get the opportunity to go to another country but you meet people from different cultures other than your own. And experiencing something like that will help you teach students of different cultures.
8.) What is the most important thing you will take from your experience here at W&J?
Perseverance. Never give up, even when situations seem bleak, have faith that Jesus will help you make it through. I have learned that God is everything and everything is God; with Him anything is possible.