Have you always had a passion for working with young children? Do you want to plan exciting, hands-on lessons that teach children foundational life skills through exploration and play? If so, the UNC Charlotte B.A. in Elementary Education is perfect for you. This program will train and license you to educate children from Kindergarten to Grade 6. In the process of earning this degree, you will learn how schools are organized; how children grow and develop; the skills necessary to plan and teach a standard elementary curriculum; strategies for working with diverse groups of students; processes for the evaluation of students' academic progress; and how to evaluate your own teaching effectiveness.
Most students who choose this degree program have the goal of eventually working in an elementary school setting. However, elementary education graduates also pursue careers in the following:
- Adoption agency/foster care administrator
- Child care agency owner/manager/employee
- Home-based service provider/private tutor
- Nonprofit child services specialist
- Summer camp/community center activities coordinator
Elementary Education is a rich and diverse field that will allow you to experience the joy of seeing a child learn something for the very first time, every day of the week. As an elementary school teacher, you will be able to impact children at a crucial time in their development, setting a foundation for success that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Don’t just get a job—teach and make a difference!
In addition to general courses in mathematics, science, English, and history, you will take courses which will assist you in classroom management strategies, addressing diverse learning needs, curriculum design, time management skills in the classroom, and various other teaching strategies that can help you maximize your future students’ learning potential. In addition, you will be able to choose from several minors, including Reading and Applied Understandings in Global Education.
You will then take additional classes in your chosen area to ensure that you are an expert in the field you intend to teach.
Hands-On Teaching Opportunities
One of the primary goals of the Cato College of Education is to give future teachers genuine, hands-on classroom experience before they graduate. In your final years of study, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of field experiences in area public schools, where you will observe, interact with, and teach diverse populations of children. Finally, once you have completed your field experiences and required internship, you will be able to apply to become a student teacher.
Student teaching, the culminating experience for all education undergraduates, involves full-time placement in a public school classroom for 15 weeks under the supervision of a classroom teacher and university professor. Student teaching allows students to gain experience and confidence by teaching for an extended period of time. By the time you graduate, you will have weeks of experience under your belt and plenty of experiences to discuss in interviews!