Adolescence education teachers work primarily with students in grades 7 – 12. They help teens prepare for challenges and issues that arise during this developmental stage. Most educators in this field also pick a subject specialty such as math, science, health, physics, social studies or a foreign language. Teachers complete specialized training designed specifically for meeting the educational needs of students in the middle grades and high school.
Pursuing a Masters in Adolescent Education degree
I decided to pursue my degree in Education because I wanted to teach. I have always had a passion for education and it became my goal to become a teacher. I had gotten my undergraduate degree in English and decided during my senior year that I wanted to teach young children, so I went to graduate school for Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
What is your primary area of interest within the field of education?
My interest and certification in the field of education is Early Childhood Education (Birth-2nd Grade) and Elementary Education (1st-6th grade).
Please describe the Child and Adolescent Masters program you chose to attend.
My M.Ed. program was a dual certification program in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. The program focused mainly on Early Childhood Education. I took courses in child development; assessment methods; multicultural education; Early Childhood science, social studies, and literacy; and Elementary level science, math and reading. The program culminated with a winter student teaching session in the upper grades (4-5) and a spring student teaching session in the early and middle grades (K and 1-2).
Why did you choose the school you attended?
I chose Hofstra because of its location as well as its reputation as one of the best schools on Long Island.
What did you like about the program?
I liked that the professors were knowledgeable about their field and were always available to meet and discuss assignments and projects. The other students in the program were friendly and easy to get along with. I also liked that the school placed you for observations and student teaching instead of the students doing it themselves, as that can be stressful and time consuming.
What did you not like about the program?
One thing I did not like about this program was the school’s administration. The school did not inform you about certain things (requirements, registration, certification seminars, etc.) until the last minute or after the fact. It was very difficult at first to keep track of everything required. Once I learned to keep track of important information and to research this information on my own, it became much easier to know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
Were you employed while taking classes? If so, how did you manage your time?
I was employed part-time throughout my coursework. It was easy to manage my schoolwork around my schedule, because I only worked about 20 hours per week, including weekday mornings and weekends, while classes were held at night.
How did you pay for your graduate degree?
I paid for my degree privately.
Did you participate in any research or special projects while in school?
One of my biggest projects was to create an assessment portfolio outlining one child’s development in all domains, as well as his classroom environment and then giving a presentation on the portfolio. This took 45 hours of observation of one child in a classroom setting. The portfolio itself was one hundred pages and included written observations and other assessment methods, photographs, and student work.
What should a student look for when choosing an education program?
I believe students should look for an education program that focuses on an understanding of developmentally appropriate practices and curriculum, including active, engaging learning and stimulation of all domains. Graduate students should also look for a school whose career center can aid them in building a resume and can explain not only how the job search works, but also the hiring process in schools. Finally, students should consider the school’s professors. Many of my professors were in the field for decades as early childhood educators. Some were still teaching, while others were doing research for scholarly journals. This gave me insight on current practices as well as research in the field and upcoming news.
What do you intend to do with your degree?
I used my degree to gain my teaching certification in New York State and am now employed as a Pre-K teacher.
Did you make use of your school’s career services office during your job search?
Yes. Hofstra’s career center was very helpful. Through them, I built my resume and cover letter, participated in interviews, and was given advice on the job search and interview process.