Secondary education involves teaching students in grades 7-12. Since this involves middle and high school students it can be a very challenging career. Kids at that stage in life are going through many transitions physically, emotionally and mentally. Teachers working with these students need to have a very good knowledge of child psychology and educational techniques that will work best with kids in this age group. People who wish to teach at this level should consider obtaining a degree in secondary education. The best way to do so is by distance learning through an accredited college or university. Several schools offer online Master’s degrees in Secondary Education geared toward education professionals already teaching in this area.
Secondary Education Master’s Degree
Those students seeking a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Secondary Education should be prepared for much hard work ahead. The focus of this program is on children’s growth and development and learning what teaching methods work best with them. Technology in teaching is also discussed and students are taught how to incorporate technology into their classrooms. Additional topics include curriculum planning, student assessments and educational research.
Students applying to this degree program need to have a bachelor’s degree preferably in a subject they are wishing to teach at the secondary level. Most of these online programs expect students to have current teaching licenses and prior teaching experience.
Master’s Degree Courses
The Master’s degree program in Secondary Education combines online classes, research projects and group work to teach students about the latest secondary education teaching methods and current education topics. Many programs are noted for their flexibility in allowing students to customize their course of study through the choosing of elective classes. Some of the courses that may be taken by students include:
- Curriculum theory
- Classroom diversity
- Education research techniques
- Child development
- Secondary instruction methods
- Classroom management
- Diverse learning strategies
- Classroom technology
This diverse range of classes enables students to customize their studies based upon their interests in secondary education.
Master’s Degree Careers
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of secondary education teachers will increase at a steady rate of 10% through 2018. While this is considered an average job growth rate it is still lower than the growth rate for other teaching areas such as kindergarten and elementary school teachers. The best job opportunities in secondary education should come for those teachers willing to take positions in urban and rural areas. Fewer positions will be available in the more desired suburbs. Certain subjects will also be in higher demand. Those teachers skilled in teaching science and language will have an edge over the competition. Subjects such as chemistry, physics, math, biology and foreign languages will be sought after by schools. As cultural diversity becomes more common in American schools teachers who are bilingual will also be needed. Salaries for these position will continue to increase based on supply and demand of teachers plus their total package of skills. The average yearly salary of secondary education teachers approaches $56,000.
Master’s Degree Certification and Continuing Education
Every state requires teachers to be licensed to teach in public schools. Those in private schools may or may not need to be licensed because these schools are not bound by state regulations. All states have their own requirements but the common theme in all of them is graduating from an accredited program and completing a student teaching practicum. Some teachers choose to pursue doctoral studies to become administrators or college professors.