Stigma behind education majors

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Two common phrases I have heard as an education major since declaring my major my sophomore year are “wow, I could never deal with all of that” or “it definitely isn’t about the money, huh?” I am now a senior and student teaching, and there are still comments I hear daily about, once again, my choice of major. 

No, it isn’t about the money. Yes, it is difficult to handle. Education majors continue to receive little to no credit when it comes to their course load despite these comments. 

Education has always been seen as the “easiest” of the majors,  who only cut and glue different things on paper for classrooms. We are required to write lesson plans that are detailed and thorough, write reflections and go through State standards. 

There is a mentality that people enter education as a last resort, or they didn’t know what else to do, especially if they are an English teaching major. English majors also receive a lot of criticism because they’re seen as the people who didn’t know what else to do. This is incorrect, for those of us in education, we go into teaching because we want to teach. 

An English degree can take you to many other places than just the classroom. 

Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher. It takes someone special to be able to teach and deal with the many challenges and obstacles to teaching. 

The stigma behind teaching even can be found within our own education system at USI. English is viewed as less important compared to STEM teachers such as Math and Science. 

Different programs and grants that are offered to education majors are always for Math or Science. I have never seen it for English or even art teachers. 

This can also be seen with tuition assistance through the state. STEM teachers are granted a larger sum compared to English teachers. This can be frustrating even for teachers who have been teaching English for more than 15 years. 

Walking into a classroom takes more than knowing the actual content. It requires making and forming relationships with each and every one of your students, forming relationships with their parents/guardians and creating a safe environment they may not have except for when they walk into the classroom. It is not about the money you make, but the kids you teach every single day. 

USI has prepared me significantly when it comes to walking into my own classroom after I graduate in May. What I want to hear when I receive my diploma is not, “Wow, I could never do that” or “There is no money there” but rather “You will be a great teacher.”