Online K-12 education degree programs are meant for students who want to teach but aren’t sure which grade, or want to teach a subject that could be applicable to all grade levels, such as art, music, or physical education. Students in these programs will get a comprehensive look at the education system, education theory, human development, and best teaching practices in order to serve a wide range of students.
Students in general education or K-12 education degree programs will take courses in curriculum development, classroom management, differentiated instruction, and likely a subject area of their choice, such as science or social studies. Depending on a student’s chosen field of study and career goals, in-class observation or student teaching may be required for program completion or state standards.
Students interested in classroom teaching will need to be aware of their state’s certification policies and procedures. Some states require all teachers to be certified; some require only some to be certified. Many states require at least one test for certification, which will test students over pedagogy and best practices. Other tests are often required in a particular subject area, such as grades K-6 generalist, or social studies for grades 8-12. Such tests are meant to ensure not only mastery of teaching principles, but mastery of subject matter as well.
Many teachers seeking to move up in their field earn master’s degrees in education upon graduation or after they have taught for a few years. Master’s degrees can help teachers become department or subject-area coordinators within their school, assistant principals or principals, or district administrators. The skills teachers learn in school and in their own classrooms are transferable outside of the classroom as well, and could be useful in management, human resources, or non-profit development.