Monday, September 9, 2013

Why I Want to Change My Major: A Look at Elementary VS. Secondary Education

So for any regular readers, you may be aware of the fact that I am an English teaching major. I've written before that one of my main goals in life is to teach high school English and coach a high school dance team.

... That however, has all changed.

This semester I am enrolled in ELED 1010: Introduction to Elementary Education and I am working towards raising my GPA so I can get into the Elementary Education program. Why would I do that? This is my fourth year of college, most my friends have already graduated, I'm all set in my current major, why would I change? Well this post is to tell you why.

This semester in my ENGL 4500: Teaching Writing class, on the first day we kind of introduced ourselves and explained to the class why we write. I talked about how my love-affair of writing that I had since first grade died off because of the comments I received on my essays in college and how I got myself out of the writing funk by starting this blog. I write to make me happy.

A boy in my class began to speak saying that he like writing because it makes him feel intellectual and that he wants to teach in high school to show off his superiority and be able to show how smart he is.

I was shocked that he had said that. It's the purpose of teaching to help the student? That's what I always thought, that what I always wanted from teaching.

A girl stood to begin her speech, she also said things along the lines of wanting to teach to model good writing and reading skills. More and more said things similar. In another one of my English classes, the students are eager to speak up and show off what they know.  I began to realize the general idea of my peers in this major, is to show off, to express their intellect to willing (or unwilling) students.

I began to really think about this. It had never occurred to me to think this way, in fact, I thought the exact opposite. The moment I decided to be a teacher it was because I wanted to help the students. I struggled through high school and my goal as a teacher would be to help those students make it through, the same way my high school English teachers helped me.

For some time I've been upset in my major. I have had no desire to go to my classes, I hated every essay I wrote and didn't even bother putting my best effort into it, I assumed all my teacher would fail me no matter what because I felt like a complete English failure. I didn't know what I was doing, and I hated my classes. So I left college for a year to re-evaluate what I was doing and to take a break to rejuvenate myself.

While on my break I kept getting feelings I needed to change to elementary education. I assumed that this was because I was working in a daycare and being surrounded by the little kids made me always want to be surrounded by little kids. I didn't think much of it until I left my job, but still kept having those feelings.

Anyone who read my blog this summer knows that I was super excited to finally be going back to school. This time I wanted it and I had a drive to do well. After a summer of mostly lows, going back to school resulted in chaos. The school dropped all my class twice. They tried to say I wasn't an enrolled student and that I would have to reapply to the school. They kept charging me extra money until I got into my waitlisted classes... I was beat, I was angry and upset at the school.

My only ray of sunshine school-wise, were my two favorite classes, ELED 1010 and FCHD 1500, both were introductory classes to the elementary education major. I had decided to take them, the week before school started, because of the feelings I had kept getting. I figured taking the introductory courses may help me decide what I really want to do with my life.

After only two weeks of this semester, I know without any doubt that I want to be an elementary school teacher. I absolutely love my classes! And my two English classes this semester I have to drag myself into going! I'm not happy in the English major and I realize now that I never really was.

I haven't officially changed my major. I can't until I raise my GPA by retaking the classes I failed. This is my fourth year of college and I have so much more I'll have to do by switching my major, but I am happy to do so. Just thinking about the change makes me happy, regardless of the ridiculous amount of work I will have to put into this change.

Everything feels right again. I'm enjoying school and I feel like I'm doing the right things with my life, even if it means I won't graduate for a few more years. I'm happy with this decision and I am so grateful for my loving husband and family who all support me in this decision. I love you all so much!

I love all my readers, as I wrote in my class, you truly are the reason I write and you've restored my love of writing. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for all your support! 


  1. This is an interesting post. Not all secondary teachers just want to show off.

    1. I understand that, but it seems in my classes, that's why the secondary teachers are there. It just makes me uncomfortable and I don't want to be around it.


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