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  • Writer's pictureTaylon Mann

All You Need to Know About Elementary Education

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Have you ever considered teaching but have had a hard time choosing a subject? That's okay! Elementary education (El Ed) is one of the all-around best majors BYU has to offer because you get the opportunity to become an expert in a variety of content areas!

Below are a few fun facts about the El Ed program, mingled with a variety of important things to know

#1 The Arts: The program is full of classes that help you learn how to incorporate theater, art, music, physical education, and dance into the classroom! The best part is, you learn how to teach this by actually doing it. One of my favorite moments in the drama class was putting on a puppet show with my class after designing and making our own sock puppets! It’s hard not to have a blast while taking these courses! We even have an arts integration minor that is brand new. Check it out here.

#2 Hands-On Experience: You have the chance to work with current elementary school teachers in elementary schools during your time at BYU! Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to talk to and observe teachers in their classrooms. In the third year of the program, you participate in “practicum” (essentially, “practice”), in which you go into the schools not only to observe but to start teaching as well.

#3 Student Teaching: During the last year, students get the chance to do student teaching or be a full-time intern! Both of these options are superb, as both help you build-up to managing and teaching your own class full of students. But both have their upsides! There are four semester-long options for student teachers:

-Student teach in one of the five partnership districts close to BYU: Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo City, and Wasatch.

-Student teach in Houston, Texas.

-Student teach in Washington, D.C.

#4 Internship: When you do an internship you are the actual full-time teacher in a local school district. This being said, you actually get paid half salary! And if you get hired locally the following year, you’ll get paid as if you already are a second-year teacher (which, of course, you will be at that point). But the best perk to the internship is that you get loads of support during your first year of teaching.

#5 Smaller Class Size: Most of the classes in the El Ed program don’t have more than 30 students, which allows you to work one-on-one with your professors! There are a lot of classes at BYU where you just sit in a big lecture hall and listen to the professor talk. When you have questions about the course, you are directed to speak with a TA first, rather than speaking with the professor. The classes in the elementary education program still have TAs to help you out, but the professors are willing to put in the time to talk to you and help you as much as needed.

There are two prerequisite courses that you take in the process of applying to the program. They are a great way to explore your interests in education and see if this is the right fit for you!

  • SFL 210 - Human Development

  • EL ED 200 - Introduction to Education

In addition to these two classes, the program requires you to complete the following:

  1. Declare the Elementary Education Pre-Major. See a program advisor in the Education Advisement Center (EAC), 350 MCKB, (801) 422-3426.

  2. Attend a program orientation meeting - pick up a flier in 350 MCKB, or check the student calendar

  3. Review GPA and ACT/SAT scores with a program advisor

Simply put, the Elementary Education program is epic. There’s so much more to the program than we can cover in this post, so don’t be afraid to contact a student ambassador if you'd like to hear what it's like to be an elementary education student. We are more than happy to answer any questions! Contact us here!

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