Shedding Light on Education Majors

Anna Harman

There are many misconceptions at Cedarville University that students have about primary education majors. Many people assume they just fingerpaint and read picture books all day, but that could not be further from the truth. 

Senior Primary Education major Christina Kotsatos has become very aware of these misconceptions. Many people do not recognize how much effort goes into teaching and lesson planning, all while you are still in college.

“As fun as it is, it is time consuming,” Kotsatos says. “You have to always be on your toes and be prepared for anything and everything because you can never be too on top of things. Teaching will always find a way to throw you a curveball no matter what.”

Teaching is not just about hanging out with kids and teaching them how to add and subtract. There is so much more that goes into it outside of these things.

“Teaching is getting to know your students individually; their strengths and weaknesses, planning to meet those needs, working to engage students in their learning, keeping up with curriculum and all that comes with it, classroom management, and so much more,” Kotsatos said. 

Kotsatos gets to the school each week at the same time as all of the teachers, as a teacher’s assistant (TA), and leaves when all the students have gone home. She teaches multiple lessons a day which she has to plan for ahead of time. She often has to work through lunch in order to make adjustments for lessons throughout the day.

Senior Primary Education major Ashleigh Hahnenstein is also aware of the assumptions people make about Primary Education majors at Cedarville. While it is fun, there is a lot of work that goes into being a TA.

She is at the school at 8am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. She teaches for a majority of her day. 

“Every evening I have to reflect on my lessons from the previous day and grade any papers that the students have done,” Hahnenstein says. “I also have to prepare all my lessons and activities for the next day.” 

She plans lessons for math and reading and teaches them each day. She has to manage all of the students’ behavior as she is helping them learn. Hahnenstein takes the kids to lunch, specials, and recess. She also has to grade the students’ work and determine who needs more help in certain areas and who is ready to move on.

While both of these students agree that being an education major and TA is a rewarding and fun experience, it is no doubt a tough and demanding job to take on as a college student. The education profession is about so much more than reading children’s books and coloring; it’s about pouring your heart into making sure the kids get the best education you can give them. 

Anna Harman is a senior Christian Education major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, children’s ministry, flowers, and going to concerts.

Photo provided by Christina Kotsatos

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