Major Monday – Elementary Education (Concentration in Biology)

This week’s Major Monday is brought to you by Mrs. Scheiner, Lowell Catholic’s science department coordinator and biology and chemistry teacher.

1. What did you major in college?  Where did you go to college?

I majored in Elementary Education with a concentration in Biology (my college required that every education major have a concentration in something.  I went to The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.



2. Is this major your original major?  If not, what was your original major?  Why did you decide to change?

This was my original major.

3. What made you choose this major?

I had wanted to be a teacher since I was in the 5th grade.  I liked working with kids and giving them new things to think about.  However, I NEVER thought, while I was in college, that I would teach high school.  I pictured myself in a 1st grade classroom, or maybe as high as 4th grade.

4. What classes/topics did you enjoy studying the most while in college?

I liked the “how-to” classes for El. Ed., like “Art for Elementary School” and “Children’s Literature,” because they gave me good ideas I could use later.  I took French and Greek, which was fun because I really like language.  I had a fabulous biology teacher freshman year (which is why I took Biology as a concentration instead of English), and I also really enjoyed Embryology and Anatomy.  I also did an independent study in Victorian Culture, which was a lot of fun because I designed it myself and I was in England at the time, so I could see Victorian art and architecture right there.

5. What advice do you have for students looking to study your major?

Don’t go for the easy teacher!  My principle teacher in Education was famous for being tough, but I am a much better teacher because of her high standards.

Have a Plan B.  I didn’t see why I needed a concentration in any particular subject if I was going to teach in elementary school – but I got my first job (teaching science in grades 5-8 – notice – NOT 1st grade!), and  having a science background eventually got me into the high school level.

If you haven’t already, try out teaching to find out if you really like it.  Volunteer to help a teacher on your day off, work as a teacher’s aide in a summer program or at a dance studio, coach Little League, volunteer for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, volunteer at a children’s museum over the summer.  Variety is good – you might find you have a favorite level or subject – and it might not be what you expect it to  be!

Thank you, Mrs. Scheiner, for taking the time to answer these questions!  Very interesting and informative!

Mrs. Scheiner is the current Spotlight Teacher on the Lowell Catholic website!  Read about it here!




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