Published: Feb. 10, 2021
Anisah teaching

Many deadlines for the CU Boulder teacher licensure fall programs are fast approaching on Feb. 15. Learn about the different teaching pathways in the School of Education and some of the compelling reasons to consider teaching as explained by education students, faculty, and alumni.

  1. Advance equity and justice in education and beyond

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that we are living in times that demand change and justice, and teaching is a career for changemakers and leaders interested in disrupting the status quo.

     Teaching isn’t just a job. It’s a path that positions people to make the world a more just place,” explains Jamy Stillman, former elementary teacher, associate professor of education and director of the CU Boulder elementary education program.

    “I feel energized by the urgency of doing this work and putting excellent teachers in schools. We’re committed to preparing humanizing teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse learners. That’s at the core of everything we’re doing here.”

  2. Work with children and K-12 classrooms

    Through ample practicum experiences, CU Boulder teacher education students work with K-12 students and classrooms from introductory courses through their culminating student teaching experience. Even as schools have adjusted for COVID-19 protocols, CU Boulder education students are working with kids in online, hybrid, and safe in-person classrooms.

     There were so many things that I enjoyed about this (CU Teach EDUC 2020) class, however it always boils down to the students. I love working with kids,” said Paxton Smith, recent business major and education minor graduate, and current Master's student in Educational Foundations Policy and Practice. 

    “It is very rewarding to see the students grow through the semester and develop meaningful relationships with them...When getting to work with real-life students you get to see firsthand how meaningful the work of teachers is. Teachers are the ones who develop the future leaders of our country and this class gives you insight into this.”

  3. Enjoy small class sizes and the close-knit community feel in the School of Education

    With most classes set at around 25 students or less, education students get to know their peers and professors, and the education advising team is here to help. 

     I love the community that being in the School of Ed provides. It is not only a small school that allows for closer relationships, but full of people passionate about teaching and education just as I am,” said Megan Larquier, elementary education student. 

    “Everyone from the professors to the advising team create a welcoming and safe space that allows for me to learn and excel, even in areas where I sometimes doubt my abilities. We have so many staff and students of different backgrounds that help me grow in understanding of cultures and the meaning of diversity and inclusivity, which I feel is hard to find in other areas of campus. From my very first education class, I knew it was home.”

  4. Learn new ways to share your passion for your major or favorite discipline 

    Secondary teacher licensure courses are designed to allow students to explore instructional methods specific to their major and content areas (e.g. science, social studies, math, music, English language arts, and world languages) while examining the social and historical foundations of education and expanding communication tools. 

     I took this (CU Teach) class because I wanted to become a science teacher, but I also learned a multitude of other skills, including communication, leadership, and teamwork" said Sohan Sur, a chemistry major enrolling in CU Teach secondary science courses, Step 1 (EDUC 2020) and Step 2 (EDUC 2030) courses. 

    “The teachers are very experienced, friendly, and work with you individually to craft your lessons. It was a pleasant experience, and I learned a lot about student engagement, explanation, and exploration."

  5. Gain experience working in real K-12 classrooms and graduate ready to lead in the classroom

    Many education courses include “field experiences” or practicum experiences, even in introductory courses, and all teacher candidates complete at least one student teaching semester.

     I felt completely prepared for the classroom,” said Caitlin McElhaney, Secondary Science Education licensure alumna, 2013, and senior hiring manager for DSST public schools in Denver. 

    “I finished my student teaching in the fall and then was immediately hired in the spring of the following year and jumped right into the classroom. I was so grateful for all of the in-person, school-based experience that the CU Boulder School of Education gave me including the numerous practicums and the full semester of student teaching. Having all of that ‘face time’ in front of students before beginning a full-time teaching role helped decrease the nerves of starting a new job.”

  6. Learn with compassionate support from education professors and advisors

    Learn alongside nationally recognized professors and education researchers, and experienced advisors are available for virtual appointments scheduled in Buff Portal. 

     What I like best about being a student at the School of Education is that it is super inclusive,” Angelica Gutierrez, Elementary Education student said. 

    “There are not many places on campus where I feel welcomed or like I belong. At the School of Ed, we value diversity, inclusivity, equity and justice, which is super unique. Other amazing things are that there is a strong support system through advisors, professors, etc. and that the classes are small, allowing for conversation and engagement.”

  7. Be the teacher you always wanted when you were in school

    In the School of Education, we know representation is important. Students thrive when they are treated with dignity and care and when their contributions and experiences are valued in the classroom. CU Boulder education graduates view themselves as agents of change, who advocate on behalf of and in solidarity with minoritized students, including bilingual learners, and their families.

     I knew I wanted to be a part of education after taking an education through film class where my opinions and views on the schooling system were validated,” said Esmeralda Castillo-Cobian, a middle school language arts teacher in Denver, who graduated with a BA in ethnic studies and her secondary teacher licensure in English language arts in 2019.

    “My professor made me feel safe and validated after so many years of going through schooling without being seen. Despite being the only woman of color in her class, my voice was heard. I knew and wanted and needed for more students of color to feel this way and what other way than through empowering them in my own classroom.”

  8. Co-teach alongside experienced and supportive mentor teachers 

    As a student teacher, each teacher candidate is thoughtfully paired with a kind and experienced mentor teacher or teachers; the candidate and mentor co-lead and co-teach their students together with the additional support of a field coach or university supervisor. 

     My mentor teacher has truly treated me as a co-teacher and has respected me as an equal professional,” said Ryan Espuga, recent student teacher and 2020 graduate of Secondary Science Education Licensure and a BA in Physics.

    “I can confidently say ‘our’ classroom because she has never made me feel as a guest to our class. From day one, my mentor teacher has given me ample opportunities to grow and become the educator I am now. She helped me find my voice and confidence as a teacher. I appreciate my mentor teacher’s ability to model the virtues of an ideal educator as she treats everyday, every peer, and every student as an opportunity to grow.”

  9. Answer the call for more teachers in schools and areas that need teachers and expand your career options

    According to the Colorado Department of Education’s most recent report of state teacher shortages, over 8,000 teaching and special services positions were needed for hire in 2019-20, representing 13% of all teaching positions in the state. The number of open positions was slightly lower than the preceding school year, but several core teaching subject areas are experiencing teacher shortages, such as in mathematics, science, and the state’s growing population of emerging bilingual students call for educators who are specially prepared to teach and welcome culturally and linguistically diverse learners. 

  10. CU Boulder School of Education offers multiple pathways to teacher licensure 

    The School of Education offers multiple teacher licensure pathways that support future teachers, so you can find a pathway that works for you. Teacher candidates examine the social and historical foundations of education, learn specific strategies to meet all students’ needs, and explore instructional methods specific to their content areas, such as English language arts, mathematics, music, science, social studies, and world languages.

    Secondary Teacher Licensure pathways are designated for teacher candidates interested in pairing their CU Boulder major with a teaching licensure program and teaching students in grades 7-12, and the Elementary Education major provides a bachelor’s degree and elementary teaching license for teaching grades K-6 plus an endorsement for teaching culturally linguistically diverse students.

    In addition, for graduates who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, the School of Education offers post-BA teacher licensure tracks and a Master’s plus (MA+) teacher licensure program, allowing students to work toward a Master's degree and teacher credentials in secondary education at the same time. Also there are several minor and certificate programs  to help one explore education and leadership from multiple perspectives.

The deadline for applying to undergraduate and post-BA teacher licensure programs or transfering to the elementary education major is Feb. 15. Contact if you have any questions or visit the teacher licensure website to learn more.