Are you an education major at The College of New Jersey? Is your concentration History? Read on to learn about the life of an Education and History double major at TCNJ and three major tips and pieces of advice to excel in your program.
1. Expect a ton of reading
Education major: In education, expect to do many readings across your courses over the years. Most of these readings dive into strategies and different theories on specific pedagogies. Although sometimes these can be lengthy, there are very beneficial. In all your classes, educational theorists and strategies will be reintroduced and discussed. Therefore, all these readings will prove very beneficial to your knowledge base, as well as to begin forming what you want your teaching philosophies to be.
History major: It is to be expected that most, if not all, history courses will be reading intensive. Some courses are a mixture of discussion lecture and reading but be advised that being a history major in college is different from how you learned history in school. Being a history major at TCNJ begins to prepare you to be a historian. Your major role in these courses are to read multiple perspectives of different histories and to synthesize and analyze these sources to come up with your own standpoint on a particular topic.
2. Expect a lot of writing
Education major: Most of the writing you will do as an education major revolve around reflection. In a good portion of your classes, you will be asked to complete a teaching philosophy so it would be wise to save one copy and add to it as you learn more. When applying for teaching jobs, as well, it is usually recommended that on your teaching resume you include a snippet of your teaching philosophy. In addition to reflection pieces, you will complete many lesson plans during your field experiences and practicums. These are incredibly important because they begin to help you realize the amount of time and energy that is involved in creating lessons.
History major: As mentioned in point #1, being a history major at the College entails being able to analyze and synthesize sources in your writing. As a culmination of your time as a History major at TCNJ, you will be required, as a senior, to write a 20 page Capstone paper on any topic of your choosing. It may seem daunting, but your capstone class and professor will help you to structure your arguments as well as find sources for your paper.
3. Do things to stay motivated
Realize that being both an Education and History major at TCNJ may seem like a lot of work. However, with the right amount of motivation and self care, you will be able to balance both majors. Remember, in between chapters, in between writing, do things for yourself. Breaking up tasks and even just making time for self-care will help to make things more manageable and doable.
You got this! It may seem like a lot, but the two courses have similar requirements and ultimately pair together very well. Just remember, just like with any major and all things in life… take care of yourself, take breaks when needed and do things to keep you engaged and motivated!