Teaching Outside of Subject Area

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Math, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2014

    Have any of you had to teach a subject you were not certified to teach? Do you know of a teacher that this happened to? What are your thoughts on this type of scheduling?

    I remember one of my teachers telling me he/she had to teach italian. The bad thing was he/she did not even speak or write the language. My first thoughts are why would administrators do this? Why not just cut the language because they always had spanish anyway.

    I had a math teacher tell the class about another math teacher who is not certified to teach math. The person apparently is a certified Art Teacher. Now maybe you could get away with a certified science teacher doing that. I think Art is a long jump out of the content area. Plus this teacher happens to teach an AP math course as well. I think one of the certified math teachers with a masters in pure math should teach AP.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Aficionado

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I spent a summer working with children with developmental disabilities... I'm technically endorsed in that area (generic special ed), but generally it's teachers with more specialized special ed certificates that work with those populations.
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I had to teach family life, drug and alcohol, and drivers ed for a semester.

    I was credentialed only in History at the time.
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Habitué

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I taught middle school at a private school for three years, and while I am technically certified for secondary, in my opinion middle school is totally different from high school, which is what I student taught, and I was completely unprepared for the younger grades. I was also teaching Social Studies which I was not certified in. I basically taught it like a Language Arts class with lots of reading, writing, and projects. The first year was grueling since I was often just a day or two ahead of the kids -- but it was fascinating how much I learned, lol! I actually really enjoyed teaching Social Studies, although middle school not so much. I do think I had bitten off more than I could chew in that first teaching position (I had five separate preps and no prep period, and a host of other issues to deal with).
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Apr 9, 2014

    In my former district, during my 2nd year of teaching, I was assigned a 7th grade math class.. I'm certified for 6-12 ELA, journalism and history (and driver's ed)! It was a horrible experience, but apparently it was "legal" because (at least at the time), a school could fill an open position with any certified teacher as long as it was for just one class period a day. I don't know if that's still true.

    I spent all of my time prepping for that math class. Each afternoon, my math teacher friend would "teach" me the lesson, walk me through where the kids were most likely to get stuck, etc., and then I had to present that the next day. It was horribly frustrating for me and them. I'm sure I did a lot more harm than good that particular year.

    The following year, and my last at the school and in that district, I was assigned an 8th grade life science class. It was a lot less difficult because I knew the content a little better, and in a lot of ways, teaching science mirrors teaching non-fiction reading... lol. I relied heavily on that skill!
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Phenom

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I teach Communications and I had no idea what to do or even what the class was about. Apparently last year it involved a lot of journalism and watching movies. It was taught by an English teacher so there were a few writing projects.

    I tried doing it similar but it wasn't working out and it was not fun, so I decided to do it my way and taught it more like a technology class where students did projects with different technology tools. I included writing on blogs, photo editing, coding, website design, and I'm hoping to get into video editing (once I can get the website I need unblocked by my district) next. Way more fun, a lot more enjoyable for me, and I believe for the kids as well.

    Also gives me ideas of how to do more technology assignments and projects in my science class.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I taught Health to MS one year. The school had a curriculum for me to use, but it was still a hassle since I am certified for 7-12 History.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I don't personally know of any instances of this, but I think it depends on the teacher and the subject area.
    I am certified early childhood, K-6 self contained, 6-8 math, 6-8 social studies. I could easily teach 9-12 math and social studies. I could also teach Earth Science, ELA, and some electives.
    Chemistry? I've never taken it. Biology? I detest it. Foreign Languages- I can't remember them :lol:
     
  10. Special-t

    Special-t Connoisseur

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    Apr 9, 2014

    A a sped teacher we can be asked to teach core subject areas outside our bachelors. My BA is in English, but now I'm teaching/tutoring Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry. I love teaching math! If I knew how much I'd enjoy this, I would have gotten my degree in math :)
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Apr 9, 2014

    My district refuses to do this, which I appreciate. I think in the past it may have happened though.

    I'd feel comfortable teaching US history for sophomores and French I.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 9, 2014

    I had to teach 9th grade English last year. It was nothing short of awful.

    I'm only certified to teach high school sciences but I've taught 3rd-8th grade sciences as well. The younger ones, 3rd-5th, were tough. But not as bad as English.
     
  13. 123456now

    123456now Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2014

    bandnerdtx,

    We should have switched! I really wanted to be teaching math but wound up teaching journalism and computer literacy to 6-8. I had never even taken a journalism class.

    The "journalism" class was a dumping ground for kids who hadn't passed the state tests. Therefore, the administration did what all sensible people do and gave me a high school journalism textbook for sixth graders who couldn't consistently pick a noun out of a sentence! :rolleyes:

    If only I had been teaching math, I would have lasted longer than a year at that school. I started planning my exit by November. That year was HORRIBLE!!!

    Funny thing is, I have gotten some freelance newspaper writing jobs now though because of my "journalism" experience in the schools. :lol::lol:
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Apr 10, 2014

    I LOVE teaching advanced journalism classes, like yearbook and newspaper production. Sadly, my current school offers neither of these... Comfort with your content is *everything* at the high school level, isn't it? LOL!
     
  15. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Apr 10, 2014

    I have a degree in math and my first long term sub assignment was English and American Sign Language. I never learned AMS properly and let me just say if they saw my FCAT Writes scores, I would have been fired. But I pushed through it and really liked it so I went onto get my English Certification.
     
  16. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    I taught Yearbook and Journalism. But technically it was a 2 period block of yearbook but some kids came and went. So I made 4th period yearbook and 5th period I converted into my own class called "Intro to Journalism" and took over the school newsletter. Mind you this class was not a middle school class in my county at the time so I had to get it registered as a real class, write my own curriculum and my own exam. I got a grant and ordered textbooks and all that fun stuff. Now it is offered at most middle schools and the county adopted a newer version of the textbook I chose and the exam is pretty much the same except the font isn't as cool. Did I mention I did all of this in one year than moved onto teach math. I wanna do it again.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 13, 2014

    How does this happen that so many are teaching content areas in which they are not certified? How are school districts getting around the highly qualified requirements in placing teachers in these positions?
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Apr 13, 2014

    I don't know why admins do this, but they do here and there here, and it's happened in our school. We've been told to contact our union rep if it happens because it can impact your ability to get tenured.
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Apr 13, 2014

    At my school teachers were hired under a license that they were qualified to teach (say special education) and put into a different position once hired- usually general education. Admins did it as a way to get around hiring freezes and hire highly qualified new teachers instead of teachers that had been excessed from other schools. It's not right and it affected some people's careers, but I understand why admins were doing it.
     
  20. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Apr 13, 2014

    Here, technically, we are certified to teach any subject, any grade level. Now, realistically, they are going to find the absolute best fit, but sometimes they do what they have to do.

    For example, I've been teaching for 8 years. In that time I have taught:

    English - Grade 6 and Grade 9
    Social Studies - Grade 9 (English program and French Immersion)
    Science - Grade 7, Grade 9 and Grade 10 (French Immersion)
    Math - Grade 7, Grade 8 and Grade 9 (English program and French Immersion)
    French - Grade 9 and Grade 11
    French Immersion Language Arts - Grade 7 and Grade 9
    Spanish - Grade 9
    Phys Ed - Grade 11
    Health - Grade 7 and Grade 8

    I graduated with a degree in History and Spanish and grew up living in a bilingual community (and therefore, I speak French).

    Obviously, I think that quality teaching can be done by someone who doesn't have an extensive background in a particular topic (to an extent). I would never take a position teaching calculus, for example, because that is WAY out of my comfort zone, but I am comfortable teaching Grade 9 content. And, it wasn't without careful review, study and PD on my part. In fact, I was able to take a student from never passing a provincial assessment in Math (done in Grades 3, 6 and 8 here) to a pass. I'm proud of that (and of her).
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Apr 13, 2014

    I'm teaching a math class. I am certified in English.
     

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