Working Towards Becoming a HS Teacher?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by MWM958, May 4, 2013.

  1. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    May 4, 2013

    Hey guys, this is my first post, so I guess I should introduce myself. I'm a 20-year-old student at Seton Hall in NJ, and I'm going to be a Junior in the Fall.

    I would absolutely love to become a High School History Teacher. And for this reason, I'm probably going to apply to the Teach for America program in my Senior Year (and yes, I know the negatives about it, and I've accepted it).

    The problem is, I'm not majoring in Education. I'm double majoring in History and Political Science, so I'm going for the Alternative Route. So I won't be able to do the whole Student Teaching thing.

    So what should I do to work towards my goal of becoming a High School History teacher? I currently teach Sunday School in Newark, as well as teaching ESL and tutoring some young adults in Paterson, so I can have some stuff on my resume. But what else could I do?

    I'm having trouble finding internships, as a lot of them are unpaid, and I'm broke so I just simply cannot be wasting time not earning money.

    What do you guys recommend for me, as a Junior in Undergrad? I wanna be able to get experience, and make connections and what not, so what could I do?

    Would appreciate any help! Thanks!
     
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  3. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 5, 2013

    I graduated last may and I just landed my first job as a US history teacher which will start in August. Here is my advice:

    Jobs in history are hard to come by. I didn't get a job this year and it was awful. I hadn't prepared for the possibility that I would basically be unemployed for a year. Instead of working a crappy job(I had one but it went out of business) I went to grad school and I learned a lot about education(way more than undergrad) it helped me a lot in interviews which is what I credit for helping me land my job for next year. My masters is in Instructional Technology and I'm getting a gifted certification(this is hot in my area right now).

    I thought about doing teach for america. I actually applied and when they called I didn't go to the interview. I watched a lot of movies about them on youtube and read a lot of accounts about people who went through their programs and I just decided it wasn't for me. You need to consider that in TforA you probably wont be teaching History. A lot of those candidates teach math, science, and english as well. I'm not even sure they place history teachers(as those positions aren't hard to fill in most locations)

    Watch all the videos by this company about TforA:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ6BmABQbXY
    They really helped me decide to wait it out and find my own way into the classroom.

    As far as what you can do. Honestly I would say get a masters in education if you truly want to teach. Also plan to get certified in other areas in order to get your foot in the door.
     
  4. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    May 5, 2013

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Yeah I'd really like to get my Master's, but I just can't afford it. I'm already gonna be up to my chest in student loans when i graduate (all to go to my safety school), so i can't imagine taking even more.

    But from what you are saying, and from what I've read elsewhere, I really would like to get my Master's.

    And for all the negatives about TEA, they do give you 2 years of experience and you get your certification. And they're partnered with certain universities to get your masters from.

    What would I do if I didn't do TEA? Just work on my Master's and rack up debt without a job (or with a crappy job?)
     
  5. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 5, 2013

    If your only a incoming junior and teaching is REALLY what you want to do. I would switch your major to history ed. I'm not sure what you were planning to do with a history/poli sci degree but if you decided to be teacher than you can probably switch your major without being too far behind. It might take you an additional year to graduate at most. (most student don't graduate in a 4 years anyway) that would be much cheaper than a Masters.

    I'm sure most here would tell you that teaching is hard to get into anywhere, especially in history. An alternative certification really isn't going to help your chances. Especially in history, it might be different if you were doing math or science. There are people on this forum who have waited years to get a job and others who get lucky and find them right away(I consider myself lucky I only had to wait one year).

    TforA isn't really easy to get into either. I wouldn't bank your career on the single possibility that you might get a job through them. Especially since your only 2 years into college and changing your major now would increase your chances of finding a job. Just my suggestions, others may give you different advice.

    I really would try and branch out into other fields like math or science if you want to teach. Do history as well but you will have a difficult time finding a job anywhere.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2013

    MWM...the advice to switch to an Ed program is a good one...many states, at least in our area of the country, have hundreds of resumes for every one job opening. With so many highly qualified and experienced teachers as your competition, traditional route is going to make you a more desirable candidate than alt route...in my NJ district, I've only known of ONE alt route teacher in the past 13 years..history majors have a hard enough time finding openings. TFA may give you a bit of a leg up, but if you can you might consider talking to the Ed dept at SHU.
    Good luck to you.:)
     
  7. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    May 5, 2013

    hmmm, thanks for the help guys.

    I've just reached out to the College of Education here at SHU, and hopefully I can start taking the classes next year. Thank God I'm not doing this TOO late.

    thanks.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    May 5, 2013

    Since there are not lots of History teaching jobs, I'd suggest that you prepare to show your stuff when you get the chance and really nail the 1st interview.

    1. I'd really get to know US and World History well. Read, read, and yes a few videos as well.

    2. See if you can find some really good history teachers (even if they are middle school and not high school). See where they get their ideas and learn from them. Observe them in person if possible.

    3. There are some good history teachers who post on YouTube. I haven't found a lot yet, but there are probably lots more that I am not aware of. It should get you some ideas going.

    Good luck to you.
     
  9. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    May 7, 2013

    I second the switching your major. I'm not sure why you are getting a double major in history and poli sci. If you want to teach and double major, I would choose history and education, not necessarily even history education although that is also an alternative. At least you might be able to get some student teaching experience that way.

    Mr. History is right in telling you not to bank on getting accepted to TFA. What is your plan B and C? Is there something else you could add to your certification besides history since those jobs are hard to come by normally?
     

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