Advice on job market...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tennislove, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2011

    Hi-I am a high school senior applying to college and I would like to be a teacher. I have heard that the job market is really bad for teachers right now, especially in New England.
    Many of the colleges I'm looking at have a 5 years masters program, where you can either get certified in elementary ed or a secondary ed content area. I feel like I need to decide soon, because the 5 yr masters programs are really rigid, so you pretty much need to declare you concentration soon if you want to graduate on time.
    I think I would really enjoy teaching elementary school, but probably only upper elementary.
    I have considered getting certified in math. I know the market is a little better. It's my best subject, but I haven't really enjoyed it until this year. I'm in AP calc this ear, and I really like math this year. In fact, in Algebra 2, I struggled to get a B-, but I have a solid A this year.
    But I don't know if I truly have "passion" for math, and I'm honestly worried about how hard it would be to get a math degree. I am decent in math-my SAT score is a 660, but my ACT math score is a 34.
    I heard that math in college is more abstract, and I can't do abstract concepts. I also feel like I wouldn't enjoy actually studying math in college, but I think I would enjoy teaching it. I'm honestly really worried about this because my parents don't support my choice to teach at all. They are Indian so basically the only acceptable careers for them are "doctor or engineer." So they aren't really any help for me because they do nothing but criticize, so I'm extremely confused! If you have any advice, please let me know! Thank you!
     
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  3. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2011

    Please anyone?
     
  4. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Nov 25, 2011

    I'm sorry your parents aren't supportive of what you want to do in your life. I'm sure at least the first year in college you could take some basic courses towards a bachelor's plus master's that could go towards a primary or secondary certification.

    While you're in college, why don't you get a job in a before/after school program where you can experience whether you would enjoy working with upper elementary students? That way you could get a better idea if elementary is the way you want to go.

    Also, a 34 on the ACT in math is not decent, it's fantastic. If you think teaching math in secondary school is in your heart, you won't let an obstacle such as studying math get in your way. If so, you don't want to teach it badly enough. JMHO.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 25, 2011

    Hi and welcome!

    I'm not sure any of us can tell you what's right for you. I will tell you how it went with me.

    I stuggled a bit with math in high school. My Precalc & Calc teacher was terrifying. But I hit college and found math to be fairly easy. The same may very well be true with you.

    Go to the MA State board of education website to see how certification works. My certification is for Math 7-12. So I can teach any math course from 7th grade to Calc. But each state is different-- take a look at what certification are given in MA. (Or go to guidance on Monday and ask.)

    I will tell you that the job market for secondary math is among the better markets. It's still not STRONG, but it's light years easier to find a math job than so many other areas.

    Also, I would avoid that 5 year program. Schools pay teachers based on a scale. The more experience you have, along with the more graduate credits you have, the more they pay you. In a shaky economy, schools may not want to have to pay a brand new teacher at a Master's Level. (SOME will. But some may not. I'm not sure I would want to limit my options.)

    Does that help at all???
     
  6. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Yeah it does, thank you! I think I would actually enjoy secondary Ed more than elementary. I guess I will try my best to major in math!
    And thank you for the advice about the masters program. I had never thought of that before. Unfortunately, most of the state schools in my area only offer the 5 yr masters as a route to teacher certification. Would it be good to get certified in math and get a masters in sped so I can teach sped math and be certified in 2 different areas? I think I would enjoy teaching this..
     
  7. tennislove

    tennislove Rookie

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    Thank you! And thanks for the advice about working with the upper elementary kids. I've never actually worked with that age group before, so I should definitely see how it is.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 26, 2011

    I find the job market is very different depending on what geographic region you're in. I see you're from MA, which unfortunately I know nothing about. You might want to search around your specific area and see what it's like. Would you be willing to relocate for a job?

    Just for example, in my home city, the average number of applicants for an elementary teaching job is 4,000-5,000. That is not an exaggeration- that's literally what it is. I moved across the country for a job. In my current area, the average number of applicants for an elementary job is 15-30. So for someone already living out here, their job market is looking pretty good. For someone in my home city, they might as well be trying to win the lottery. I know you said secondary- but I've always only been in elementary, so I'm just quoting what I know:) I'm sure it's the same for secondary- with the market being better in certain places. I knew going in to college I'd have to move for a job. Although the market wasn't quite as bad then as it is now, it's never been good in the last 10-15 years. I miss my home city a lot. I would love to move back, but there are no jobs. However, I am a teacher- that is what I identify with and what I know I was meant to do. I can't imagine NOT being a teacher. For me, the obvious choice was to find the area where I could be a teacher, not necessarily stay in my home city and do any random job I wouldn't be as happy with.

    As for your special ed question, if you truly think that's something you want to do, go for it. If you're just trying to find something that might be a better market to "get your foot in the door," I would say special ed is not the route to go. If you get a special ed cert, you will almost certainly end up teaching special ed. In most cases, it's not something you can do for a year or two and then move on to a regular ed math job if you preferred. I do know some people who were able to do that, but it's rare. It's sort of a catch-22- if you do a really good job at special ed, they're not going to want to lose you in that position since a quality special ed teacher is harder to find. If you do a so-so job in special ed, they're not going to just want to give you a try in regular ed, when they'll have hundreds if not thousands of quality applicants for those jobs already. So I would really think hard about whether that is something you could really see yourself doing long term. If it is, great! If not, I would absolutely not reccommend getting the certification just to appear more marketable.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2011

    OK, if that's the way most of the state operates, then that's the norm for your area. It really does change a LOT from one state to the next.

    As to the Special Ed cert, why not wait and see?

    The strange thing about Senior year is that all of a sudden, you think you need to have your whole future mapped out. It's not realistic.

    You've found a career path: education. You think you've found a focus: math. Wonderful. Now concentrate on deciding on one of those schools, and on getting money to go there. When you have an elective or two, try a Special Ed course. Even better if you find one that you think might translate well to a General Ed class-- say an intro to disabilites kind of class. Figure out your Masters in a few years.
     
  10. sonflawah

    sonflawah Companion

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    Nov 26, 2011

    I received authorization to teach secondary science & math after not being able to find a stable elementary school job for 3 years. Don't do elementary. There are NO jobs, at least in California, and I assume most of the other states as well.

    I have seen a lot of special education jobs as well, especially if you are certified in math and special education.

    You might want to consider a minor in a foreign language if there is a large English Learner population in your area. There are many jobs for bilingual teachers (Spanish) in California.
     
  11. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2011

    There very well could be jobs in four years when you graduate in K-12. Lots can happen in four years. However, I have been looking for a job in Georgia for 2 years. I am credentialed in K-5 and 6-12 in Social Studies. I am also EOSL certified, have excellent grades, and graduated from one of the best teacher education programs in the country. Still can't find a job. Here in Georgia, program cuts, larger class sizes and school closings have left few jobs. But things change and who knows what the next four years will bring.
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Nov 26, 2011

    I think giving college math a try and then taking a course in SPED, is a good idea. I don't know how it works in MA, but in MN any student in an education program must take an intro to SPED (focuses on different disabilities and law) and that course includes 20 hours of practicum in a SPED classroom. These are the types of things that will help you determine what is and is not right for you. It is ok not have everything so completely mapped out. You are a step ahead of most just by thinking a lot of things through!
     

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