Calling all middle school teachers!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teacherwannaB, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. teacherwannaB

    teacherwannaB Companion

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    Mar 26, 2007

    What is your degree in? It is education or the subject area you teach? Are you highly qualified according to NCLB?

    I am asking because I may be switching from History to middle grades education. I wonder which degree a Principal would prefer...
    In the long run I want to teach middle school social studies. The history degree plan will allow me to teach ss in grades 7-12. The middle school degree plan (which is actually grades 4-8) will allow me to teach any subject in those grades and still be highly qualified, but I would have a cognate area of social studies.

    I really need some advise, and the seriously frustrating thing is everyone I talk to in the department gives me different advice.

    I seriously need some real world advice. I was thinking about sending one of the local middle school principals an email and just asking them which degree they would hire....

    Thanks
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I have an elementary cert. for grades k to 8. But I am only high qualified to 5th grade. I was surprised I was still hired to teach middle school. I'm thinking about going back to get a math degree. BTW I teach all subjects, with the help of an aide.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I think emailing the principals - or having an informational interview with human resources people in your local district(s) - sounds like a great idea.
     
  5. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

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    I will be certified to teach 4-8 Math and 4-8 Science when I graduate, but I could also challenge the generalist and teach any subject as well as challenge the EC-4 generalist.

    The only problem with the generalist I think is that you aren't really giving the students the best education, because you may have a little info here and there but nothing is concentrated, so you might have 4 sections of science 2 of math 1 of english and one 1 of social studies.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that if you KNOW you want to teach Social Studies, not math or Language Arts, you go for the 7-12 certification. You'll have a better background, and open yourself up to a wider range of jobs teaching what you love.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Mar 27, 2007

    When I was in college I got my BA in History and Secondary Education (they called it something different back then.) Basically with the Ed. degree I could teach all grades 6 on in any subject; this was before the NCLB and other education acts came about. I still hold this certification, but I have had to make many certification type tests. BTW I am highly qualifed and I am National Board certfied. LOL I have done basically everthing to get me a pay raise; I cannot recieve any more academic based pay raises.

    With my history degree I could teach Social Studies from Grade 6 on, very similar to what you are thinking of doing. I also got my MA in History Education with a specization in technolgy based curriculm leadership (sounds complicated but its not.)

    I assist my principal in the hiring process of new staff and to be honest I would rather hire a MS SS teacher w/a history degree than one with a Middle School Degree. I am not saying I wouldn't hire them I would just prefer one with a History degree. If you plan on ever teaching HS Social Studies, before you get your masters of course, take the history major becuase its is very rare than a SS teacher is hired w/o a history or comparable degree.

    If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Mar 27, 2007

    BS -- Math, Geology
    MS -- Geology

    and then later in life an MBA at my company's urging (they picked up the tab... :D :D )

    Major :)
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My BA degree is in English with teaching certification for grades 9-12, and 7-8 in departmentalized schools. I started out teaching 12th grade English.

    My MA degree is in American and British literature . . . nothing related to teaching at all. (I didn't want any type of "typical" MA program for teachers like library science, counseling, or administration.)

    I moved to the middle school level after two years, and I'm still "highly qualified" for NCLB because I teach within my certification (grade 7) and within my degree (language arts/reading).

    About the only thing that I notice is that I'm less "flexible" than some other teachers when it comes to scheduling. All of the middle school certified teachers have two-subject "middle school" (5-8) degrees.
     
  10. teacherwannaB

    teacherwannaB Companion

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    If anyone is still interested, I emailed most of the local middle school principals and asked them which degree they would prefer a potential teacher to have. Four of them responded and were quite helpful. All of them said they would prefer a 4-8 degree over a history degree. Thanks for all of the advice. Even if I do switch over to 4-8, I would still finish my History degree and just hold a double bachelor because I am so close to the end, it would be foolish not to finish it up.

    Thanks again for all the support!!
     
  11. CmsTigerGuy

    CmsTigerGuy Rookie

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    I have a 7-12 certification in English/Language Arts and am highly qualified in Reading as well. I hold a B.A. in Fiction Writing and a M. Ed. in Secondary Education.
     
  12. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    I would get the history- at least you'll be highly qualified in one subject then. Of course if you want to teach geography, economics, or poli sci you will not be highly qualified.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    My own gut feeling is that depth in an academic core subject generally gives better preparation than breadth alone - most universities do require breadth of all majors anyway. And there are thinking and reasoning skills one acquires that somehow don't seem to be passed along as well in undergraduate programs that are about breadth.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree. I think you need to know as much about the material as you possibly can.

    I'm not sure that any of what I learned in education courses really made me a better teacher. While it was all interesting, it tended to be more theoretical-- very little practical information that I could use on a day to day basis. But knowing the subject matter (in my case, math) has allowed me to enrich the material I teach. When a kid asks about "y" versus "f(x)" I can give a coherent example about its use in Calculus, even though the student is currently a high school Junior. I can tell them that next year they'll see a better way to graph a polynomial function than the way they're currently learning in Precalculus. But I know enough math, and I know it well enough, to make me confident in those statements.

    And history-- there are so many links and parallels you'll want to draw. Not to mention an incredible amount of ever-changing information!

    I think the history degree makes far more sense, with a minor in education.
     
  15. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

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    What does it mean to be highly qualified.

    What do you have to do to become highly qualifed?
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The exact shape of that varies from state to state, but the general outline is that you have to have demonstrated basic skills (typically by passing a test) and subject area competence (by taking appropriate classes or by passing tests) and you need to have completed a teacher-training program approved by your state.
     
  17. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    I have a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies which is either in math/science or social studies/english.

    I am not very good at math so I went ss/english. I have been told by my principal that the reason that she hired me was not because of my ability to teach in more than one classroom but because of my ESL supplemental that they are stressing in Texas.

    I would worry about being certified in things that you do not want to teach. Remember, most schools are able to move you where they want you to be and may not give you a choice if you are certified to teach something.

    edit: Yes, I am highly qualified by NCLB standards.
     
  18. teacherwannaB

    teacherwannaB Companion

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    Thanks for the feedback Texas! I have thought about the possibility of being moved to another subject. Honestly, that was a huge deal for me. BUT it boils down to being able to make myself as marketable as possible because we are an army family and move quite a bit. SO even if I was luckly enough to land a sweet job teaching only h.s. history, I probably would have to give it up in a few years. Some military town have severe teacher shortages, some do not. If I teach middle school, I plan on getting an additional endorsement in ss. So hopefully that will help some.

    Right now I am leaning towards 4 or 5 grade anyway.... But thats another post. LOL

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  19. FSUalum

    FSUalum Rookie

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    I am a middle school History teacher (8th grade American History); I have also taught high school History.

    I have a BA and an MA in International Affairs. After grad school, I spent the summer as a camp counselor and completely changed my life plan--decided to become a teacher.

    I am highly qualified.

    re: principals wanting the generalist degree

    I'm guessing that is because it would make it easier to move you to subjects in which there are shortages (read: not social studies). While this may make it easier for you to get a job, it might keep you teaching in a field that is not your first love.
     
  20. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    I have a BA in History... And a multiple subject teaching credential, which is K-8. That allows me to teach any subject in those grades.

    I currently teach Social Studies and English in Jr.
     
  21. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    If you get your degree in an academic subject, you can then teach at the college level as well. If your degree is only in education, you can't. Most colleges hire teachers with a Master's in a subject area, but they won't hire a teacher with a Master's in education if there are not enough credits in an actual academic subject.

    If you've got a degree in a specific subject, you can always add an education degree to it. In Indiana, the Transition to Teaching program is flourishing, and it's a wonderful thing!!!

    My advice? Get your degree in an academic subject and get your education endorsement along the way. It's no harder, and will open the door to more possibilities later on.

    My BS (does anybody else get a lot of fun out of those initials?) is in secondary education/English, and my Master's is in secondary education, with endorsements in English, Literature, School and Community Health, G/T, and YA Literature.

    My license qualifies me for 7-12+, but in a middle school setting I can teach grade 6 as well. Mine is a Life License, which means I will never have to renew it or take classes to keep it current. I love that, although I do take classes whenever I can because a teacher that doesn't keep current isn't a good teacher.

    I would want to hire teachers licensed in particular academic subject areas if it were up to me, at the secondary level. What if your child got a math or English or SS teacher, for example, who wasn't really all that into the subject but was just placed there by administration, to fill a gap? I know it happens all the time and I find it inexcusably unprofessional and a real disservice to the students.
     
  22. watusi57

    watusi57 New Member

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    Im I highly qualified according to NCLB? Well here in Puerto Rico we are lined with USA laws because we receive $$$ from the states.

    My BA is in English as a Second Language for secondary level (7th - 12th). in 2006 I finished the MA in English Curriculum and then, few months later our "highly qualification" was evaluated. Most teacher (specially the Seniors) had to take some courses to be qualified not taking in consideration their experince... No one is really clear but, we need to be teaching according to our BA. or else...OUT.

    Warm Greetings
    from the enchanted island of PR
    watusi57
     
  23. Exo

    Exo Rookie

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    I tend to agree with Mamacita - be a pro in the subject, add on education courses.
    I have a DVM degree from Ukraine, BA in Biology with certification in teaching 7-12, working on MA in general science education (with concentration in BIO) just to get masters, since most of Ed classes are useless anyway.
    Plans are to get PhD (possibly in ed, science curriculum)
     
  24. AHB

    AHB Rookie

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    I was a 5th grade teacher for 2 years teaching all subjects. I also meet the highly qualified NCLB standards, ESOL certified, K-6 and middle grades 5-9 English and have just finished my National Boards and await my fate. But, the school lost more than 650 students and 23 teachers (I was one of the surplus casualties). However, I quickly got swooped up by a nearby school. The principal wanted to hire me he said, because of my intense English background. I have a degree in English Lit and taught 6-8th grade L.A. for 4 years prior to my fifth-grade years. I was really glad I had that English Lit degree- He needed an English teacher and this was a hard school to get into. I feel that I got the job because of my degree.
     
  25. samanthamaren

    samanthamaren Rookie

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    I have my BA in History, and then got my masters in Middle Childhood education, and I just got hired. Im highly qualified because I have my masters in education. So, for me, it was better than getting another bachelors because I have to get my masters eventually anyway! Best of luck. (By the way, I actually teach Science now, because I still had to pick 2 subject areas in Middle Childhood, so even though my BA is in History, my education degree allows me to teach science and I love it!)
     

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