chemistry and physics... why more openings?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by someyounguy, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. someyounguy

    someyounguy Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2010

    Wondering why more available chemistry and physics teaching jobs relative to other sciences?

    Thank you for your thoughts!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2010

    Probably because lots of wannabe doctors decide, because of either the monetary or financial considerations of their own educations, that teaching is a good alternative.

    Anyone with a real solid background in Chem or Physics can probably make a lot of money in other careers. That also explains why math teachers can be hard to find.
     
  4. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    You took the words right out of my mouth Alice.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Great minds...
     
  6. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    Ditto Aliceacc. I also think it's because the certification requirements are harder in chemistry and physics than other sciences. At least this is the case in NJ.
     
  7. Lindager

    Lindager Companion

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    Yes the requirements are VERY difficult

    I have more then 30 years experience working in a laboratory, and I have 45 science and 15 math credits. I do not qualify to teach any science in HS. In NJ I was just able to qualify to teach MS Math and Science and Alternate Route is so discouraging I am on the verge of giving up.

    I have worked on Secret government projects and in every kind of science from environmental to cosmetics to polymers. I have taken Chemistry through Organic II, but I still can not teach in high school. I am fine with MS I like this age better and I like the variety, but NJ does really make it unenticing to be a Chemistry teacher.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Dec 17, 2010

    There are even more openings in physics than in chemistry. In Louisiana, so many students end up taking physics from the virtual school because there are not enough physics teachers to supply the state.
     
  9. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Those 2 subjects are just, excuse my French, hard as hell. I don't know why I was thinking about my former Chemistry classes about 1 am this morning. I'm weird like that.

    I have had a lot of those courses, College Chem 1, 2, and 3 and Organic Chem, Biochemistry, as well as Physics 1, 2, and 3 and 3 types of Optics classes which is a specialty in Physics...and I am no where near qualified and never will be to teach those subjects.

    Most people who excel in those subjects, from my experiences, they may have so many other alternatives and programs they could enter. Usually super-competitive science whizzes who live for Science and would rather not go back to school and get an Education degree to teach, but would rather work in their field they are most talented in.

    Lindager, you really should qualify with your experience, but it's difficult to qualify to teach K-12. I actually found it more difficult than qualifying to teach for the local community colleges here.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Because those classes are harder. Harder to take, harder to teach. People with chemistry degrees can make a lot more money working in that field (with a lot less headache) than in education. I personally make half of what I did before. And, there aren't that many people with chemistry degrees compared to biology ones. In my dept. we have three people with chemistry degrees and nine with biology and one with a degree in an unrelated field.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Most people that excel in these fields want to do research and work hands-on in the field. Teaching will not give the same satisfaction.
     
  12. oppa637

    oppa637 Rookie

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    Definitely took a pay cut with teaching but i love it :D
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    That is a ridiculous thing to say. Teaching may not give the same respect in the field or pay but it can easily provide the same satisfaction.

    Alice nailed this one already. My younger brother who is currently taking pre-med science considered teaching for awhile but seeing the work he's doing now I don't know why anyone would do all that to teach when you could be like me and breeze through humanities and do the same thing! There's not much else to do with humanities but there's a ton to do with math and science - and a ton that provides a lot more money.
     
  14. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Dec 29, 2010

    Yes, as others have said, there are so many better paying fields for chem and phys. out there...my brother is a chemist. It definitely isn't me driving the Lincoln SUV.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Well, for me satisfaction feels different depending on the accomplishment which is why I said it is not the same. Guess I am just ridiculous!
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Can you explain this? Do you mean that it is a greater accomplishment to research in a field than to teach in that field?
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I have to disagree that chemistry and physics are inherently harder to teach. I do think, however, that it's easier to get away with teaching history or English badly.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 31, 2010

    That makes a lot of sense.

    Kids are more likely to have some sort of a background in history or English-- everything from pop culture to the History Channel to references in their other classes help fill in the gaps.

    And a kid can go home and read his history text book, or the Cliff Notes, and still keep his head above water in History or English. Not the same thing as being taught the material, but probably enough to pass.

    But Chem, Physics (and I'll add in: math) textbooks are notoriously difficult to follow. There are few references to those subjects outside the classroom (and the occasional reference in The Big Bang Theory). So kids who struggle are going to point the finger directly at the teacher; they'll be less likely to keep those heads above water because of outside learning.
     
  19. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    I agree. This seems to be the case with the science majors I know, whose aspirations are to do lab work or work in the private sector. There are lots of opportunities out there for all science majors, not just Chem and Physics.
     
  20. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    If you just look at physics/chem/biology one will see that there are a ton more bio majors than there are physics/chem majors
     
  21. someyounguy

    someyounguy Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2011

    Thank you for all the insight.

    Would anyone like to speak on the phone about their career teaching chemistry? If so, that would be great!!!
     

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