Considering Teaching High School - a few ?s

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by CuriousHenry, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. CuriousHenry

    CuriousHenry New Member

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    Sep 2, 2008

    Hello All,

    I am considering teaching high school, and I wasn't able to get a straight answer out of my university's advisor on the issues below.


    1. I majored in economics, minored in psychology. I have the knowledge base to teach most of the social sciences because I took a variety of courses as an undergrad and read a lot on my own.

    Would I have to specialize in economics only or would the credential allow me to teach a greater variety of courses? I would think that the greater variety would give me more options in the job market and also keep me intellectually engaged in the work.

    2. Is there a website where I can get information on the job market for social science single subject credentials? If not, anyone have any experience or opinions on the matter, particularly for those interested in teaching in rural and semi-rural areas?

    3. She suggested I look into intern credential programs since I graduated in 05 and have been working full time since then. I pressed for more information and she told me to "use the internets" to find more information on this. I did this and it took me to a few programs in Oakland and LA, where I'd prefer not to work. Anyone know much about this? Anyone know of reputable intern credential programs out there?

    (the following was not discussed with the advisor because, well, its somewhat personal and she was not overly able or interested in helping)

    4. I'm a fairly introverted person. One of the teachers I know told me that introverts burn out quickly in the classroom. Any introverts confirm/refute this?

    Thank you
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 3, 2008

    1. You're probably looking at a Social Science credential (you can add economics as an authorization if you like, I think, but I don't believe you can start there). It entitles you to teach classes within the social sciences: world, US, and California history and geography; econ; civics; and, presumably, psychology. In your case I'd recommend having your transcript evaluated to see whether you need CSET. Or you could hedge your bets by taking CSET, and then you'd definitely be qualified to teach the range of social science subjects.

    2. Of the core four subject areas (social science, the sciences, math, English), social science may be overall the hardest to find a job in. The fact that you're so well equipped in economics, however, may open some doors, especially in rural areas. You might also want to look into adding qualifications in math or business, or even both.

    3. I infer that you're in neither Oakland nor LA. That leaves a whole lot of territory. Internship programs are run as much through the districts as they are through the universities: you might try Googling districts in your area to see whether any is running an internship program - and your chances of securing a position that way might be better if you can offer math. Again, the fact that you're interested in rural or semi-rural areas could stand you in good stead.

    4. Incredibly many very effective teachers are slightly or even highly introverted. It's less that introverts necessarily burn out in the classroom than that we're likely not to want to be very social after work.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2008

    Go here: http://134.186.81.79/fmi/xsl/CTC_apm/recordlist.html

    Have you explored the CCTC website? I went through a Cal State intern program, which took two years of evening classes. However, in order to be in an intern program, you have to be employed as a teacher. Check out the site; there's a ton of information there.
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I just went through a Teacher's seminar with a hopeful economics teacher. If you can pass one of the math CSETs to get your foot in the door - then economics could be a possibility - but math teachers are the ones getting hired. You could also pass the Social Science CSET so you are qualified to teach that subject. But get your foot in the door with math.

    Here is the list of CSET tests from their website:
    http://www.cset.nesinc.com/CS_SMR_opener.asp
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I'd suggest you choose a state where you'd like to work and look at their education department website. State requirements, as well as state needs, vary quite a bit.

    As far as being introverted, I don't see how they burn out any faster than anybody else. I've always been very introverted. I went all the way through my first college degree without ever volunteering to answer anything. I got physically sick when I had to present things. I lost about 25 pounds during student teaching becasue I was so upset all the time.

    But I really wanted to teach, so I learned to adapt. I'm on year 16, and I've not burned out. I'm still rather introverted, just not in my classroom.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I'm one of the most introverted people you will ever meet except in my classroom, at the college (my night job) or on the internet. I don't go to parties unless I'm forced to (or I'm hosting them, as I have a pool, so they all seem to wind up here), and when I do go to parties (or they come here), I find a corner to hide in. I can't speak to a room full of adults without throwing up. I only have a handful of close friends. My classroom is totally different. Nobody would ever guess how shy I really am if all they knew of me was my "teacher" side. I think it's just how the particular introvert preceives teaching. I would venture a guess that introverts burn out as roughly the same rate as extroverts.
     
  8. CuriousHenry

    CuriousHenry New Member

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    Sep 3, 2008

    So all one has to do to become certified in a given area is pass the CSET for the field, its not essential that the major be the same as the credential?

    I don't enjoy much beyond short calculus. Its why I'm doing a teaching degree over an advanced degree in economics. I assume its possible to get certified "up to" advanced algebra?


    So long as employment rates are decent for social science teachers (ie not a lot of "I've been subbing for 4 years" type situations), then I don't mind a potentially long or challenging job hunt.

    So I would not need to pass the whole test - just individual domains within the test?

    In looking over the test, I'm 99% positive I could pass the algebra section, and could probably pass the geometry and probability sections with a few weeks' worth of studying.

    Thanks for the info.

    Its probably too late for this year, but I'm thinking next year I should apply to a traditional credential program while looking for a teaching position where I could do an intern credential at the same time? Does that seem sensible?
     
  9. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2008

    If you want to teach full time as teacher of record and earn a paycheck while you work on your credential, there are two avenues. The first is a traditional credential program with a university internship. All your coursework is through a university. If you can stand the pressure, you can get your credential in as little as a year while still making a living. The second avenue is a district internship. Your coursework is through the district or consortium. You may not get university credit for it, but you will get credit for it from the district that employs you for advancement on the salary scale. These programs typically spread the coursework over two years. Either way, you have to get hired to do the internship.

    There is a certain amount of coursework that you have to do before setting foot in a classroom. IIRC it is currently 160 hours. This coursework is typically done during the summer before you start teaching in the fall.

    How fast you can land a Social Science job will depend on a lot of things, including your willingness to take a job anywhere you can find it. FWIW the social science candidates in my credential program cohort found jobs by the start of the school year. And the good news is that baby boom teachers are indeed beginning to retire. The math department of the school I teach at had to replace two teachers because of retirement, one because of a transfer to another school, and one because he took a job in a district closer to home. The same thing has to be going on in other departments and other schools. The one thing that may slow you down is that a lot of coaches seem to be social science teachers.

    You demonstrate subject matter competence by completing a CTC approved subject matter program (or its equivalent), or by passing the appropriate CSET. As TG indicated, you might want to have your transcripts evaluated to see if you can get a waiver. FWIW my major was Business and I have authorizations in Mathematics, Physics, Geosciences, Biology, Business and Industrial and Technology Education, all via CSET. I consider going for a waiver in Business, but it did not look like my transcript would parallel the current requirements of a CTC approved subject matter program in Business. I would have had to have taken at least one additional course. Taking CSET was faster and cheaper.

    As far as CSET goes, you have to pass each subtest in a single sitting. Once you do, it is good for five years. Once you pass all the required subtests for the subject, you have demonstrated subject matter competence. FWIW CSET Math Subtest 1 is arguably the most difficult of all the CSET subtests. But with the exception of group theory and number theory, it goes little further than high school math. Pass the first two subtests if going for a Foundational-level Mathematics authorization which allows you to teach through Algebra 2. Pass all three if you want to teach Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Numerical Analysis, Advanced Statistics, etc.
     
  10. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2008

    Adaptation is the best trait any teacher (or human being) can hope for.
     

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