Has anyone ever completely changed content areas?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by gr3teacher, May 24, 2015.

  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    May 24, 2015

    My state allows teachers to add certification just by taking the corresponding Praxis II test. I've been seriously mulling over the idea of taking the Middle School Math and Math Content Praxis tests, to get middle and secondary math certification.

    Don't get me wrong... I love elementary kids. It's definitely my favorite age group to work with. I love their natural curiosity, their desire to please, the way they light up with new knowledge. I love seeing them grow into the adults they will one day be.

    But... more and more, I'm also seeing that I just really don't like teaching Language Arts as much as I like teaching math and science. I don't think I'm bad at it, but the passion isn't there like it is for math and science. I find myself constantly refining, experimenting, and trying new things in math and science, while I largely end up relying on "same old, same old" with Language Arts. I take the lead on the team for designing math and science lessons and units, I set the pacing, I take the lead on creating assessments... and I let my teammates take the lead for Language Arts. Whenever I receive an administrator evaluation, it's always noted how good I am at math.

    So that brings me to the idea of switching to math. Teaching middle school would require a lot of adjustment, while going to high school (at least above trigonometry) would require taking a few college level courses to make sure I was really solid with the curriculum, but the idea has been appealing to me more and more. Passing the middle school math Praxis doesn't concern me at all... I've taken a practice test from a practice study book, and got a perfect score... the Math Content test would be a little bit scarier, but I'd probably tackle that at a later point. Has anyone else ever made a similar jump before? Are there any factors I'm seriously overlooking? Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could teach seventh grade math to third graders?
     
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  3. leeshis0019

    leeshis0019 Companion

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    May 24, 2015

    I can't speak for such a drastic change in content areas, but I can say this about math.



    Holy

    Crap


    What is going on?

    Seriously, the curriculum for math has changed 5 times in the past 10 years and it's changing again this coming school year. I don't know how it is in the middle schools, but apparently in high school its "hold on to the edge of your seat" math. These kids are being done a disservice with the changes.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 25, 2015

    I think you should absolutely go for it!

    The change would probably keep you excited about teaching for another length of time, which is a good thing. Too many teachers are getting burned out too soon with all the demands placed on them by theirs schools,districts,and states. It's really important to keep good teachers teaching.

    I don't know if you are interested in administration, but that move would look good on your resume, also.

    So, go for it and have fun!
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I've thought about the administrative route before... sometimes I like the idea (mainly when I see the AP or P salary scale for my district)... other times I think that I just don't like adults enough to deal with them all day.
     
  6. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    May 25, 2015

    Go for it!
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    If you're not a genuine people person, this is not the role for you. At the elementary level, I don't deal with evaluating certificated staff, but I am in charge of all support staff and anything involving parents (attendance problems, student discipline, etc). I do interact with teachers quite a bit, but I do not write up their yearly evals. This varies from district-to-district, though.

    Yes, I get paid very well (just a little shy of 6 figure salary), but I have extremely strong PR skills--which are highly necessary to succeed in this field and am highly passionate about what I do each day--which shines through in my interactions with both students and adults.
     
  8. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    This is why I don't want to be a math teacher anymore. I at least "get" Reading/LA.

    Good luck with whatever you decide, gr3teacher! I jumped from 3rd to 7th and I love the age group.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The nice part about Virginia (well... one nice thing, anyway) is that we aren't Common Core. Our standards change every seven years, and they always tend to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.
     
  10. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I went from preschool special ed. to high school special ed. Now, that was a big change but I love it!
     
  11. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I'm in NC, and our certs are the same: take Praxis II and get certified. My original certification was Middle Grades Social Studies. I added the following: Middle Grades Science, Middle Grades ELA, Middle Grades Math, Elementary, Secondary Science, Secondary Social Studies. Now, I've taught elementary and this year I am teaching 7th math/science. What I have found is, it is really easy to pass the test, it is not so easy to teach a content area where you weren't trained. Now, I majored in history, second majored (practically---I didn't take the required maths, but have 30 hours of Biology credits) in Biology. I feel like I am a master teacher in social studies and science, not in math, and most certainly not in language arts. When I taught elementary last year (4th math/sci), I should've stuck with my gut and said no to math for this year, but what did I do-I switched back to middle and the only thing available was math/sci, now I feel like I am so out of my league in the math department. Thank goodness I won't be teaching it next year, and I will not be doing what is necessary to renew the license in middle math when I go up for renewal (I will just let it fall off). I could definitely handle secondary science and would be terrific in secondary social studies.

    Bottom line is, if you are a master at the content, then by all means at the certifications. Secondary math will land you a job at a high school in like 30 seconds. If there is any chance you will be uncomfortable with the content, I would recommend against it--or as you said, take the college classes, get the foundation, and then test to add it to your license.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 26, 2015

    I'm moving to part time next year (having our first child this summer), so I got to divide up the subjects with the other teacher. I was quite happy when she said she'd rather teach ELA than math.

    But I'm not sure that "only teach half the day" is necessarily the best/most relevant advice for you. ;) Although, there are some schools where upper elementary classes are departmentalized.
     
  13. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    I moved from language arts to social studies. I enjoy social studies much more. I like the switch and want to keep teaching social studies. I am a typical coach and teach social studies lol.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I will be doing it next year.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    What are you moving to, Caesar?
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Middle and high school library.
     
  17. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    May 26, 2015

    Yes thank you for this Virginia!:D

    I agree go for the Math cert for middle school. I think you will not have any problems getting hired at that level in Math either.

    Good luck!
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    DUH! Sorry, had a brain fart there!
     

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