I want to teach 7th or 8th grade science

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by rlee81indy, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. rlee81indy

    rlee81indy New Member

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    Nov 29, 2008

    I am a soldier in Iraq and will be out in 2 years. At that time I will be almost 30. I've never gone to college and was a highschool drop out. I have always been a bit of a science geek and would love to teach it. I think 7th or 8th grade would be perfect. The problem is, I don't know if I can as I was a drop out. If I can, where do I start? College I know, but what degree do I need. All I ever see is elementary education. I plan to start my basics at Pikes Peak community college, and once I'm out of the army, move to western New York. From there, if I can, I want to attend a University to finish up. Any info would be a huge help. Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 29, 2008

    The nice thing about the US is that you get loads of second chances. I'm assuming you have your GED, since you said you plan on starting at a community college. If you complete an AA instead of an AAS, then you will be better able to transfer to a 4 year university. In general, an AA requires a certain number of "core" classes, which are the same core classes required for a BA. These are the general education courses, NOT the coursework required for your major. In addition, the AA requires that you complete a certain number of elective credits. You want to cater these elective credits toward the lower division requirements for you inteneded upper division major at the university to which you plan on transfering. Once you have completed 30 credits the university isn't going to look at your high school records. They will evaluate you as a transfer student and look only at your college transcripts. There are, of course, exceptions, but this is what you could typically expect.

    On a side note, I know several Ph.D. holders who are former high school drop outs. Don't let your past hinder your future. It may take a little more work on your part, but you can do anything you want, as long as you're willing to work for it.
     
  4. rlee81indy

    rlee81indy New Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply!
    I do have a GED, I got that back in 99'. Since I haven't looked into this too much yet, I don't know what the AA or the AAS is. My wife is currently in a nursing program, so I know that the 30 credit hours rack up pretty quickly. Basically, would I start out at the community college with undecided major, or would I just be going for general education? I know the core classes will most likely transfer, but do I need to do 2 years at the community college, and then an additional 4 at a university? I was hoping to have my masters before I even jump into a job full time. I figured once I got my BS I could get certified and start subbing until Im finished with my masters. Does this make sense? Sorry for all the questions, but I figured this was the best place to ask them.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 29, 2008

    I suppose you just got lucky in that the person who first replied works as both a middle school math teacher AND in student services at a community college :D.

    Okay, the AA is a "transfer" degree. It's intended to replace the first two years at a university. If you're smart, you'll do all your research and pretend your two years at the CC are your first two years at the univeristy that you eventually want to attend. That means knowing what courses they require for your major, and minor requirements, and any additional gen ed requirements beyond the state mandates. If you do it right, when you get your AA you will be able to transfer to a university as a Jr.

    As to your question about the difference between an AA and an AS: the AA is a transfer degree and the AS is a "go to work" degree. A student can only get one AA. It's sole purpose is to prepare you to transfer to a 4-year school as a Jr. An AS allows you to go to work. Your wife's AS is more technically an ASN (associates in science in nursing). That degree allows her to take the boards and to go to work as a nurse. An AS in early childhood would allow a person to work as an assistant in pre-schools and kindergartens, and possibly as a "lead teacher" in a day care (that would depend on state requirements).

    If you were a student walking into my office at my night job, I would advise you to declare a secondary science education major, set you up to take the placement tests, and then plan your courses from there. If you placed in college level courses in math and english, then we would plan a typical college freshman course schedule. I would help you decide which university you are most likely to transfer to, then look up their major/minor requirements and plan out the rest of your tenure at the CC. Of course, the number of courses you take would depend on your other life obligations. Now, there's a chance when you go to enroll in school, that you will need to take college prep courses. At my school, over 80 percent of new students need CP courses in at least one subject area (math, reading, writing). If you are one of those students, you would need to plan on it taking a little longer to complete your degree.
     
  6. rlee81indy

    rlee81indy New Member

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    Thank you very much for this info. That is pretty much what I was looking at. Now, if I go for my masters, would it be a masters in education? I plan to minor in biology. If I go into a University as a Jr from getting my AA, how much longer would I be in school (assuming I don't retake classes) before I complete my masters? Thanks again!
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 30, 2008

    Figure 4 years total for your undergraduate degree (BA or BS, depending) if you go full time. From there, look at typical completion times for masters degrees. Those times can vary greatly depending on the degree itself. My masters (math, with concentration in statistics/probability theory) took 3 years, but that's on the long side. Education masters more typically take two years. And yes, if your BA is in secondary science ed, then your masters will likely be in education as well. My BS is in Mathematics as is my MS. I didn't plan on doing secondary ed when I was in school. I sort of stumbled into it and fell in love.
     
  8. rlee81indy

    rlee81indy New Member

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    Thanks a lot. Now I somewhat know where to start digging. Thanks for taking the time to answer in depth. Thats all for tonight, I just came off a 12 hour mission, it's 9 in the morning and I'm going to bed. Thanks again.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Good night and stay safe.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 30, 2008

    rlee, do please check the requirements for teachers in the state in which you'd like to teach - I think you said New York State, so that would be http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/. You may also want to look at Troops to Teachers, and if there isn't someone there in Iraq who can tell you more about it, there certainly will be when you come back, or you can check http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/career/ttt.htm.

    And, as you've discovered, it certainly doesn't hurt to ask lots of questions here.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I can't add a lot to the info you've already been given.

    But I do want to offer our sincere thanks for all the sacrifices you and your familiy have made.

    Stay safe. Our prayers are with you and your buddies.
     
  12. sciencewrestler

    sciencewrestler Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2008

    Hi rlee,

    Don't mean to be a wet blanket, but IMO choose carefully as far as which field of science you want to teach. Because of all the standardized testing, NCLB requirements & other issues, the field of education isn't what it used to be and certain specific teaching fields are definitely in more demand than others.

    For example, at least in the district I taught in, my own teaching field of Earth Science seems to have been placed on the back burner so to speak and that course was reduced to a dumping ground for students who weren't, ummm, really into education if you get my drift.

    Take care of yourself.
     
  13. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

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    Dec 29, 2008

    Get your GED first, and then apply for college. Remember if you go to a community college you need to make sure your credits will transfer. If not you'll end up taking courses over again and wasting more time and money. Don't let dropping out of high school discourage you from teaching, it might make you better at it. I was having bad issues and I left school 2 months before my 12th grade year ended due to a bunch of stuff in my life going on.

    I graduated with all my credits except for 1 elective, and was accepted to college via my high school transcripts, and just got a GED to back me up. So, keep that in mind.
     
  14. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Dec 30, 2008

    I believe he already has that taken care of

     
  15. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

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    Ah, I didn't see that. I read these posts sometimes early in the morning when I first get up. I guess that's what I get for posting half asleep.
     

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