Middle School Science Teacher Alternate Route

Discussion in 'General Education' started by scienceanddogs37, May 14, 2020.

  1. scienceanddogs37

    scienceanddogs37 New Member

    May 14, 2020
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    May 14, 2020

    Hey there,

    I am from NJ and currently enrolled in my 50 hour teacher prep for my alternate route program. I have my BS in Marine Biology and I am looking to become a Middle School Science teacher. I had a quick question about what Praxis tests to take in order to (possibly) have a job by the Fall. I originally wanted to take the General Science Content (5435) and Biology Content (5235) to get certified in K-12 Biology. But, I graduated 7 years ago so would definitely need to brush up on some topics and I'm unsure if that is realistic in order to start applying for jobs for the Fall. Is it smart to just focus on taking the Middle School Science (5440) and Elementary Ed Multiple Subjects (5001)? I know content wise this would be easier but I am afraid it won't be as easy to find a job with these certifications vs the Biology Content k-12 certification.

    Also, does anyone have experience getting hired via Alternate Route in NJ? I have heard that Science/Math teachers are in demand, though of course I am skeptical because of the Alternate Route vs Standard Certification. I have been an exotic/domestic animal trainer and educator for the past 7 years in a zoo/aquarium educational show setting. I have experience working at summer camps and in classrooms, but no formal teaching experience. Thanks for all the help!
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    May 15, 2020

    NJ is about 50/50 AR vs. SC across the state. Personally, I would go with the K-12 certification in biology - trust me, I had a lot more distance than 7 years when I took those tests, and I did study and use the practice tests, but passed easily on the first try. I suggest this because you never know what jobs will be available. MS is what you are shooting at, but it may not be what is readily available. With the K-12 certification you are ready if a HS position becomes available. That said, I would also pass the 5001 just in case a MS position is available. You may also find that you have the 15 credits in math or ELA that would make you more in demand at the MS level, so you might want to find out if you are eligible to take those, too, to broaden your horizons.

    Yes, I went AR. I added MS science and Elem.Ed. to the K-12 Bio certification right from the get go, and never regretted it. I have added MS SS and MS ELA, but have not been inclined to add MS math. I was fortunate to work where tuition reimbursement was good, so have since added a MEd. in TESOL and my SPED Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement. Should you be inclined to get the MS Math certification, it will be worth the effort. There are jobs there. MS SS is the least likely to yield you a job alone, but can be useful if you land a job in departmentalized MS. FWIW, no one has ever questioned my route of certification.

    Best of luck to you!

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