New York - Middle School Math

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by BrighterFutureAhead, May 27, 2020.

  1. BrighterFutureAhead

    BrighterFutureAhead Rookie

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    May 27, 2020

    Hello everyone! I posted in General Education ( I Need Help <3 ) but was advised to write here. Thank you everyone! :)

    1 - I am in my mid twenties.
    2 - I am living in south Florida (currently Florida resident) but will be moving to Yonkers New York to live with family sometime in July/August 2020.
    3 - I have a two year degree in psychology and a four year degree in psychology and criminal justice.
    4 - I am not a licensed/certified teacher but I have been subbing and doing aftercare tutoring/counseling for about two years.
    5 - I want to understand exactly how I can become a middle school math teacher. I don't seem to understand the difference between a temporary license or a "practicum" program. If I understand correctly, I have to take a few courses and exams over the course of about a year or two then work for about a year or two before becoming an official teacher?
    6 - My goal is to be a full fledged educator by August (Fall) 2022 with my own classroom, a starting salary of at least $60k+ a year, and with benefits such as 403B and medical/health insurance. Is this possible or is it more realistic to aim for August 2023?
    7 - Please let me know if there is any advice out there. I have saved up enough money, and will be living from home, so I can afford to go do a full time program. I am on a very strict timeline though.
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    May 27, 2020

    To meet math teacher certification requirements in New York you’ll need a bachelor’s degree at minimum in mathematics. So that is where you start -- get admitted to a 4 year college or university as a math major.

    Once you have fulfilled the major requirements for the mathematics portion of your program you will need to complete an approved teaching preparation program.
     
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  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    May 27, 2020

    New York is one of the most stringent states as far as requiring undergraduate coursework in the subject area you plan to teach. I was a career switcher in California, and am now a math teacher. I think you might be able to do a Post-Bacc or Masters program, as opposed to a second BA. I did my Post-Bacc at WGU, but I had a lot of math coursework on my transcripts, and my vague recollection is, it was barely enough for me to be admitted. (This was over a decade ago.) Here is what they say about getting credentialed in NY State with a post-baccalaureate program/degree:

    In order to obtain a New York teaching license after graduating from a post-baccalaureate or master of arts in teaching program at WGU, New York requires an acceptable undergraduate degree in the core content area or at least 30 semester hours of college-level coursework in the core content area. WGU will evaluate your transcript(s) prior to enrollment, but the New York State Education Department (NYSED) will make the authoritative and final determination about your eligibility for any type of certification. The NYSED may, at its discretion, require graduates of any program to complete additional coursework to become eligible for certification.

    I am not intending to steer you towards WGU, by the way, I just know that they credential teachers in almost all fifty states, so they do have a lot of information on each state's specific requirements.
     
  5. BrighterFutureAhead

    BrighterFutureAhead Rookie

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    I would rather pursue a masters in education or teaching or special education than mathematics. I only suggested middle school math on my end because in the state of Florida you just need to take an exam (if you already have a four year degree in any subject) and boom! You're a teacher! I understand now. :(
     
  6. BrighterFutureAhead

    BrighterFutureAhead Rookie

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    I will check them out. Thank you btw!

    I am trying to figure out now which masters to go for since that can land me in education, perhaps special education, quickly and without spending too much time and money.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    May 27, 2020

    I got a Masters in Education but my concentration was Special education. You need to have a focus. You can't just major in education. Then, you will need to take the tests and pass in order to apply for certification. If I remember correctly (my friend did something similar to you) she still had to student teach. Is that what you mean by practicum?
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Brighter,

    When I decided to become a teacher (way back when) I already had a Master of Science in Education, passed all the required tests (there were 4 of them) and then had to back to college for one year to get the required pedagogy classes, learn the specific reading instruction needed for elementary school, and the do my practicum, followed by a semester of student teacher. Even with my Master's degree in Education, I did not meet the requirements for a teacher certification. If you want to teach in elementary ed, you have to have a degree IN elementary education. If you want to teach middle school science, you have to have a degree IN science, and then pass the tests, and that will still just get you a provisional -- you still have to go back and do the pedagogy classes.

    If Florida really does allow anyone with any 4 year degree to just pass a test, and then "boom" they are a certified teacher, you need to know that is not the norm any place else in the United States. (I happen to be a certified teacher in Florida, and I have never heard of someone with a degree in one subject (like psychology) just passing a middle school Praxis and then getting a teaching certification in a completely different subject. I'm not arguing with you because I'm in elementary education in Florida, but I've certainly never heard of that. I have heard of teachers with a bachelor's degree IN science, taking and passing all the science tests, and then getting a provisional license in Florida, which means they have 5 years to complete all the pedagogy classes required, but what you describe is not something I've ever seen happen.)

    Just because a person has a 4 year college degree does NOT make them qualified to be a certified teacher. That is a huge misconception. You need special classes and experience in how you teach, how you write lesson plans, how you write tests, how you match standards to testing, how to write unit plans, how meet the legal requirements such as providing IEP services as a general ed teacher, the state legal requirements on attendance, the documentation that is required of every teacher in multiple areas, classroom management in multiple situations, etc. Those things are not a part of ANY other 4 year degree program. And if you are talking elementary ed, you need a lot of classes in how, specially, you teach children to read -- all the various methods, all the different instructional techniques - for example, how do you use whole language versus phonics for reading instruction -- when you use each, how do you know which one to choose and when to choose it, the current research on teaching spelling (which changes all the time, but the basic consensus right now is that you do not teach it in isolation), how do you each vowel sounds, consonant sounds, blends, diagraphs (and which blends and digraphs do you teach when?) the list goes on and on.

    Earning a 4 year degree in Psychology or Criminal Justice does not prepare you for these and so many other things you must master before you can become a teacher. And just reading study guides and articles, and then taking a test on it, does not mean you are qualified or prepared.

    A lot of people think "oh, it's easy..I remember how I learned it." but you will have children who learn it easily the way you learned it, and you will have children that need 4 or 5 different ways of learning it, and you need to be able to walk in, day one, ready to do that. I mean, we all remember that to add 4 + 5 you can count on your fingers, or use little objects, or draw little pictures -- but can you provide let's say four or five more different methods of teaching 4 + 5? (that would make a total of 7-8 different ways.) Maybe you could read them in a study guide and regurgitate them on a test, but would you actually know which ways to use for each child, and when to switch do a different one and when to persevere with the original method? An educated, trained elementary school teacher would.

    Teaching isn't like an office job, where an experience person comes in and trains you. You are left completely on your own from day one, and even as a new teacher with little experience, you are expected to be just as proficient as a veteran teacher with 5+ years of experience.

    You mention substitute teaching -- that is great, but it isn't really anything like classroom teaching. As a substitute teacher, you don't write the lesson plans, you just follow them. You may give a test, but you didn't write it, you didn't grade it, you didn't analyze it, you didn't plan your reteaching based on it. You may maintain classroom discipline while you are there, but you didn't have to come up with the entire classroom management plan. You aren't the one who had to get it approved with administration. You aren't the one who found out it worked for 3 days, and then the kids found ways around it, and you had to change it "on the fly." You aren't the one who works daily with the counselor or the district behavior specialist when there are children with extreme issues. You aren't the one getting the emails every day from parents regarding real or perceived issues of bullying, and having to respond to them while meeting all the FERPA requirements. And so on...

    The same goes for after school work, or tutoring. It isn't the same experience, and while some aspects can be very helpful, it doesn't prepare you for the day-to-day challenges of classroom teaching.

    I'm not trying to downgrade your experience, but you seem to think anyone with any 4 year degree can just pass a simple test and they'd be ready to teach. That isn't the way it works.
     
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  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    May 27, 2020

    I just looked up Florida initial teaching certification requirements. It is NOT true that you can simply have a bachelors degree in ANY area, pass a test, and become a teacher for life.

    It IS true that you can have a bachelors degree, pass a test, and get a temporary certificate. This certificate would be valid for three years and would allow you time to complete the professional (or long-term) teaching certification requirements. The temporary certificate is nonrenewable. So, if you don't take the coursework during the three year period, you're no longer a teacher after three years. And this is all assuming that a school would want to hire someone without any sort of background in education. You may not be able to find one, and then you'd never be a teacher at all.

    If you wanted to become certified in middle school math in Florida for the long-term, you'd need either a degree in math or at least 18 credit hours in math, including credits in the following areas:
    (a) Calculus, precalculus, or trigonometry,
    (b) Geometry, and
    (c) Probability or statistics.

    It is definitely not as simple as "you just need to take an exam (if you already have a four year degree in any subject) and boom! You're a teacher!"
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    May 27, 2020

    Bella,
    We must think alike. I just finished looking this up in Florida as well, and I found exactly what you did.
     
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