Should I do it?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by kimico, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. kimico

    kimico New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008

    I'm thinking about going back to school to get my secondary biology teaching certificate. I've never taught anything in my whole life, so to get a feel for whether teaching is really something I'd like to do, I asked if I could shadow a middle school science teacher. The board of education said that I wouldn't be able to shadow someone, but I could substitute teach. Is it just me, or is that putting the cart before the horse? I've NEVER taught anything, and they want me to get a feel for it by subbing? How can I substitute teach if I don't know what I'm doing?

    My question to all of you is, should I go ahead and sub, even though I don't know how to teach? Thanks for your opinions!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jan 29, 2008

    Subbing is hard because you don't know the students or how the class is run. But if you are interested in teaching subbing is a good foot in the door at a lot of schools (not all).
    Maybe once you sub a couple of times you could ask the science teacher if they would mind you shadowing them for a while.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 29, 2008

    The board said no? That's weird - many teacher licensure programs REQUIRE classroom observation as a condition of entrance, precisely so teacher hopefuls have some idea what they're in for.

    You may have caught someone on a bad day, or it may be that "shadow" is a technical term for that board that means something somewhat different from what you intended... or the area may be starving for science subs. I dunno. But if you weren't referred to the board from your local middle school, try asking on that level instead - in fact, you might start by finding a likely teacher and asking the teacher first.

    You could also check with private schools in your area; not all of the issues are the same, of course, but you'll get something of a feel for how a middle school science classroom works.
     
  5. ctmem

    ctmem Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2008

    Do it!

    If you want to sub, make sure to land a long-term (maternity etc) sub job. Daily subbing does not give you a feel for what teaching is like.

    Teaching is about the passion for the kids, the content, and seeing growth. Subs don't get a taste for that at all.

    Good luck!

    My Center:
    teachersoffaith.com
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jan 30, 2008

    Maybe they told you no because most school now require a criminal background check for any adults working in the building. If you seriously would like to job shadow before you commit to subbing, find out if this is the reason your were denied. It does sound rather weird.

    If you aren't allowed to job shadow, why not try your local college education dept to see if they can help you find the answers to you questions.

    Good Luck :)
     
  7. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Jan 30, 2008

    OK, you've never taught...... What work experiences do you have? Maybe these experinences would help you in the (substitute) teaching world......
     
  8. Moalem

    Moalem Rookie

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    Jan 31, 2008

    i say go ahead and sub. obviously you have a degree in biology. that's more than i can say for any of the people who ever subbed in my classes when i was in middle or high school. most of them just showed a video or had some kind of busy work for us to do. it sounds like you'll be able to engage the kids and teach them something and in the process learn if you want to be a teacher. the good news is, if you hate it and decide it's not for you, you will be leaving soon anyway. that's better than spending time and money on an education you won't use.

    good luck.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 31, 2008

    Maybe you should go through the background check process as an in school volunteer (If you're thinking of moving to FL, I've got the perfect school for you:D ). That would get you through the background check hurdle, AND put you in a school where you could meet and talk to teachers. I would have no problems if one of my volunteers asked me to sit in my room for a day or so.
     
  10. JessicaKellin

    JessicaKellin Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2008

    I don't think subbing would be a bad thing, but there are ways to shadow as well. Do you know anyone - anyone at all - who is a teacher? Because even if you don;t want to shadow them... teachers know teachers. And in my experience, you don't need BOE permission to visit a classroom a little... just the teacher's.
     
  11. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    Feb 4, 2008

    Where in Maryland are you? I teach in Baltimore and I'm very surprised that no one would let you shadow or observe someone. Try Baltimore City Schools, they seem to be up for anything. Try visiting schools and asking the actual principal to see what they would say.
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Feb 4, 2008

    I agree with the above posters that you should just contact a school(middle school) directly. They're generally open to "volunteers".
     
  13. kimico

    kimico New Member

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    Feb 6, 2008

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I will look more into subbing and possibly shadowing a teacher in a private school.

    Sstager-I'm in Harford County.
     

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