I would like some advice. I am in an alternative certification program and my certification is English, both secondary and middle grades. I have been looking for a teaching position for 2 years now and I had decided to add Math, middle grades to my certification. I have been advised that I need to take 3 more undergraduate math classes, pass the Praxis content area test(s), and then take 2 more graduate courses. Well, I am wondering if I should bother with it now. I'm not trying to give myself a pity party, but I have only had 2 interviews in 2 years. There aren't many positions open here or in nearby districts. (I live in Eastern Kentucky.) I have applied to some other districts, but I haven't heard anything. I think there are just too many teachers around here. I was told at my last interview that there is going to be a 4% budget cut in all of the schools next year. Since I will have a Master's degree in the spring, that puts me, an inexperienced teacher, at a Rank II salary. The way I see it, with the budget cuts, a district would rather hire a teacher with an undergraduate degree, who starts out with a Rank III or IV salary. I had thought that adding Math Middle grades would help me get a job, but I have checked job postings and there aren't many for Math middle grades. So again I ask, should I even bother spending the money for this when it's probably not going to make me more marketable? Any opinions would be welcome.

I don't really know but I could tell you that just because you don't see jobs listed now doesn't mean you won't later. I'd say if you want to teach that you may need to go for it but I really don't know. I am anxious to see what others say. Are MMSWM, Alice and you math people out there????

Those math classes they're requiring you to take are probably pretty in-depth. I know the classes for a secondary math ed degree in this town include basic absract algebra, number theory, discrete math and very basic topology. I'm not sure how it works for adding a cert, but I'm sure at least some of those topics would be required (I'm not all that familiar with the requirements, as I'm an alt-cert teacher who came into this with a master's in mathematics to start with, so I had my bases covered as far as the math courses are concerned). Now, the first thing you need to know is what courses, exactly, are required for you to take, and do you think that you can handle them. I'm assuming, that since you thought to add this cert, that math isn't a subject that's been a major problem for you in the past, so that's a good starting point. Abstract algebra and number theory can be TOUGH courses. I've known more than a few potential high school math teachers who were stopped by these courses. I don't say that to scare you, but to make sure you're as informed as possible before you embark on this course of action. Second, while it would be easier to get a job with a secondary math cert, it is by no means a sure thing. In these days of skeletal budgets, many schools aren't hiring, even for positions they desperately need. A friend of mine in a local high school has math classes packed with as many as 60 students because they simply don't have the money to hire more teachers. They make due with what they have. My poor friend gives me the most evil looks when I talk about my classes of 18-25 (I work in an "experimental" school...the school district is playing with the grade make up of schools in the inner city, so the population is kept way down. There's also experiments with single gender schools, but we won't go there). It sounds like you're in an area where the lack of positions is more budget based and less actual postions that are potentially available, so you would run into the same problem regardless of your certification. At this point, I would advise you to more thouroughly investigate what would be required to get the math cert. Precisely what classes are you required to take and what topics do they cover? What would be the full cost of this course of action? Is it possible to even do it with your current financial/personal state (and by personal I mean house, kids, spouse, a different job, etc)? Then look at the other issues. What are your true chances of getting a job in your prefered field? What can you do to make yourself more marketable as an english teacher (become an SAT expert, learn how to coach the debate team, can you sponsor the school newspaper). There's one more very important question here, and that's How much would you really enjoy teaching math. It's so important that students have teachers that not just know their subject, but are enthusiastic about it. If you think that it might be a drag, then maybe it's not the right course, but if you think you'd really enjoy it, then maybe it is. Only once you've answered all those questions (and probably more that I'm not thinking of), and fully investigated the possibilities, should you make a decision. Good luck, I hope to hear good news soon.

Could part of the issue be your 'alternate certification'? I know your masters degree will make you more expensive, but it may make you more marketable given the alt cert...some districts prefer regular route so the degree may help over-ride some of that hesitation...In what area is your masters degree?

The degree is a Master's In Teaching (M.A.T.) with certification in English Secondary and Middle grades. Most schools around here are familiar with the program.

That is not considered an ACP program. ACP is when you get hired through a school district with no experience and no education coursework, and they put you through their own set of courses (usually taught by administrators, or people from District Office) in order to get your Professional Certification. So, as far as your concern that you are being looked over because you are ACP, you don't need to worry about that. As far as adding the Math cert, I don't think it would ever not be a good idea to add additional endorsements to your certificate, but that does seem like an awful lot of time/money involved to add it. Are you sure you are getting correct advice? Have you spoken directly with the Kentucky BOE? I would triple-check on the requirements before making a decision.