Starting at the beginning - potential teacher needs help!

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by SMumps, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. SMumps

    SMumps New Member

    Jul 16, 2007
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    Jul 18, 2007

    Hey all. I've decided to make a career change (that makes me sound ancient, I'm only 23) and become a history teacher, preferably at the high school level, and in California. I've begun researching schools/programs/etc, but have run into some question/roadblocks.

    1. I notice that many schools offer a credential program, and also offer a masters program, some do joint ones. I've been led to believe that to teach in california, one needs (among other things) a B.A. and to have passed a credentials program, be it single subject or multiple subject. So I guess my question is, is there any real need to do the masters program also?

    2. While reviewing the requirements for several colleges (like Sonoma, for example), I notice that for the single subject credential program, field experience is required. How in the world am I able to fulfill this requirement when to get that experience I need the credentials program in the first place? /Boggle.

    3. About how much studying is required for the CSET? I notice a range of people studying from like 2 weeks to months. My problem is that I'll be in NY next year, and have to fly back to take it. I'd like to take all three at once, and have designated a month for each section (social science), then 2 weeks to review. Is this enough time?

    Thanks all for the help. My confusion with many of the application process' (mainly the field experience requirement) is really starting to freak me out :p
  3. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

    Aug 5, 2006
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    Jul 21, 2007

    In my program Field Experience refers to observations and student teaching, which is all done while you are in your credential program.
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Aug 25, 2005
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    Jul 21, 2007

    I don't see a need to do a Master's if you are planning on teaching in California. School districts will give you credit for the units earning in your credential program towards placement on the salary schedule anyway. The salary schedule columns have heading like "MA or BA + 30 units". Earning a master's in conjunction with the credential will likely require more work everything else being the same.

    A lot of programs have a requirement of a certain number of hours of early field experience before admission. The idea is that you have some idea of what you are getting into working with kids in a classroom setting. You can get it by substituting, volunteering as a classroom aide, volunteering with a youth group, tutoring and many other ways. I met at least part of the requirement by listing my experience tutoring my friends kids in math and science.

    The amount of time required to study for CSET depends on you and the exam you are taking. I spent about two months, several hours a day, studying for each of the three CSET Math subtests and passed each one on the first try, one subtest at a sitting. For Business, my total preparation consisted of perusing 5 SparkCharts once or twice for two of the subtests and nothing for the other one. I passed all three subtests on the first try, two in one sitting and the other in another sitting. In hindsight, I could have probably done all three in one sitting

    CSET is designed so that a thoroughly prepared candidate can pass all parts of a test in one sitting. But in my experience, that would usually only apply to someone who just graduated from college with a degree in the relevant field, or someone else who was thoroughly prepared in another way. Jay did CSET Math in one sitting, but then he was a Stat major.

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