States and Districts in Need of STEM Teachers

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by barronzp, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    I have been out of the game for some years working in STEM and having trouble finding teaching work. Applying to random states, districts in taking much time. What advice would someone have, weather private schools, other states or districts in need to get in? I would hate to do the subbing thing and may even work in a school abroad before then, if that makes any sense. Thanks!
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    We can't give better choices if we don't know what state you are in. Just thought you might want to give us a starting point that is definitely not working for you.
     
  4. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    I have backing by my masters program for certs (two stems, one social) for 7-12 in NY. However, I am totally happy to go anywhere if the job feels right. I am working on the license.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    So are you already certified as a teacher for secondary, or are you just working towards this. I'm not sure I understand.
     
  6. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    If you've worked in STEM before, why not try a private or independent school? A recruiter will place you there. I've worked with this organization before to find a STEM teaching job: https://www.atomsplacement.com/ They're also on LinkedIn.
     
  7. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    Got the teaching degree, did STEM, now want to get back to teaching.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    You have the "teaching degree" but are you currently certified as a secondary teacher? That was my question. :)
     
  9. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    I am in the process of certification, have all the subject credits needed, etc. Just paper work.

    I checked out Prince William County schools and no dice. Been getting a couple interviews in Dallas but can't get over the hurdle.

    I am open to other districts if anyone knows any. Alternatively, would internaitonal teaching, say at an American school in Asia be considered decent teaching experience going forward or would subbing be better?
    Again, I have good STEM certs and some STEM experience with a masters in education.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    barronzp,

    You say you have STEM certs... I've never heard of a STEM cert, so I'm curious about this. So in Texas they actually have a teaching certification for secondary STEM? I'd like to know more about that.

    Typically, to teach secondary science you need a certification in secondary science -- you know, biology, chemistry, physics, etc. Is this STEM certification new? You also mentioned having a social studies cert? I'm confused. I really want to help, but I can't when you aren't clear about what you have, and what you are looking for.

    You say you have all the subject credits needed for STEM, but have you actually applied for and been approved for a teaching certification? Because without that, you will find you are at a dead-end. You may find something in private school, but public schools typically only considered candidates who already have their certification through the state. It is very, very rare these days for them to do otherwise, and even then, only in extreme situations. It used to be fairly common, but it isn't anymore -- hasn't been for quite a while.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Barronzp,
    You asked for advice, so I'll give you some. Searching "all over the country" for a teaching position is a very scatter-gun approach to finding a job. You say you have been "out of the game." How many years did you actually teach? In what state were you certified? This is basic information that is needed in order to help you.

    To be a secondary teacher in basically any state, you need to have completed their requirements for becoming licensed. It isn't as easy as just saying "oh, I have a bachelor's degree, and I've worked in STEM for a few years, so I should be able to get a job teaching."

    You have to have a degree either in teaching, or a degree in the actual subject you want to teach PLUS a teacher prep program, and usually, student teaching as well.

    You mentioned Dallas, for example. To teach social studies in Dallas, you need a degree in secondary education with student teaching, and ample college coursework in social studies. Alternatively, you need a college degree in history, and then a teacher prep program in secondary education with student teaching, then you pass your teaching exams, and apply for a state teaching license. Once you receive either your license or a letter of eligibility from the state education agency, THEN you start applying for jobs in that state.

    A lot of people mistakenly think they can get around this process, and years ago, that may have been true, but it hasn't been true for a very long time. Most public school districts will not even consider hiring an uncertified teacher these days. They just won't do it.

    Also, social studies is the most saturated field in all of teaching. Unless you can also coach a sport, it is highly unlikely you would get a position as a secondary social studies teacher even with full licensure, unless you are a star coach.

    You keep mentioning "teaching STEM" but public schools don't have classes called "STEM." Yes, STEM is currently a buzzword in education, but it isn't an actual high school class or anything. If a school offered "STEM programs" they would be taught by certified secondary science teachers. Are you a certified secondary science teacher? If not, I can't see anyone hiring you. They want teachers who have college degrees in both teaching and in physics, biology, and chemistry, also in environmental sciences, etc. They would ADD a STEM-type class to those certified teachers' workload.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post, and if so, please let me know. If you already have a college degree in secondary education or in science, and have finished all the teacher prep classes, and have done student teaching, then your experience in STEM will be quite helpful in getting a teaching job.
     
  12. barronzp

    barronzp Rookie

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    Sorry, ,let me clarify. I graduated with a masters in education secondary science a few years ago, but continued to work in my STEM field until now. I have enough credits in chem, bio and social science to qualify for any state's certs in those subjects.
    I fit the last paragraph of yours. What is your advice going forward? Thank you.
     
  13. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Meaning a technical job outside teaching, correct?
    I really think it is difficult to give advice without knowing every single detail of your background and goals. Even then it's tough work going through the cert requirements for each state and matching with your particulars. Just looking at California, for example, you may have the education units, but you would likely need to take multiple additional tests, CSETs, for each subject you want to teach. And I don't know if the California CTC would accept your teacher prep courses or student teaching from a school outside the state. We aren't talking reasonable, or common sense. We are talking regulations, requirements, tape of the deepest shade of red.

    WGU has a nice resource page for state requirements:
    https://www.wgu.edu/online-teaching-degrees/state-licensure.html#close
     
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  14. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    I have taught in schools in the past that have had STEM classes for students. The people I saw being hired for those teaching jobs either had taught a similar course elsewhere, or were internal hires that had taught science or math in the building. So, in my experience, the way there is to get a job teaching science and hope to move within the district or building to a STEM course.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I've read this thread several times. Let me qualify some of my advice. If you haven't, already, taken the Praxis or other state qualification exams, that really needs your first priority. Working in STEM is not the same thing as passing these exams. Without having a passing score in whatever exams your state requires, you aren't qualified to teach anywhere. Once you have acquired a teaching certificate in whatever state you choose to qualify for, you may find teaching jobs much easier to obtain. I assumed you had an official teaching certificate in NY, but your posts since seem to indicate that isn't the case. I'm in NJ, and with your education you would be welcome here, but only after passing the Praxis Exams in Science or Math and having your transcript evaluated by the NJDOE. We don't have STEM certificates, but once you have the traditional certificates, you may be tapped to teach "STEM" courses of varied types if that is your thing. But it all starts with evaluation of your transcript and passing the Praxis, or state approved, qualification exams. I seriously doubt that you will get hired out of the country, although I could be wrong, because they really want to stay in sync with US requirements so that their students transcripts will be valid if the students go back to the states. Nothing makes you madder, as a parent, than to find out your child's education is sub-par, according to universities they apply to.

    If I misunderstand your situation, accept my apology.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  16. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    What do you want to teach? If Biology or Chemistry, particularly Chemistry, there are probably openings. Where do you want to teach? Start the paperwork in that state and then start looking. Write a strong cover letter that frames your years of work experience as a strength, with specifics. I suggest you stop using "STEM" to describe either your teaching goals or your work experience. I actually did teach an elective class called STEM one year, where I focused on Robotics, but I would describe it as a robotics class in an interview, because the term STEM is just not very well-defined.
     
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  17. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    You are having a hard time hearing this, but why would a school hire someone without a certification in hand, when they have dozens to hundreds of applicants who already have the certification in hand? The short answer -- they won't. It's a liability issue for the district. They aren't going to make an exception.

    In most districts, you will get screened-out by a clerical person in the Human Resources Department because you don't have the certification in hand. Your application will never even been shown to the principals because you don't meet the essential requirement of being certified. And if somehow, you get through directly to a principal, and somehow convince him you are the person for the job, the Human Resources department isn't going to allow that to happen. They have specific policies against it. If Albert Einstein tried to get hired as a high school science teacher, he couldn't -- because technically he wouldn't be qualified. Whether you agree with that or not, it is the reality of this situation.

    Trying to be a public school teacher without having a state certification in hand is like asking someone to hire you as a doctor in a hospital when you haven't actually gotten your MD yet. You could tell them all you want about how you took and passed all the classes, and how you are sure you could pass the state exams, and how you have lots of experience in a pharmaceutical sales job, but none of this counts for a hill of beans. No hospital would hire you because the liability would be too high, and because it violates state regulations.

    State policies require that public school teachers be certified by the state prior to employment.

    My advice is very simple.
    1. Pick a state.
    2. Have your transcripts evaluated by the Department of Education in that state, so they can tell you what classes you must take. You will find that just because you had what you needed 5 years ago, doesn't mean you have it today. Requirements change quickly. There is no such thing as being "grandfathered in" if you aren't already certified in that state. You have to meet all the current state requirements.
    3. Find out if that state will accept your student teaching, because if you didn't follow through and get fully certified in some state, most other states will not accept your student teaching. If they don't, make arrangements to take student teaching from an accredited university in that state.
    4. Find out specifically what tests you must take in that state, and take them. Pass them, and get your scores sent to that state's Department of Education.
    5. Then, apply for and get your state teaching certification as a secondary science teacher. Pay the application fee, and wait the required number of weeks to receive it.
    6. Now you are ready to start applying for public teaching jobs.
    I have said it, and so have many other posters here, but let me say it again very clearly -- there is no short cut! If you want to teach in public school, your first have to be certified by the state in which you wish to teach. There is no way around this. Until you do that, you are wasting your time and energy. You can interview until you are blue in the face -- you aren't going to get hired in a public school without the required certification in hand.
     
  18. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    This is not necessarily accurate information. There are many states where someone wanting to teach STEM subjects can get emergency or alternate certification and begin teaching right away while pursuing their standard certification.
    Also, many charter schools and private / independent schools don't require certification.
    Public schools aren't the only places one can apply to if they want to teach. The OP should research options in the state he wants to teach.
     
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  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I'm sure the OP will be glad to hear that. Please provide him/her with a list of these states and specific school districts that you know will do this. I know he'll be glad to have that list to help him in his job search.
     
  20. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Now you're being a bit nasty with me but I'll bite and answer your question.
    For districts: Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Cobb County, and just about any county, GA.
    https://www.fultonschools.org/Page/3021 scroll down halfway to the page where it says:
    In NJ - Alternate Route Certification. I did the traditional route where I took out a huge loan and did student teaching etc. I should have been smarter and done Alternate route. A bunch of my friends (stem and math) did. Here is that info: https://www.nj.gov/education/rpr/preparation/alternate/

    New York City Public Schools also participates in this. http://teachnyc.net/pathways-to-teaching They have the teaching fellows program and alternative pathway to certification.

    Arizona - https://www.azed.gov/teach/enter-th...-arizona/secondary-pathways-to-certification/
    This is good for every single school district. In addition, when I worked in AZ at a charter school, some of my colleagues who were not certified enrolled in this program at ASU: https://education.asu.edu/academic-programs/alternative-pathways-teacher-certification-inmac-med


    For independent schools, I have been working at one for the last couple of years. While I have teacher certification, many of my colleagues do not. For the OP, I've already provided the information above for him to get in touch with a recruiter who can place him at one if he is interested in that.
     
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