Subject specialization

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by decseh05, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 17, 2008

    Hello all!

    For the longest time I always wanted to teach English 5-12. I have decided that I don't want to do that, but rather pursue a different type of degree.

    I am either thinking of doing Social Science (5-12), or Science (5-12).

    I know some of you out there are already in these professions. I'm leaning more toward Science because I think it is very interesting. I'm not interested in teaching Chemistry or anything like that, just general Science and maybe Biology at a later time in my life.

    I've never had anything more than regular Science in my life. I've never had Chemistry (cause I hate Math), and I've never had Biology either as it wasn't offered to me when I was in school.

    As far as the Social Science it seems interesting, but I wasn't very big on history in school, it just doesn't seem to interest me as much. Do I sound like a good enough candidate for Science? I had average C-B grades in Science through high school... sometimes A's. That's just a generalization though, it's been a few years since I've been in school.

    Is it better to find a job with Science? Or Social Sciences?

    Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance!
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Dec 18, 2008

    In most areas there are more vacancies in science than in social science.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 18, 2008

    I agree with Teacher Groupie. There are lots of social studies teachers out there, but it can be HARD to find a good Chem teacher-- and good Physics teachers are impossible to find! (the Biology market is a bit different, since there are lots of wanna-be doctors who ended up with Bio degrees.)

    And your grades in high school don't mean a whole lot. Having struggled as a kid may just make you more emphathetic to those kids who struggle. If you can get through the college coursework and KNOW the material, don't sweat the fact that it didn't come easy when you were 16.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Dec 18, 2008

    With the tiny qualification that what high school biology attracts is not so much wannabe doctors as "wantedabe"* doctors, I'll echo what Alice has said.

    *"wantedabe", as in "I wantedabe a doctor till I took the MCAT."
     
  6. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 18, 2008

    Social Sciences also include, economics, sociology, psychology, geography, and a few other things that are non-history. Like everyone else says, jobs are few and far between.

    When I was in high school all of my specialized teachers taught at least one integrated science course. I think middle and elementary grades are usually more integrated than highschool.
     
  7. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 18, 2008

    Before I was certified I went to a career fair. Because I was interested in teaching science I was interviewed on the spot (even without a certificate!). The same guy who interviewed me told another guy that they had already interviewed their quota of history teachers and turned him away. Food for thought.
     
  8. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2008

    I think you need to be realistic...whether you choose to pursue either specialty, you need to have an interest in it to some degree. Think about it...would you learn better from an enthusiastic teacher who is interested in the subject that he/she is teaching or one that chooses a subject because of the job opportunities.

    If English is your interest, why aren't you pursuing that? While it may not be the easiest to get a position, if you are enthusiastic (there is that word again!) and show this interest to the powers that be, you may have a better chance of getting a English teaching job.

    Also, even if you don't want to do chemistry, if you will probably be required to at least take a general chemistry course and math is a component.

    Curious though...why wasn't biology offered in your school? While Chemistry and Physics wasn't an interest of mine when I went to high school, it was offered. Both Earth Science (9th grade) and biology (10th grade) were required science classes for me to get my diploma.
     
  9. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 22, 2008


    Well, I really like Science as well. I really get involved when it comes to planets, astronomy, weather, general Science, etc.

    Social Science not that much, it was just an inquiry. I really don't care for history that much, but I know it is an important part of the past, just never really intrigued me. My high school did offer Biology once you were in 10th or maybe 11th grade, but when I signed up for it I was opted-out because there was only one teacher that taught two classes of it. It was extremely hard to get into.

    I was enrolled in Advanced Chemistry in high school, but I chickened out so I went into Genetics instead, lol. Math is my extreme weak spot, but I'm willing to study my butt off to get where I need to be.

    I guess my question is. If I was a Science teacher, would I have to teach Chemistry? I really don't know much about it, and I don't think I would like teaching it that much. Like I said this college I'm thinking about has certifications in Science 5-12, Biology, then Chemistry as complete separates.

    Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, been very busy with the holidays!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Dec 23, 2008

    The certifications are usually driven by what the state demands, actually, but dividing things out into General Science (which is what the Science 5-12 amounts to), Biology, Chem, Physics, and Earth & Space Science/Geology seems pretty common. If you go with Science 5-12, you wouldn't be teaching a chemistry class per se, but you'd quite likely touch on the topic in ways you'd probably find fun; that probably is also true if you go with the Bio concentration but a version that allows you to teach general science.
     
  11. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 23, 2008


    That's true teachergroupie, thanks for the feedback. I'm not really worried about it once I become a teacher. I am usually always good at what I do (not being conceited) I guess because I give it my all at any job/career I get into. I'm more worried about the school work along the way. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it so much and dive into it. You guys are a great inspiration.

    If anybody has anymore feedback or usual information please continue to let me know, over open discussion. I feel part of the community by being able to talk about certain subject(s) like these.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Dec 23, 2008

    That's exactly what this community is for, decseh05!
     
  13. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 24, 2008

    :thanks:

    So, I found out what the curriculum looks like. Looks like I do have to touch base with chemistry, phyics, and biology. I haven't had time to fully reviewed it, but I talked to them on the phone. It's like a Chem I & II, Phys I & II. I don't know what I'm getting myself into? Anybody know?
     
  14. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 29, 2008

    Nobody? Any Science teachers? :dizzy:
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,646
    Likes Received:
    1,161

    Dec 29, 2008

    It will vary depending on your area as well. Here, we have science teachers out the wazoo . . . but we had an awful time finding a qualified social studies teacher.
     
  16. mrsnikki

    mrsnikki Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 29, 2008

    Its funny they are still telling us that there is a desperate need for them!:crosseyed
     
  17. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 29, 2008

    What area do you teach, Mrsnikki? Looks like it depends I guess. I hope Science teachers are in demand in the future. I know around here we have a lot of older teachers in our schools that I'm sure would like to retire soon.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 29, 2008

    Gen Chem I and II are TOUGH classes, but very doable. They are also math intensive, so start studying now. In general, those courses cover topics such as (and in no particular order) chemical/physical change, balancing equations and stoichiometry, acid/base, electron configuration, bonding, periodic trends, basic reactions, precipitates and solutions, concentration, kinetics, redox reactions, molecular geometry, basic nuclear chemistry, radioactive decay, electro chemistry, and I'm probably missing a few things (I'm more familiar with gen chem I as I get more of those students than gen chem II).

    Physics, I'm assuming is the without calculus variety, but your algebra must still be rather strong, and, if I'm not mistaken, trigonometry is a pre-requisite. I don't remember much about what's in those courses, since it's been a LONG time since I've taken them and I've only had ONE student take the course in my entire time in my current job at the college.
     
  19. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 29, 2008

    Math is definitely my weak point, it's really bad. Maybe I should consider something else then? What do you think?
     
  20. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 30, 2008

    That depends on what you mean by 'weak point' and 'really bad'.
     
  21. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2008

    Means that I am not good at Math at all. I can do algebra if I was refreshened with it, and thats about it. I hate Geometry, and I've never went higher than Alg II. My school did not require a higher Math than that.

    It's just not a good point for me. It just sucks cause it's basically 2 classes, and then a little bit of physics. Should I be majorly worried?I've let this bother me before and it's kept me from staying in school.
     
  22. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 30, 2008

    All you probably need to know is algebra (and some trig ... the unit circle is nice to know). I would be really surprised if your physics class was calculus based....most likely algebra based. If you strengthened your algebra skills you would probably be fine.
     
  23. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2008

    Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it. It's definitely not until at least year 2-3, so I have some time. I have a friend as well that's extremely skilled in Math & Chem/Physics so he might be able to take the time to tutor me, since he's mentioned it before.
     
  24. mrsnikki

    mrsnikki Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2008

    I am a life science teacher :) I think I am going to try and teach middle school. They used to reimburse teachers for their student loans when I first started, but now they say they dont have the budget or I guess the need! lol Oh well good thing I like what area I went in to anyway!!:lol:
     
  25. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 30, 2008

    If it wasn't so early in the morning, I would launch into an all out lecture....

    Quit saying you're bad at something. You are what you tell yourself, so you doom yourself to failure by these comments. I didn't do well in chemistry in HS (turns out I had a horrible teacher), but when I got to college and had the most amazing teacher in the world, I did really well. I actually work very closely with the chemestry department in my job at the college, which you would have never thought possible given my HS record.

    Anyway, you never know till you try. Take whatever math courses you need to bring your algebra back up to speed and jump into chemistry with both feet. You never know what will happen.
     
  26. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2008

    Thank you for the encouragement. You're right I should be strong headed and quit worrying, and just be good at it and jump in with both feet. I had a horrible math teacher (3 years in a row) and 1 good teacher while I was in high school for 1 semester in Math. So, I guess that's partially to blame. My 11th grade teacher was a joke, all he cared about was having the kids think he was cool.

    So, it's safe to say since my 6th grade year I had one good Math teacher for a semester. That's not saying much, is it?
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Dec 30, 2008

    So maybe you can redeem all that bad experience by being one more good teacher? That wouldn't be a bad legacy, you know...
     
  28. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 31, 2008

    Yes, that would be a good legacy. I wouldn't be a bad teacher. Like I had said before I won't do a job without giving it my all. That means using my knowledge as power and rethinking it in a creative way to teach it.
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Dec 31, 2008

    YESSSSS!

    (Don't mind me. I get kind of excited by this sort of thing...)
     
  30. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2009

    Me too! Everybody should be enthusiastic about their job. The more you like your job, the more interesting it will seem, and the kids will want to learn more. (In most cases)
     
  31. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 2, 2009

    As mmswm pointed out, don't say you can't do math!

    I don't know if this fully applies, but when I was in high school, I was decent at math, but I didn't really like it. And I hated Geometry, mostly because I hated proofs.

    As an adult, I decided to teach math (mostly because it was needed) and re-taught myself a lot. I found that I really enjoyed it and got it the second time around! I found out the week before school starting that I was teaching Geometry this year, and while at first the thought of teaching proofs kind of freaked me out - when I finally took a deep breath, told myself I could do them, and really looked at them - I've found that doing proofs are kind of fun. :)

    Anyways, my whole point is: don't tell yourself that you just can't do math. I bet you can. Its different being an adult, because if you WANT to learn something, you can. ha ha - now, if we could only somehow get our students to WANT to learn anything... :)
     
  32. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 3, 2009

    That's very true! Now that we are adults. My grandmother said the same thing to me the other night. She asked me if I felt that I am more knowledgeable with Math, etc now that I'm out of school, and I answered yes. She said she was the same way after she graduated. I guess it's just odd, but I think I can get through it.

    I appreciate all the encouragement! I guess I'll never know until I try anyways, right? :D
     
  33. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 3, 2009

    I really enjoy science now and have had good experiences while I attended college, but when I was in HS...no way! I only went up to biology because I didn't need to go further, and my teacher had me lose all sorts of confidence in myself. The idea of labs had scared me to death when I returned to school...I just kept thinking, I'm going to mess up.

    I just know now as I prepare to be a chemistry teacher, I will not do that to my students. If they try their best, I will work with them to help them understand the material. I will not say that (or write that) something is wrong without giving them an idea at how it is incorrect and steps to show what the correct format is.
     
  34. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jan 3, 2009

    There's a lot to be said for a teacher who initially struggled in a particular subject....
     
  35. decseh05

    decseh05 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 9, 2009

    She kinda sounds like she's in the same shoes as me, except it's Math for me... What do you mean mms?
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Jan 9, 2009

    I'll guess mm means that when one knows what it's like to struggle, one tends to be more resourceful with the strugglers in one's class.
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2009

    And it gives you a whole different perspective.

    I once worked with another math teacher who was wonderful-- if you were good at math. But she simply couldn't wrap her head around the idea that some kids honestly struggled in math. They worked and studied and did all the right things, yet still found math difficult.

    I think that someone who HAS struggled academically-- in any subject-- is more likely to be empathetic. Additionally, that teacher has first hand advice as to strategies and approaches that may work.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Emmanual sanchez,
  2. blazer
Total: 297 (members: 3, guests: 276, robots: 18)
test