I teach math in my district. Due to several factors, I am considering taking the certification tests for social studies and for Spanish in an attempt to be eligible to teach something different. However, I worry that like sped, math is a high need field and may be difficult to exit once one is into it. What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

If you are certified to teach math, then they will assign you to teach math. There is a critical shortage of math teachers. There is a huge glut of social studies teachers. Jobs teaching math are fairly easy to find. Jobs teaching social studies are very difficult to find, and highly competitive. I'm not saying it can't be done...but it is difficult to exit. In most districts, not matter what they hire you for, they can involuntarily transfer you to teach any grade or subject for which you are certified. If they have a list of 400 applicants for the social studies job, and they are having to start the new school year with a long term sub teaching geometry, because they can't find a certified teacher who will take it -- chances are you would be involuntarily transferred.

My husband taught math for 22 years, then got out of it and into computers. After four years, he was switched back into the math classroom. Math teachers are really hard to come by.

May I ask why you want to stop teaching math? If the reason is kids not understanding it or it's too hard, just know that foreign language (especially Spanish) has similar challenges.

What grade do you teach? I moved from middle school math to high school math a couple years ago and was surprised to learn that in high school, only 11th graders take the statewide math tests. In middle school, they are given every year. I miss some things about middle, but not the testing! (I am in California, I imagine different states might have different testing schedules for students.)

I teach high school. I teach high school. In my state, my student group always has to take the state math test.

In my state high school students have 3 state tests related to history. The chance of having a state test when teaching history is higher than having one for math.

Why would you want to do that? Social studies involves lots of written responses, which I can only assume would make marking even more difficult, if only for the emotionally charged subject matter making one unsure how to correct for one's own biases. At least math isn't as subjective in the merit of one's answers. As well, math is versatile. There are all kinds of topics you can quantify to incorporate into lessons and/or assessment, if you have the time to do so... time you can save by sticking with math and having a (relatively) less insane marking burden.