teaching English without education degree?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by wannateachem, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. wannateachem

    wannateachem Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2007

    I was just wondering how many people here are currently teaching that don't have their degree in Education..;) my dream job has just become available, teaching 7th grade Lit and Language arts, but I was just wondering if my background not being in Education would hurt my chances of getting the job..I know other teachers at the school have their degrees in Science/math and teach, but is English the same way?

    :thanks:
     
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  3. enseignante

    enseignante Rookie

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    Where do you live?
    In Canada, you must have a teaching certificate added to your first degree in order to teach, which usually involves at least a year of post-grad education courses.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    That may depend on where you are, but I don't know of any schools . . . except a few private schools . . . that don't require a teaching certificate.

    With that said, some schools will HIRE you with "emergency certification" but you have to work on your teaching certification classes while you teach. There is also a limit on the time in which you have to get the certificate to keep teaching.

    My degree is in English, but I added my secondary teaching certification at the same time. My MA, however, is in American and British literature, not education at all.

    In my state teachers must have a masters or fifth year certificate within 10 years of beginning teaching in order to retain certification. That degree doesn't have to be in education, just in a "teachable" area.
     
  5. buckmeb

    buckmeb Rookie

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    I don't have a teaching degree and I am currently teaching middle school math at a private school. But, I have just started down the path to getting certified in my state--just to be ready in the event that the rules change.
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    My best friend had a degree in biology and wildlife sciences and was hired to teach bio and environment at a public high school. The key was that the school was desperate for teachers. It was a high-poverty school in a very isolated rural area where no one really wanted to teach. Anyway, I know that they can hire you on a probationary or provisional status, which means you have a certain period of time (usually 2 years) to get the required ed courses under your belt. My friend had to take 5 grad level courses in those 2 years and is now certified.
    Kim
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    wannateachem, are you asking whether you can be hired to teach that class without having completed some kind of teacher certification? If so, the answer is almost certainly no.

    If, however, you have completed teacher certification for your areas and you wonder whether you can be hired to teach that class in spite of not having originally majored in education, the answer may well be different.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Around here you can teach without a BA in Ed. for up to 3 years, however you must pass a certfication test in the area you want to each then after three years you must get your masters to keep teaching.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Math and science teachers are hard to find. So schools frequently hire teachers who aren't certified (or certified YET) if they're confident that the teachers are competant in the material.

    But there are a LOT of English teachers out there. Every wannabe writer or poet has an English degree of some form, in addition to all those people who have always wanted to teach English and have gotten certified. So schools can afford to demand that their English teachers be certified.
     
  10. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    In Florida, if you have a BA in English, then you just take the certification tests for a temporary certification (then you have a couple of years to get your professional license). But like Aliceacc said, certification is pretty much a must anywhere you go if you want to teach English.

    This is the route that I am going right now. I'm finishing up my bachelors in English, and it's almost time to take the English 6-12 Subject Area Exam!:eek:
     
  11. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    I took the same path as GatorGal. I'm all done except to be fully certified in FL, one needs to have been employeed in a teaching position for two years! What a Catch-22!
     
  12. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    As far as I know, Texas public universities no longer offer an Education degree. You major in your core of choice and then get your teaching certificate.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Under NCLB you would not be considered 'highly qualified' to teach lit and language arts UNLESS you had many credits in English, despite it not being your degree OR many years experience teaching it in addition to some professional development in the area. The teachers you know who have degrees in science and math- what do they teach? If they are teaching outside of their degree areas they may have come under a 'grandfather'-type clause in NCLB which allows teachers in non-degree areas under certain conditions.
     
  14. robin0103

    robin0103 Rookie

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    I agree with czacza...NCLB is the driving force. Each state has different requirements. In CA, most elementary teachers do have a BA in elementary ed. Because my degree was in nursing, I had to pass the tests to prove that I was competent to teach the subject matter.
    I got my credential & got a job with no problem.
     
  15. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    My degree is not in Education, but I hold a teaching license. As you can tell from above, it will be best to check with your state. Also, is this a public or private school?
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Um, robin0103, I beg to differ: California schools by and large haven't offered an elementary education major for years and years. There were students in liberal studies programs who got waived from the MSAT, back when that was in force, to be sure - but they weren't education majors in anything like the sense that most states have undergrad ed majors, in the sense of having coursework that equipped them directly and explicitly for the classroom. And, these days, no aspiring elementary teacher in California is exempt from testing to prove competence in subject matter: that's what the CSET program is all about.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Also, private schools operate under different guidelines. At least in NY, they're not required to have certified teachers. Of course, all prefer to. In elementary and certain secondary subjects ( where there are far more certified teachers than openings )you can't get a job without certification.

    But a math or physics teacher would have no problem finding a job while getting certified.
     
  18. AHB

    AHB Rookie

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    I started teaching 10years ago with an English Lit degree and the required cert. courses only. I have to say having my degree in English has given me an edge in interview situations and I believe it's important to teach others to love to learn. I feel that because I love English, I am able to speak passionately about writing and I want my students to experience that joy one gets from communicating a point successfully whether it's a point related to topics of science, social studies, math, art,music, etc. Loving what you teach is huge and the kids know if you aren't up on your subject and it shows in their performance.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    And I'd venture that the little darlings know who likes what subject in elementary school as well.
     
  20. AHB

    AHB Rookie

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    Well, I don't know if they can tell if you like your subject or not; but, I do think they know if you are a "good" teacher or not by how you communicate your material. Ya know, if I were a science teacher and was asked if I knew what DNA stands for and I said something like, well that's really not important, you just need to know that it is the genetic code. Or if I was a S.S. teacher and was asked, is it true that WWI was started because of the assasination of Arch Duke Ferdinand?....and I said well no one really knows, and we really need to move on because we have a test Friday. They know by your answers, preparation, demeanor if you like/know your stuff. They may not be able to put it into words nor care past the point of saying - "yeah he's an awsome teacher" or "man she's boring". Not that we are in a popularity contest, but we want to set an example- do your best, always!
     
  21. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    I am teaching science on an emergency cert. (Nearly finished being certified) When I was in interview I mentioned my husband has a math degree and they asked if he would be interested in teaching.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I hate to say it, but my degrees are B.A. in Finance and an MBA.
     
  23. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    If you're going to qualify for "emergency certification," it's usually in a high-demand area, like math. English? Not so much. There are millions of unemployed English majors. I was one--that's why I went back to school for Education.

    Good luck!
     
  24. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Are you sure about that? I don't know of a California university that offers a degree in elementary ed.
     

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