teaching high school with PhD?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by sinvanc, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. sinvanc

    sinvanc Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2008

    How uncommon is it to teach after having PhD?
    I have just finished phd in chemistry and would love to go teach in a high school. Is it a disadvantage?
    Maybe the schools might prefer a 'cheaper' teacher.
    Maybe there are other disadvantages? Will be happy to get any piece of advice! Thank you!!
     
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  3. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Sounds like an advantage to me. First year teachers with a PhD are still cheaper than one with 20 years and a BS. I would imagine that a PhD in chemistry has a much better market value than HS teacher. That said HS will be more fun and challenging in ways you CANNOT imagine. Good luck.
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    My HS physics teacher had a PhD, and I know a number of competitive high schools that hire PhD's fairly regularly. And actually, my kids' elementary/middle school has a teacher with a PhD -- in music (I think he should make a bit less of a big deal over this, personally; most people who are actually good at performance don't get PhD's in music).

    You can check websites like http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers (select "Public Payrolls"->Licensed Educators) to get detailed info on education and salary in various districts in New Jersey. It's outdated right now, but it's certainly worthwhile for general info.
     
  5. sinvanc

    sinvanc Rookie

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    thank you! I will try, although I am really scared of competition and there seems to be very poor statistics on unemployment of teachers... I think if I will be able to get a job, it will be lots of fun...
     
  6. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I once interviewed for a kindergarten position and got a call-back but the candidate they ended up hiring had a PhD.

    I think you may be too "expensive." It depends on the school/district budget and the demographic probably. Many districts proudly advertise how many teachers they have with advanced degrees so it could also work to your advantage.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I think being a physics teacher, you won't have too much trouble finding a job.
     
  8. TampaTeacher2Be

    TampaTeacher2Be Comrade

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    It's not common, but its not unusual, either. Especially at the HS level in the sciences. I sya, if you think you might like it, sign up to be a sub in your school district, adn start accepting sub assignments in HS/MS science. If you leave a business card with the Ps letting them know you are looking for a full time job, and have a Phd in Chemistry, you should have a line of Ps around the block looking to hire you in no time!
     
  9. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    I know in my district (and other NY districts), they look to hire "cheaper" teachers. In fact, many teachers are told NOT to get their master's until AFTER getting a job (which they then have 5 years to get it). Personally, it's ridiculously stupid when considering the quality of employees, but in terms of saving money, it's smart.
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I totally agree, we do NOT have any teachers with their PHD in my district. Though, I am considering it.
     
  11. fratermus

    fratermus Companion

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    I am about midway through a Ph.D. program. In the past I would apply for (non-teaching) jobs and not get a bite until I took the M.A. off my resume. Then BOOM the calls start coming in.

    How odd that one has to hide the level of one's education in order to get an interview. It's a weird world.
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It boils down to money. You get paid based on steps and experience. The "steps" are your educational level/post secondary coursework and the collums are your years experience. They make this nice pretty chart with the steps down the side and the years across the top. You find your step and find your years exp and go to that box and that's what you get paid. A first year teacher with a Ph.D would be pretty high on the steps, and would be paid a LOT more than a first year teacher with just a bachelor's degree. Because of Union rules, there's no negotiating this. It is what it is.

    So, you cost more than a less educated first year teacher, then factor in the attrition rate of new teachers and the current budget crisises across the nation and you won't find many schools willing to take a gamble on the higher educated, but far more expensive, first year teacher.
     
  13. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    That is weird for non-teaching jobs. May I ask what kinds of jobs you were looking for?
     
  14. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Like a previous poster said, teacher pay goes in steps. As a first year with a PhD you probably won't make that much more than a first year with a Bachelors. I think your PhD will give you a definite edge over the competition, but will not put you out of the price range a school is willing to pay a new teacher.
     
  15. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    How strange I find this all! Ph.D.'s in my district only earn 3,000 more per year -- not even as much as an inexperienced billingual teacher. My having a law degree never even came up as a problem during my interview, and I was immediately offered a job. My principal told me that since my law degree was a Ph.D. that I would be paid for having earned that degree even though I don't teach in that field. In fact, my law degree has come in handy since we had "cheese" on our campus two years ago. i sat in on all the hearings. :)

    Masters only bring in an "extra" 1,000. I'm curious as to how much extra Masters and Ph.Ds bring in your districts/states.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  16. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    This is me being anal since I have a Ph.D., but I would assume that the law degree was considered a doctorate and all doctorates are on the same pay scale.
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Yes. It would be lumped into all "doctoral level" degrees, including DA's, EdD's, and MD's.
     
  18. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    You're right, but it still "only" gives me an additional $3,000 annually over someone with only an undergraduate degree. It doesn't matter how long I teach...the $3,000 stay the same. We have steps and years also, but I don't get extra years or steps for having a doctorate. At the point in time when I was hired, I didn't have a masters, and was hired on a "deficiency" plan where I had to complete something like 6 hours of graduate work while teaching to get certified.
     
  19. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    DallasTeacher, our district is similar. Further degrees net you more pay, not higher steps. 18 credits beyond BA/BS is $1000, a Masters is $2000 more than your step (which is not cumulative, so it's an additional $1000 on top of the first on you'd earn). 24 credits past Masters is $3500 ($1500 increase), and a doctoral degree is $5000 more than your current step ($1500 increase). So, each year, we increase in steps. Earning more degrees/credits is a fixed rate. Someone beginning in my district with a doctorate would be paid about $44,000 (beginning is approximately $39,000).

    To address the initial post, I know we have one English teacher with his doctorate who is teaching freshmen English.
     
  20. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I have my JD and it only counts as a masters which is ridiculous in my district. I also have 2 masters, so I am at the point that the only pay increase is to get my doctorate. Shows my age, huh? I am in the process of getting my doctorate now.
     
  21. Rugby1974

    Rugby1974 Rookie

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    Ph.D. or Ed.D.

    Even with a Ph.D, wouldn't you have to go through an Alternative Teaching Cert Program if you were not prior certified? i.e. A Ph.D is not a cert waiver?
     
  22. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Rugby--yes, I would believe you still need to become certified through regular pathways regardless of level of education.
     
  23. jp_Chicago

    jp_Chicago New Member

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    Lots of PhD's

    We have eight PhD's in our faculty. We see it as one of our strengths.
     
  24. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    You are correct that sometimes that might look for a "cheaper" teacher. I got my Masters in a phd program (basically, I dropped out of a phd program, and they threw me an MA as a parting gift). After seeing my resume, they explicitely told me in my interview "We cannot afford you if you plan to have your phd soon."

    However, when I was in high school, the only two teachers with phds were the two chemistry teachers! Good luck!
     
  25. jennyjenjen

    jennyjenjen Rookie

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    In my district a first year teacher with just a BA would start at $45,229, a first year teacher with a Phd would earn $53,346. At the 14 year mark the difference is huge, $51,000 for the teacher with a BA and $82,000 for the Phd. Good luck in your job hunt!
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    PhDs in my district make only like $500 more than the next highest educational category. I worded that poorly, but I think you konw what I mean.

    Anyway, it doesn't pay to be a PhD in my district, even when you get to the top of the pay scale....You'd still just make $500 more than the person in the classroom next door who didn't spend all that time or money in a PhD program.

    Having said all that, if high school is where your passion is, go for it. Have you researched the process for becoming licensed?
     

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