wanting to teach in a new country

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by CAnewbie, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Hi guys! I am new to this site and I need some expert guidance from experienced teachers. =) I already have a bachelor's degree in business, and I wanted to pursue teaching. The thing is that I am new to this country and I'm not too familiar with the educational system here. I plan to get a teaching credential but my current work prevents me from pursuing it due to the schedule (i.e. classroom field work). And I plan to take my credential after I can be free from my current job (which is after 2 yrs) I know it sucks!! Since I want to improve myself, I was thinking if you could suggest what courses / certification to take that would help me become marketable in the future when I finally am able to finish my teaching credential? Maybe some psychology or behavioral courses which can improve my skills as a teacher. Or, if you can suggest some alternative path to take so that I can eventually be a successful teacher. Thank you so much
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Hi, and welcome (both to the US and to this site!!)

    Are you planning to teach in CA? Each state in this country has its own licensing requirements. Your best bet is probably to check the CA dept of ed website, and check under alternate certification.
     
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 26, 2006

    CAnewbie, are you here on a H1B visa? What subjects and grade level do you want to teach? And, of course, what state do you want to work in?

    If you want to teach in California IMHO the first things you should do are pass CBEST (rudimentary test of read, writing and math skills), pass appropriate CSET (subject matter exam), and take a course on the United States constitution or pass an exam on it. The exam scores are good for five years. The CSET exams are multipart, typically three subtests. You can take them all at once, or separately. Although it is possible to pass all subtests in one session, IMHO it is much better to attempt one subtest at a time if you have the luxury of time. For most subjects, this approach will take about six months because CSET is administered every two months or so. It could take longer if the subject you are sitting is not offered every administration.

    After that, I don't see any reason for you to not start a credential program instead of just taking courses that "might" make you a better teacher. You can probably make a good dent in the courses needed to get your credential.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2006

    CBEST scores are good as long as the recipient is still breathing. CSET exams are the ones with the five-year shelf life from passing to finishing the preliminary credential. Whether it makes sense to take CSET exams one at a time depends also on the subject area.
     
  6. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Oops, forgot about CBEST. Listen to TG.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To quote the old New Yorker cartoon, "Whom, meem?"
     
  8. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2006

    Thanks for replying, guys!

    Yes, I'm here on H1B visa (aka Work Visa). I plan to teach in California. Actually, I am still deciding whether I should concentrate on multiple subject or single subject? Any advice on which concentration to take for a 1st time teacher?

    Just want to make sure that I get this right...If I pass my CBEST, it is good for more than 5 yrs while CSET, I need to get my credential within 5 yrs after passing CSET in order to make it valid. just curious...What is the difficulty level of CBEST VS CSET?

    Since I cannot study full time, do you think studying some ESL courses will help me in the future? Or is that a waste of my time and money?

     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 27, 2006

    "Difficulty" is relative, but you'll find information on the Examinations for Teachers forum here.

    CBEST is in the the Basic Skills Tests subforum; it's a test of basic skills in math, reading comprehension, and timed essay writing. If the English proficiency you're demonstrating here is representative, I don't think you're going to need ESL classes, though it's possible that a workshop in essay writing wouldn't hurt you. (A great many native speakers of English struggle with the essay writing.)

    CSET exams test subject area knowledge.

    - CSET-Multiple Subjects is for the prospective elementary school teacher and includes questions in reading, language & literature; history; science; math; human development; physical education; and visual and performing arts. You'll find information on it on the Multiple Subjects Tests subforum.

    - CSET single subject exams are offered in every area in which the state of California offers a single subject credential. You'll find information on them on the Single Subject Tests subforum.

    Feel free to ask whatever questions you have.
     
  10. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    I think the decision whether to go MS or SS should be driven by the age of students you want to work with and the subjects you want to teach. In my case, I really cannot see my self teaching students under middle school age. And the subjects I want to teach are middle school and high school subjects. So it was a no-brainer.

    You may want to consider the job market. Most districts have plenty of applicants for MS positions. And most districts have a shortage of math, science, special education, English and foreign language applicants. But it is still possible to land a MS job, particularly if you are willing to accept a job in a less desireable school or location.

    IMHO CBEST is nothing more than a bar to people who should not be teaching in the first place. Many people pass it with little or no preparation. The one catch IMHO is the writing section. I am a good business and technical writer, but just got the passing score on that section. They are looking for a specific style. But it isn't hard to get up to speed on it. I don't know of a credential program that does not require you to pass CBEST before admission to the program. My recommendation is for any aspiring California teacher to get it out of the way as soon as possible. The results are good forever. And for those who have significant problems with CBEST, it is a good warning that it might be a good idea to find another profession before wasting a lot of time and effort.

    CSET is a test of your competence in the subjects(s) you want to teach. Unless they graduated recently with a degree in the subject(s), most folks have to do some concentrated studying to pass. Many, if not most, credential programs required that you have passed CSET before you will be admitted to the program.

    FWIW any education related course will likely help make you a better teacher, faster. But they won't necessarily help you get your credential any faster. Credential programs are generally very specific about the courses you have to take (my entire life for the next year is preplanned by the program). And no two credential programs are the same. It is possible that the program you ultimately wind up in will accept some or all of your courses toward their requirements, but there is no guarantee.
     
  11. CAnewbie

    CAnewbie Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2006

    I certainly appreciate your inputs Malcolm and TeacherGroupie.

    With regard to the CSET, do the schools care if you get a high mark? Is it possible to retake the exam? Let's say one needs to retake it, will it reflect on your records?
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The schools may care if you score high, but they won't know: your score report carries a numerical score only for subtests you took but didn't pass. Passing is 220 points on a scale from 100 to 300. It's fairly common for people to take CSET subtests more than once, and the test is designed so that you can choose to take just one or two subtests at a time but you still have all five hours of testing time. Preparation classes for CSET-MS are relatively easy to find, depending on where you're located, and there are one or two online classes as well; it's also possible to find tutors. Preparation classes for CSET single subjects are a little tougher; there are a few classes out there for CSET math and science; I've heard of classes for CSET English through Los Angeles Unified, Orange County Department of Education, and San Diego Unified; there used to be a workshop through Cal State San Marcos (if you're far enough south I can put you in touch with the teacher).
     

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