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beaker&bunsen beaker&bunsen is offline
 
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beaker&bunsen
 
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Advice needed (kind of long!)
Old 04-20-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Hello, I'm writing hoping for some good advice from teachers and other career changers! I graduated college with a B.S. in Chemistry and minor in Mathematics a few years back. At the time I considered teaching, but ended up working in a laboratory and really enjoyed the experience. A few years later was looking to get out of the lab and an opportunity teaching laboratory science in a middle school development program overseas came my way. I've really enjoyed working with middle school aged students and teaching a variety of topics in science and math. The job has also given me exposure to the clerical and PR sides of teaching. I feel like a career in teaching is a really good fit for me, but I'm trying to work out how to transition to teaching once I return home.

I've been considering either obtaining a master's degree once I return home or starting an online certification program while I am here. The certification program just adds some education credits to my subject bachelors to meet the qualifications for the Pennsylvania state license (which is transferable to my home state). The program I'm considering is through Drexel University. Potentially, I could complete the coursework online this summer and fall, do my student teaching the spring, and be qualified to teach the following fall. Does anyone have experience with this or a similar program? What do you think the best path is for getting a job in the current market? I'm not against getting a master's, I'd think I'd get more out of a program once I have more teaching experience...Thanks so much for any words of wisdom you can offer!


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multigrade multigrade is offline
 
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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Hi Beaker&bunsen. (Love your name!)
I just wanted to welcome you and say we have a little in common.
My BS is in Biology and I was in medical research. I'm now at a private school after homeschooling for years.

I honestly don't know anything about the certification program you're thinking about. (Private school certification is different in my state.) I just wanted to encourage you.

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I could complete the coursework online this summer and fall, do my student teaching the spring, and be qualified to teach the following fall.
This sounds great. I hope all this works out for you.

Welcome to ProTeacher.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:18 AM
 
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I don't know if you have already made a decision, since this was posted some time ago, but in case you're still finding your path and browsing aroung on PT. . .

Whatever route you choose, I would definitely make sure it includes practical experience, not just observation, but hands on teaching. I know of some teachers that used alternative certification methods that had very little opportunity to teach. I think this tends to lead to quite a bit of frustration the first year.

I believe there is also real benefit to classes that address the pedagogy of teaching. Knowing the subject matter is definitely a must, but being able to present it in a way that students can grasp is also key to being a successful teacher.

It sounds like you already have some teaching experience, so it might be that alternative certification would work just fine for you - and some programs do have some sort of student-teaching included. If not, be sure that you have a mentor your first year or two, it can really make your job go smoother!
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