I am a college student and plan to major in elementary education. I can't declare my major until the end of this semester as I will be taking College Algebra which is a requirement to get into the teacher preparation program.
Anyway, another requirement to get into the teacher prep program is a 2.5 GPA which I don't have. I got some C's and D's in science and in one history class which brought my GPA down. Currently I have a 2.3 GPA.
So when I went to go see my advisor for undeclared majors she was telling me that I should reconsider majoring in elementary education and instead major in a certain subject like english which I'm strong in and then go through the alternative certification program. I always have made A's in english, but I don't want to major in it. I want to major in elementary education since I plan to be a teacher.
I realize the advisor saw that my GPA was lower than required to get into the teacher prep program. But I am taking College Algebra at a community college so that grade won't count towards my GPA, and the other classes I am taking at this university this semester are a lot easier. I'm taking 2 early childhood classes and a psychology class, all of which I've had the professors before so I know what to expect. With these professors since I've had them before I know I can get A's and B's, but the advisor told me she had her doubts.
I was just upset that an advisor was telling me to take a different path than I planned on, especially when she is not an advisor in the education department. When I left I told her she is welcome to have an opinion of what path she should think I should take, but its my life and I definitely plan to go through the teacher prep program and student teaching. Her response was "Well we'll see if you can get your grades high enough to get into the program". After seeing the advisor I picked up an evaluation form of advising and wrote how unsupportive this advisor was. Not that anyone will do anything about it though.
Honey, if your minds made up then do what you need to do to become a teacher. First, you are not going to like this, but you need to figure out what classes you need to retake to raise your gpa. It's taking me almost 5 years to get my degree, because I work full time. Honestly, what's a couple extra semesters? Don't be too mad at the advisor. She's only human. For all we know her boyfriend may have just left her or cat ran away this morning. My advisor tried to tell me that I wanted to be special education. Be firm, be honest, and be polite. Send a letter to the college president if you think the survey is meaningless. It only takes one person to pave the way to change. Retake your classes and get your gpa up!
Please don't worry about taking an extra semester or an extra year to get your degree. It seems like nobody graduates in 4 yrs. anymore. I wouldn't have if I hadn't taken a full load of summer classes. I took some really fun classes in the summer - like Mushroom Identification and Ornithology. Summer classes are often easier than regular courses, I found.
Also, I'm sure this is not true for everyone, but in my own personal experience, the El Ed classes I took really didn't do much to actually prepare me for teaching (except for student teaching). The math/science classes for El Ed teachers did not prepare me at all. Back when I was in college, the big push was whole-language. Now that I'm teaching (and have been for 9 yrs) I find that I now have to learn what what was taboo when I was in college: phonics.
I don't think majoring in English and getting Alt. certification would be a terrible thing. You can take some ed. classes as electives, right? Like maybe children's literature. I think you ought to go ahead and develop your talents in English as far as they can go. There is no shame in that whatsoever.
I just want you to know that all of your grades are important. When you apply anywhere to get a job they request transcripts from you. These show all of the classes that you took and the grades you got in each class, not just the GPA from the college where you got your BA. If I was in your shoes I would go back and retake those classes that you got less than a C in and raise my grade significantly! This would show that you are serious about how well you do something. I retook one of my classes because I got a C and wanted better. Grades are a reflection of your character. If you don't care about your own grades, are you going to care about those of your students? Please know that I'm not trying to put you down, only trying to let you see it from another perspective. I went back to school when I was 36 to get my teaching degree. It was hard work and I was determined, even after a professor told me that if I wasn't creative I shouldn't be a teacher! Getting a teaching job can be very competitive and if you have bad grades a principal may see that and put your name at the bottom of the list. Good luck and I hope that you take a hard look at how you go about your path. You can get there and be successful.
Good luck on your quest to becomes a teacher. I am in my final semester before I enter the teacher education program. My advice to you would be to definately retake the courses in which you received D's. The reason I say this is not only does it look bad on your transcript, but also, at my university, you had to get at least C's in all of your courses, not just those in the education departmnt. If you get D's, they may not count for you. You also might try getting ahold of an advisor in the education program to speak with, unofficially. Even though I'm not in the teacher ed program yet, I have officially declared my major as elem ed and met with my new advisor last Thursday. She was so much more helpful than the ones in the general advising office. She was able to thoroughly answer my questions and give me advice that I feel comfortable using. Also, taking to current ed majors and alumni of your ed program could be helpful also. Again, good luck.
If there is one thing that I have learned...it's that you aren't perfect. Sometimes I think college advisors expect to much of you. So you had a little trouble in a few classes...big deal. When I was in college I had an advisor suggest that I not go into teaching since a few of my grades weren't that great. She suggested becoming a librarian. I told her that I was capable of doing the work and that I would become a teacher. Well years later...I graduated and have been teaching for two years now. Don't let other people get you down. Believe in yourself and do your best.
I DO NOT think that grades are a reflection upon your character. I goofed off during college. I know that I'm a lot smarter than some of the C's I made in school. I student taught, last semester. That is the only semester where I maintained a 4.0 GPA. That's because I am a much better teacher than a college student. I agree with one of the previous posts. Most of the classes you will take will not prepare you to teach and have your own classroom. To be honest, I feel as if only TWO of my classes were beneficial to me. Most of the classes were a waste of my time. A letter grade on a transcript seems meaningless, when you finally have that wonderful time in your life when you are a teacher. Today was my first day teaching. It was the best first day of school that I could have ever expected. I can feel in my heart that I am on the path to become a really great teacher. One day when I win teacher-of-the-year award (my long-term career goal), it will be because I am a fantastic teacher... not because of my grades in college. For a last note, my principal hired me because of my positive attitude, creativity, and eagerness to fulfill my dream of teaching.. I honestly don't think she even looked at my grades on some lousy transcript. Bottom line of my story is to fulfill your dream. Don't let that advisor, your grades, or anyone else keep you from following your dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. Think of how many children's lives you will change as a result of following your dream.
My principal is an excellent principal. He was a very good teacher before that. He freely admits that he didn't apply himself undergraduate and didn't have great grades. If the requirements for a certain GPA was in place then, he wouldn't have made it. It would have been a shame. He is a great person to work for.
While grades are not everything and don't really reflet your ability, they do, in part reflect your character. Employers look at the classes that you took and the grades YOU EARNED. In education this is fairly heavily weighted since you will be teaching students. Many states require a 3.0 or higher. I would retake some classes and spend more time studying.
Your grades may affect your ability to get a teaching certificate or a job. In many states, there is a minimum GPA requirement. Also, depending on your area, it can be a consideration when hiring. In my area, the market is so saturated and competitive for teachers, that this past June, my school district had over 1,000 applicants for about 15 positions district-wide. My school alone interviewed 72 people for 4 full-time positions. (I am not exaggerating.) When you are selecting teachers from so many qualified and certified applicants, GPA does play a role in who gets an interview and who doesn't. Of course, I don't know where you are from, and this may not be the case in your area. I know there are others who said they "goofed off" in college and it didn't matter for them, but in my area, their resume would not have made it out of the pile for an interview. (I am not trying to be rude or put anyone down, but just being flat-out honest.)
I am not trying to discourage you; I am trying to be realistic. If there is one thing that our profession desperately needs, it is teachers who are passionate about teaching, and it sounds like you are passionate and determined. Take the extra time you need to improve your grades so that what you look like "on paper" matches the kind of teacher you want to be.
Really? In undergrad school, I graduated magna cum laude, with an overall 3.80 GPA (3.92 in my major), and in grad school, I graduated with a 4.0, and I NEVER have had anyone ask me about my grades or discuss them during an interview with a school. NEVER! Frankly, I don't think schools care what your GPA is, at all. I've filled out applications for school districts where I wasn't asked what it was. All the districts wanted to know was whether or not I had a B.A. and a teaching certificate. Considering the fact that I worked full time in udergrad school and graduated in four years, this is a BIG gripe of mine because I worked my butt off for those grades, and NO ONE seems to care. You would think in education, someone would care but noooooooo. ! Can you tell this is a sore subject with me???
So, my advice is that you take the classes you made D's in over again to bring up your GPA. This will get you into the teachers' ed program. If you want to go to grad school, you will need to bring up the C's you've made, as well, for most decent grad programs won't accept students with less than a 3.0 GPA. My grad program insisted on a 3.5.
Grades and transcripts do play a role in the hiring process. I have sat on hiring panels and have seen a couple of borderline candidates get asked, "So I notice you had a low GPA, esp. in the maths and sciences, why?" I also had a good teacher friend who moved and tried to get a job in one of my old systems. They asked about why she did so poorly during most of undergrad, but got a 4.0 in her senior year. She was interviewed twice, but in the end did not get the job. She could have answered the questions differently, talked about how hard she worked when she began to focus on her future... This was a younger teacher who's already had 2 yrs. of experience, but just had to move when she married.Obviously, in some situations, your grades will be viewed. Prepare for the questions and you still have a good chance of reaching your goals.
and get those grades up. While I do understand your predicament, I almost wasn't allowed into my major, even though my low gpa was from 19 YEARS AGO!!!!!!!!! At 18, I had an incredibly difficult time at college. I had a 2.2 or so gpa when I left after only a year. At 35 I went back to a community school to begin going for eled. At the community college, even w/ a full-time job, family and farm to deal w/ I completed the 60 credits w/ a 3.924. When I went back to the university that I had started at 19 years before, they were not going to allow me to enter the eled major, b/c of my low gpa....from when I was 18. It was still haunting me, even after all that time and even w/ the effort I had put into it as the "responsible" adult. I had to have people write letters of recommedation and go before a board/panel to gain access. My crowning glory was when I graduated 2 years later in the top 1/2 of 1% of about 20,000 graduates of PSU --and the ONLY STUDENT AT MY CAMPUS IN ANY MAJOR TO HAVE A 4.0!!!!!!!! The dean introduced my as her "4.0"-- anyway, w/ all that said....I didn't get hired into a "regular" school district for 3 more years. You can't show determination and dedication on a piece of paper very well, but if you do get a call, you make darn sure you are able to explain where you were and how you made it to this point. When the schools ask for my transcript --and in EVERY interview I've been on, they have -- the very first thing they see is my 2.2. I HAVE been asked about that, but it is very easy to determine that alot of growing up came over those 20 years and that I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up! Sorry this is so long, but the reality is that many teaching programs are full, and there is stiff competition in many areas for jobs. Good luck to you! I really do wish you the best!
I too have sat on some screening committees, and grades can be a factor in screening candidates, like it or not. It's not brought up at interviews because the ones with the lower GPA's have already been screened out. I don't think this advisor was trying to be unsupportive. I think she was trying to show you a way to become a teacher in spite of your poor grades. My advice is to take those classes over and get your GPA up. Also, lose the attitude. Your advisor was only trying to help.
If you are in a tight teaching market, then grades will definately play a role. Although, I don't believe that good grades necessarily produce a good teacher.
If they have an abundance of applicants, grades will be another wa to lessen the candidate poll.
Perhaps that's because your grades were GOOD. When you have acceptable marks, nobody bothers to ask you about them, because they don't need to. When your GPA and grades are poor, they become concerned and ask you about them in interviews. They want to know if you have an explanation for them and if you can show that the type of person those grades say you were is not the person you are now.