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Old 09-12-2007, 12:59 PM   #1
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Default Anyone a school teacher on here? I have questions.

Ok, this is a complete turnaround for me. I originally left school halfway through my junior year to take care of my grandma. Well that was back in Feb of '06. I am going back to school via Virtual school to get my HS Diploma.

Now my real question is, how hard is it to become a school teacher? I am hearing that I have to get a Bachelor'* degree, and then a few years later, a Master'* is required. Is this correct? Also I heard there are extensive tests and certifications I have to take before I can actually teach. Can someone clear this up for me?

If this helps, I want to be a Junior high school Social Studies teacher.

No this isn't a joke, I never liked school, but for some reason I want to teach. Go figure.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:03 PM   #2
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I do know you have to be certified every few years to maintain your career in teaching....in Iowa anyways. I also believe you are required to have a degree of some sort(I'll try to find out. Two co-workers are directly related to teachers).

Secondly..... You are either very brave, or foolish for wanting to teach middle school.... I don't know if I should salute you for the nobility of it, or feel bad for you getting into it. I was in middle school once.... Not long ago, and everything I've seen these days tells me it is far worse than when I was there, and it was bad then.

I'll let you know what I find out.

*edit*
Some states require a certification test. A degree is required for your intended course. If you have a degree in one course, and decide to teach another, it is possible to get a license that allows you to teach the other and is conditional on if you are actually attempting to get a degree in that course. If not, you don't get the license. Teachers are apparently paid based on the amount of schooling they have completed, so you would earn more money with a Masters over a Bachelors. Certifications must be renewed, but that may be conditional on your specific state. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:04 PM   #3
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I should have mentioned middle school as in 7th/8th grade. I'll edit it and put Junior high.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:05 PM   #4
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A masters is not required, but it gets you paid more. Actually, if you have your masters early, it will be hard to find a job because the district knows they'd have to pay more for someone with not much experience. Get it on the side after you have tenure (4 years here) and know you want to stay in the district you are in. There are some tests you have to take, and as my wife will tell you, none were all that difficult. "Continued education" is required to keep your teaching certificate. You can fulfil that with classes towards your masters and above, attending seminars, being on certian committees, etc.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:08 PM   #5
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Ahh, so what I was told was correct. My friend'* mom said to wait for the Masters at least 5 years after you start teaching. My problem is, is that I get extremely nervous when it comes to passing/failing exams and such. I get nervous and tend to freeze up. I suppose if I really want to be a teacher, I can fix that.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:25 PM   #6
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Your best bet is to check with the Department of Labor of the state in which you want to teach. Otherwise, everything we tell you might not be applicable to Ohio.

But, I can tell you a few things based on the experiences around my household (my wife and sister-in-law who lives with us). My wife has her Masters and teaches elementary special ed and my sister-ini-law teaches high school Chemistry. My sister-in-law was able to land a job rather easily given her forte (science). Science and math teachers are in high demand pretty much everywhere. Special education teachers are in extremely high demand everywhere! My wife does not have tenure, has only been teaching in the same district for two years, and recently got her Masters and makes mid-50Ks. Dang good money for only working 9 months of the year.

In Michigan, you have to have a Masters within seven years of starting your teaching career. Then, you do have to attend continuing education classes. In the mean time you must attend seminars, specialized classes, etc. For each additional increment of 15 credit hours above and beyond your Bachelor degree you get a pay raise. Once you have your Masters it increments differently (and the same for a Doctrate).

My wife loves it and wouldn't change anything. Now that she has her Masters it'* become quite lucrative.

BTW, all the states in the south and west are really short on teachers. Signing bonuses and better salaries are not uncommon. The midwest is hands-down the worst place to search for a teaching job.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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as a future HS teacher in Oklahoma, currently pursuing his Bachelor'* in Math Education, heres what you have to do in Oklahoma.

take [and pass] the OGET, OSAT, and OPTI tests. the oget is basically an advanced ACT, the OSAT is about your subject area, and i dont know what the OPTI is yet.

to be certified by the board of educators here, you have to have a bachelors degree and have passed the three tests before.

do not go for a masters first. youll shoot yourself in the foot, as has been mentioned. take those classes after you get a job -- its tax deductible then too (or so my friends mom says, who works at H&R Block).

Math and Science are basically. guaranteed jobs. if you go into history or social studies, expect to have a hard time looking for a job. my friends mom has her degree for that and is certified, but cant get a job. everyone wants a coach who can also teach Social Studies/History. for middle school you will need a degree in secondary education (9 times out of 10).

and huge kudos to you for at least contemplating becoming an educator. its both the most rewarding profession out there (IMO, obviously) and the most taxing. you will be blamed for all of society'* ills and youll have days where youre completely disheartened and question your own career choice. and you likely will not "only" work 8-9 months out of the year. you will work 60 hours a week during the schoolyear and then attend workshops and seminars during the summer months, as well as spend a fair portion of those summer months planning for the upcoming year. it is not a cupcake job and it is not something to "fall into", regardless of what everyone seems to want to say.

good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vital49
The midwest is hands-down the worst place to search for a teaching job.
i must respectfully disagree.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, some districts (like my wife'*) will give you tuition money. Her'* gives upto 1000 a year.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwakamud
Quote:
Originally Posted by vital49
The midwest is hands-down the worst place to search for a teaching job.
i must respectfully disagree.
I should have further qualified my comment. The upper midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, etc.) is a very difficult place to land a teaching job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwakamud
its both the most rewarding profession out there (IMO, obviously) and the most taxing.
That'* in the eye of the beholder. Everyone goes into various careers for various reasons. I'm willing to bet that each person thinks their career is more rewarding than the next guy'*. Same goes for taxing.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:50 PM   #10
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Ok, i can't add much other then a "Yup, their right on..."


My Wife to be is going to be an elementary teacher soon and thats pretty much the same process she'* going though.

Good Luck to you! IMO we can always use more good teachers... just good luck finding a job out my way... aint happenin unless you got connections.
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