Becoming a highschool physics teacher

In summary, if you have a physics bachelor's degree, you may be able to get a job as a teacher if you have a good GPA and teaching experience. However, you may be able to save money by graduating a year early.
  • #1
CPL.Luke
441
1
outof curiosity what is the path to getting a job teaching physics if one has a bachelors degree in physics.

I ask as I am currently at a point where I could get a physics bachelor next year at the end of my 3rd year. however I would have a lackluster gpa at about a 3.2, with a number of holes where it counts for a physics major. However if I stay till 4 years that would be significantly higher, and I would have fixed said holes, and I probably would go on to a decent grad school.


on the other hand if I forced myself through to graduation at the end of next year it would save me on the order of 30,000 dollars. And I should be qualified to teach high school physics and have enough where it counts to get a job.

Is there any advice out there on what is required in general for a physics teacher, and what the differences between different states is?

personally I would like to teach either in california or somewhere on the east coast.
 
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  • #2
Mine had a bachelor's in Biology...even if you did a mediocre job as a physics undergrad, you probably have been exposed to more of the field than people that often end up teaching it.

The main credentials issue is getting the teaching certification required for the level & location. More practically, you need teaching experience. Tutoring and TA jobs are a good way to get this, and one you can start on while still in college. Depending on your department/institution, there may also be very useful courses on the topic.Do you want to teach high school, or are you using this as a fall-back plan for not feeling qualified to do graduate-level physics?
 
  • #3
a bit of both actually, the results of this semester will weigh a lot on my decision. I don't feel unqualified, and thus would gladly spend the extra year to demonstrate this, however other forces also weigh in on this decision.

It is in some ways a fall-back position, but not one that I don't want. I've often pondered working for teach for america or another such group for a year or two in between undergrad and grad.

Currently I'm essentially weighing two different careers that I would gladly take and weighing the pros and cons of graduating a year from now.
 
  • #4
Does your university have a school of education? If you can, get your teaching credentials now, while you're still an undergrad, and BEFORE you graduate. You are still eligible for loans and such if you are still an undergrad.

Once you have graduated, you can go back to get post-graduate certification, which is probably a one to two year period (depending on the required coursework, observation, etc.) to become certified. Or, you can do as I have done, and go into an alternative certification program.

The advantage of the alt-cert program is that you immediately get to jump into teaching, while you take the pedagogy-related classwork either online, or in night/summer classes. Since I was finishing my master's in physics at the time, I was interested in a paying career, not more years of unpaid school. The alternative program worked great for me.

Nevertheless, I really wish I had known how much I liked teaching when I was an undergrad, because I would have taken the double-major and earned a BSE along with my physics degree.
 

Related to Becoming a highschool physics teacher

What qualifications do I need to become a high school physics teacher?

To become a high school physics teacher, you will typically need a bachelor's degree in physics or a related field, as well as a teaching certification or license. Some states may also require you to complete a teacher preparation program.

What is the job outlook for high school physics teachers?

The job outlook for high school physics teachers is generally positive, with an expected growth rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029. This is in line with the average growth rate for all occupations. However, job prospects may vary by location and school district.

What skills are important for a high school physics teacher to have?

In addition to having a strong understanding of physics, high school physics teachers should also possess good communication skills, organization skills, and the ability to adapt teaching methods for different types of learners. They should also be patient, creative, and able to problem-solve effectively.

What can I expect in terms of salary as a high school physics teacher?

The average salary for a high school physics teacher in the United States is around $60,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as location, years of experience, and level of education.

What is the daily routine like for a high school physics teacher?

The daily routine for a high school physics teacher may vary, but it usually involves teaching classes, preparing lessons and assignments, grading papers, and meeting with students and colleagues. They may also have other responsibilities such as attending staff meetings, supervising extracurricular activities, and communicating with parents.

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