Benefits of Finishing Physics Degree for High School Teaching

In summary: Basically if you taught AP anything, you had a degree in it. Maybe the normal ones you could get away with.the thing is that physics is not as commonly taken so its needed by less students but there are also less physics teachers. the easy sciences are taken by more students but everyone and their grandmother is getting certified in biology at my school - the physical sciences seem to have a shortage of qualified teachers but again less students take them. So it's like damned if you do, damned if you don't. : (I'm in NYC btw, if that helps. my question is why would they have an alt cert route if it wasn't viable? a piece of paper doesn't necessarily mean you know the
  • #1
torquemada
110
0
i'm currently 27 and still living at home. i'd like to start a career as soon as possible. it is extremely stressful living at home. after this spring term i will have the 30 credits i need to get state certified for teaching physics. does it pay to complete the physics degree in any way? i already have a bachelor's in another subject from a few years ago and it would take me another year to finish the physics degree on top of the upcoming semester - the idea of that is frightening. i want to be on my own as soon as possible. are there any benefits to finishing the degree in terms of becoming a high school teacher? any advice is greatly appreciated - just please don't tell me to get any petty day job just to leave the nest asap and do my physics degree at the same time - unfortunately that isn't an option for me. that being said, is there any benefit in my situation to finishing the degree? Thanks for your input!
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2


I am not an expert on this, but don't most states (I'm assuming you are in the U.S.) require high school teachers to be both certified in and have a bachelor's degree in their subject of specialty?
 
  • #3


G01 said:
I am not an expert on this, but don't most states (I'm assuming you are in the U.S.) require high school teachers to be both certified in and have a bachelor's degree in their subject of specialty?

No on the degree of their subject of specialty part although I really think it should be that way. You can pretty much have any science degree and teach physics as long as you pass the certification test for that subject which is usually physics questions below the level of AP Physics.
 
  • #4


When I was a freshman physics major in the second University/Calculus Physics class my lab partner was a current high school physics teacher. He couldn't keep up and dropped the class.
 
  • #5


jesse73 said:
No on the degree of their subject of specialty part although I really think it should be that way. You can pretty much have any science degree and teach physics as long as you pass the certification test for that subject which is usually physics questions below the level of AP Physics.

ModusPwnd said:
When I was a freshman physics major in the second University/Calculus Physics class my lab partner was a current high school physics teacher. He couldn't keep up and dropped the class.

:eek:

:rolleyes:
 
  • #6


No - in my state you only need 30 credits if you already have a bachelor's degree. And it's a major state.
 
  • #8


You'll probably want more than just an alternate certification for physics to get a teaching job in the current market (schools have been slowly downsizing for years). Most schools don't want a physics teacher, they want a science teacher they can use for bio/chem/physics,etc (in some states there is no specific physics requirement to graduate high school, so there is little demand for physics teachers).

I don't know what state your in, but I'd say do whatever is necessary to get the broadest certification you can.
 
  • #9


by the same token it is easy to get certification to teach other subjects (biology and chemistry) so I would get those.
 
  • #10


I know both the physics teachers at my high school have degrees in physics (one a bachelor's and the other a master's) and our teachers that were responsible for AP Chemistry had chemistry degrees.

Basically if you taught AP anything, you had a degree in it. Maybe the normal ones you could get away with.
 
  • #11


the thing is that physics is not as commonly taken so its needed by less students but there are also less physics teachers. the easy sciences are taken by more students but everyone and their grandmother is getting certified in biology at my school - the physical sciences seem to have a shortage of qualified teachers but again less students take them. So it's like damned if you do, damned if you don't. : (
 
Last edited:
  • #12


I'm in NYC btw, if that helps. my question is why would they have an alt cert route if it wasn't viable? a piece of paper doesn't necessarily mean you know the physics well, and you can know physics well without the paper.
 
  • #13


and i have taken a lot of other science courses so i could teach any science they gave me basically, although my cert would be in physics. i definitely feel confident enough to teach any high school science. the question is will they give me the chance to show that w/o the full physics major - just having an alt cert route? plus in terms of the economy, i don't think science teachers have to search that long in nyc. so now that I've given all that more detail about location i guess i should reask the question hah.
 
  • #14


torquemada said:
I'm in NYC btw, if that helps.
Yes, it does. I was going to ask you about the Praxis tests (some states require it), but it looks like New York doesn't.
 

Related to Benefits of Finishing Physics Degree for High School Teaching

1. What skills will I gain from obtaining a physics degree that will benefit me in high school teaching?

Obtaining a physics degree will provide you with a strong foundation in scientific principles, critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. These skills are essential for teaching complex scientific concepts and helping students understand difficult topics.

2. How will having a physics degree make me a more effective high school teacher?

A physics degree will provide you with a deep understanding of the subject and the ability to explain complex concepts in a clear and concise manner. This will make you a more effective teacher as you will be able to break down difficult topics and present them in a way that is easily understandable for students.

3. Will having a physics degree increase my job opportunities as a high school teacher?

Having a physics degree will make you a highly qualified candidate for high school teaching positions. With a shortage of qualified science teachers, schools are always looking for individuals with a strong background in physics to fill these roles.

4. How will a physics degree benefit my students as a high school teacher?

As a high school physics teacher, you will be able to provide your students with a deeper understanding of the subject and prepare them for higher education and future careers in the field. Your advanced knowledge and skills will also motivate and inspire students to pursue science-related fields.

5. Are there any additional benefits to obtaining a physics degree for high school teaching?

In addition to the skills and knowledge gained, having a physics degree can also lead to higher salaries and career advancement opportunities. It also opens up the possibility of teaching at the college level or pursuing further education in a specific area of physics.

Similar threads

  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
12
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
33
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
4
Views
879
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
26
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
14
Views
3K
Back
Top