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Physics High school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritified?

  1. Jan 23, 2013 #1
    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!
     
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  3. Jan 24, 2013 #2

    G01

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    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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?
     
  4. Jan 24, 2013 #3
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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.
     
  5. Jan 24, 2013 #4
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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.
     
  6. Jan 24, 2013 #5

    G01

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    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    :eek:

    :uhh:
     
  7. Jan 24, 2013 #6
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    No - in my state you only need 30 credits if you already have a bachelor's degree. And it's a major state.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2013 #7
  9. Jan 24, 2013 #8
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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 highschool, 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.
     
  10. Jan 24, 2013 #9
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    by the same token it is easy to get certification to teach other subjects (biology and chemistry) so I would get those.
     
  11. Jan 24, 2013 #10
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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.
     
  12. Jan 24, 2013 #11
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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: Jan 24, 2013
  13. Jan 24, 2013 #12
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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.
     
  14. Jan 24, 2013 #13
    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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.
     
  15. Jan 25, 2013 #14

    eumyang

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    Re: high school physics teaching - full degree or take the 30 credits and get ceritif

    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.
     
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