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How do you become a HS teacher in Europe?

  1. Jul 22, 2011 #1


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    I've been applying to work at various high schools in California and hoping to get a temporary permit because I'm not actually certificated. This makes me wonder something, however, especially considering that thread that came up about why the US educational system sucks.

    What does one need to do to become a HS teacher in various european countries (or really, anywhere else)? For teaching in california, to actually be a teacher, I need to have a certificate from a 2 year credentialing program, past the CBEST test, CSET tests, specific subject credentialing, and some other test I saw on a job posting. You could probably fill a page with all the tests teachers could take in order to simply teach! Is this non-sense the same anywhere else in the world? If someone had a PhD, they wouldn't be able to teach at a US high school without the stupid credential!
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  3. Jul 22, 2011 #2
    RE: the PhD - Knowing your subject and being able to teach it are two totally seperate things.

    In the UK, the preferred route is to have a degree in a specialist subject and then do a 1 year PGCE (teaching degree) that involves teaching in real classes and university learning.
  4. Jul 22, 2011 #3


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    Sure, but our credentialing process, from what everyone tells me, doesn't actually teach you how to teach.
  5. Jul 22, 2011 #4


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    You have the same credentialling programs in Norway; they are equally idiotic and counter-productive.
  6. Jul 22, 2011 #5
    It's the modern world unfortunately, people care more about box ticking than the acutal job.
  7. Jul 22, 2011 #6
    Well Pengwuino, I would offer a more positive perspective. Firstly, science teachers with your level of qualification are in desperately short supply and highly sought after here in the UK. I shall not speculate about elsewhere in Europe, you can make your own extrapolations of likelihood in that regard. Secondly I can tell you of the experience of a former colleague of mine. He decided to leave engineering to become a maths teacher, something also in short supply here in the UK. He was required to complete a teacher training course, but it is something that took him months, not years to complete. He had no problem whatever finding a job, and latest reports are that he is loving it and considers it the best move he ever made. And the interesting point about him is that he is also not a British national. He is a Spanish national and speaks English with a heavy accent. Patently it served as no disadvantage whatever to him.

    What you would have to investigate, of course, is the basic business of student visas, work permits and such like. It might be necessary for you already to have a place on a course and possibly even a prospective job offer. Assuming you don’t have a string of convictions for drug dealing these things should not present too much difficulty.
  8. Jul 22, 2011 #7


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    I'm not looking to actually go to europe to become a HS teacher. In fact, I'm not even looking to do that here, I'm just doing it for a 1 year thing before going to do my PhD. The thing that really annoys me is WHY do they have so many hurdles and hoops one has to jump through to become a teacher. Imagine how many eligible and good teachers must be lost to the fact that people sometimes don't have the option to go to a credentialing program for 2 years.
  9. Jul 22, 2011 #8
    Ah well, for a temporary job, the best you could do here in the UK is a job as what is called a teaching assistant. I’m not sure if they have some equivalent role in the US, but anyway, I don’t think it is what you are looking for. I suppose that teaching is just not something one does as a summer job or during a gap year. I’m not sure what the situation is when you don’t yet have your post graduate qualification, but it seems to me that you would be more likely to find the kind of role you are looking for in higher level academia.
  10. Jul 22, 2011 #9


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    Actually I'm far less likely to find a job in higher level academia :P
  11. Jul 22, 2011 #10
    Perhaps you should consider a job as a fisherman or a swimming instructor, or perhaps as a children's entertainer. Maybe these would tend more to your natural talents?
  12. Jul 22, 2011 #11

    George Jones

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    In Canada, typically, a person registers in a B.Ed. program after finishing a prior university degree. Depending on the province, a B.Ed. program can last from two semesters to two years. If a person wants to teach high school, they need to declare two teachables on their B.Ed application. In order to declare a teachable, certain minimum numbers of university courses in the declared areas must have been completed in the first degree. After completing the B.Ed degree, the person must apply for professional certification.

    My wife has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics, and an M.Eng. in Materials Science Engineering. Last Friday, she completed the requirements for a B.Ed.(physics and math as teachables), and the four degrees are from four different Canadian universities.
    My wife has first-hand experience with this. Britain has been heavily recruiting the people with science and math credentials in her B.Ed program, and a number of her classmates have accepted offers for positions in Britain. We have considered this option, as I qualify for a British passport.
  13. Jul 22, 2011 #12
    I wouldn't bother, good schools aren't short of teachers. Most don't want to babysit deliquents.

    Bring back the slipper.
  14. Jul 22, 2011 #13
    There are some good programs out there, albeit what they teach seems redundant at times. I considered Ohio State's M.Ed. program to be pretty good since they take the Constructivist approach. The main problem with this approach is that reality (i.e., state standards, teacher's unions, district policies, parental expectations, and collegiate expectations of the students) makes teaching using this method very difficult, and requires a lot of work on the part of the teacher. It isn't impossible, but it is hard.
  15. Jul 22, 2011 #14
    I would guess the local school district still needs substitute teachers.
  16. Jul 22, 2011 #15
    Hmmm. Perhaps it isn't necessary to point out that this is a somewhat jaundiced view of British youth and the British education system.
  17. Jul 22, 2011 #16
    Accurate though.
  18. Jul 22, 2011 #17


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    Teach your own course at community college. Something like " How Physics Forum Changed My Life". Everyone here would sign up, you charge $100 a head, and in 2 years you can buy you own island.
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