How do you become a physics teacher in highschool or gymnasium school?

In summary: It gets even worse. In Florida at least, a course can be taught by someone completely out-of-field if necessary, meaning that they haven't even passed the subject specific exam. At my school we generally have a least one biology teacher that has no science training at all. Fortunately, they can only do so for one year. Of course that means the next year we have to have a new out-of-field teacher that similarly has no experience.
  • #1
wolly
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Hi,I'm a student in Romania and I want to know the steps for becoming a physics teacher. Do you need a master degree or can you teach with a bachelor's degree?
 
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Do any such schools near you have job openings advertised for physics teachers? The job opening advertisements would probably list the requirements. Or can you contact some local physics teachers at schools near you to ask them?

Is there also a "Teaching Certificate" requirement for teaching at those schools? I think that in the US a certification is required, but I'm not sure.
 
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  • #3
Does Romania establish qualifications for teachers at the national level? If yes, I would expect that the web site for the national education ministry or department would have information about this.

Or maybe it depends on the region or even municipality?

Here in the US, general qualifications for teachers are established by the individual states (New York, Ohio, California, etc.). Hiring is done at the local level: by city or county public school districts, or by individual private schools. Generally, in order to teach physics, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in physics. In some schools, teachers in a related field like chemistry can also teach physics, because those fields require some physics for their degrees. A master's degree is required mainly for advancement and/or higher salary.

If you're not yet in university, your best source of information to get started is probably a physics teacher at your school. He/she has been through the process. If you're in university, the university's faculty of education should have that information.
 
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  • #4
jtbell said:
Here in the US, general qualifications for teachers are established by the individual states (New York, Ohio, California, etc.). Hiring is done at the local level: by city or county public school districts, or by individual private schools. Generally, in order to teach physics, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in physics. In some schools, teachers in a related field like chemistry can also teach physics, because those fields require some physics for their degrees. A master's degree is required mainly for advancement and/or higher salary.

Not true, most states require a minimal number of physics classes and to pass a competency exam. After being in industry for many years, I looked at getting certified to teach and investigated the requirements and was appalled. I know for a fact that the district I worked at as a sub had exactly zero people on staff with a physics degree, yet had multiple people per high school teaching it and the general and AP level. As a matter a fact, I wasn't hired for a full time position because they had a person who was certified to teach as opposed to my provisional certification. They did not have a degree in physics, but in education and was certified in chemistry and physics (without a degree in either) and the district was able to pay them significantly less because I had a PhD.

My sister teaches physics, math and chemistry in NY state, she has a degree in non of them, but a degree in chemical engineering.
 
  • #5
Dr Transport said:
Not true, most states require a minimal number of physics classes and to pass a competency exam. After being in industry for many years, I looked at getting certified to teach and investigated the requirements and was appalled. I know for a fact that the district I worked at as a sub had exactly zero people on staff with a physics degree, yet had multiple people per high school teaching it and the general and AP level. As a matter a fact, I wasn't hired for a full time position because they had a person who was certified to teach as opposed to my provisional certification. They did not have a degree in physics, but in education and was certified in chemistry and physics (without a degree in either) and the district was able to pay them significantly less because I had a PhD.

My sister teaches physics, math and chemistry in NY state, she has a degree in non of them, but a degree in chemical engineering.

It gets even worse. In Florida at least, a course can be taught by someone completely out-of-field if necessary, meaning that they haven't even passed the subject specific exam. At my school we generally have a least one biology teacher that has no science training at all. Fortunately, they can only do so for one year. Of course that means the next year we have to have a new out-of-field teacher that similarly has no experience.

In a district of 6 high schools, I am the only physics teacher with a physics degree. My predecessor (11 years ago) was a geometry teacher (with a degree in elementary education), filling in after the previous physics teacher retired (who also didn't have a physics degree, but at least passed the subject exam.)
 
  • #6
wolly said:
Hi,I'm a student in Romania and I want to know the steps for becoming a physics teacher. Do you need a master degree or can you teach with a bachelor's degree?
In the UK at least, you can do a Bachelor's then do a PGCE which is about ten months. If your BA/BSc is recognised here, you could do your PGCE here? If all the other stuff is ok? I will check with friends, who are resident teachers but have overseas guys and feedback. If you fancy the UK that is.
 
  • #7
Dr Transport said:
My sister teaches physics, math and chemistry in NY state, she has a degree in non of them, but a degree in chemical engineering.

Maybe I interpreted your post wrong but I don’t find that egregious at all.
 
  • #8
Dr Transport said:
Not true, most states require a minimal number of physics classes and to pass a competency exam. After being in industry for many years, I looked at getting certified to teach and investigated the requirements and was appalled. I know for a fact that the district I worked at as a sub had exactly zero people on staff with a physics degree, yet had multiple people per high school teaching it and the general and AP level. As a matter a fact, I wasn't hired for a full time position because they had a person who was certified to teach as opposed to my provisional certification. They did not have a degree in physics, but in education and was certified in chemistry and physics (without a degree in either) and the district was able to pay them significantly less because I had a PhD.

My sister teaches physics, math and chemistry in NY state, she has a degree in non of them, but a degree in chemical engineering.
Some (or should be say, many) local districts or schools will look at prospective teacher's university and college transcripts, and not necessarily the earned degree, in hiring teachers. Degree may be less important. Something that could count in many cases is subject matter examinations but are they good enough, I cannot say for certain.
 
  • #9
jfmcghee said:
It gets even worse. In Florida at least, a course can be taught by someone completely out-of-field if necessary, meaning that they haven't even passed the subject specific exam. At my school we generally have a least one biology teacher that has no science training at all. Fortunately, they can only do so for one year. Of course that means the next year we have to have a new out-of-field teacher that similarly has no experience.

In a district of 6 high schools, I am the only physics teacher with a physics degree. My predecessor (11 years ago) was a geometry teacher (with a degree in elementary education), filling in after the previous physics teacher retired (who also didn't have a physics degree, but at least passed the subject exam.)
Much of that is known as "Being misassigned", and if teacher knows he is not competent in the particular subject, he SHOULD be able to refuse the assigned position without being punished.
 
  • #10
symbolipoint said:
he SHOULD be able to refuse the assigned position without being punished.
Ideally that would be the case. What happens in my district is the teacher doesn't get hired, or is dropped to a half-time teacher. After 11 years, I still have to be re-hired every single year. There are no multi-year contracts for teachers hired after 2010 or so. Fortunately, not all states or countries are as terrible to teachers as Florida.
 
  • #11
jfmcghee said:
There are no multi-year contracts for teachers hired after 2010 or so. Fortunately, not all states or countries are as terrible to te
The region or district has no established structure of Tenure?
 
  • #12
symbolipoint said:
The region or district has no established structure of Tenure?
No, the state legislators made a law requiring all teachers hired after 2011 to be on annual contracts. Apparently they're trying to do a similar thing to university professors by requiring a tenure review every five years based on politically motivated criteria, not just "normal" professor type criteria.
 
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  • #13
jfmcghee said:
No, the state legislators made a law requiring all teachers hired after 2011 to be on annual contracts. Apparently they're trying to do a similar thing to university professors by requiring a tenure review every five years based on politically motivated criteria, not just "normal" professor type criteria.
I would mess this up if I choose some other reaction-emojis. What you describe is disappointing and discouraging for those teachers. "Tenure" is supposed to mean something valuable. Sure without your place's legislation, Tenure may still be something political; but what happened there just makes the situation for intended-longterm teachers difficult.

Just wonder, since the o.p. asked in regard to Romania, teaching there, is tenure comparable or not or different?
 
  • #14
wolly said:
Hi,I'm a student in Romania and I want to know the steps for becoming a physics teacher. Do you need a master degree or can you teach with a bachelor's degree?
In what country?
 
  • #15
jtbell said:
Generally, in order to teach physics, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in physics.
Dr Transport said:
Not true, most states require a minimal number of physics classes and to pass a competency exam.
Yeah, you're right, of course. I was focusing on the "bachelor's versus master's" apart of the OP's question. You certainly don't need a master's to teach at the pre-university level in the US, or even a bachelor's in physics, just certification according to whatever requirements each state has. However, I think you usually need a bachelor's in something.

After finishing her B.A. in German many years ago, my wife became certified to teach in New York not only in German, but also in French, because she had taken a number of French courses and had studied it for four years in high school.

After I came to South Carolina in the mid 1980s to teach at a college here, my department chaiman told me that as far as he knew, there was only one high school teacher in the whole state with a degree in physics. Physics teachers generally had primary certification in a nearby field like chemistry or math, with physics as a secondary certification. Schools just didn't have enough physics classes to justify hiring someone primarily as a physics teacher. That may have changed by now in some of the larger high schools.

At our (former) college, prospective high-school teachers get a bachelor's degee in whatever their primary field is going to be, supplemented with a set of courses in the education department. In the primary department, the courses are often packaged in a version of the major that is geared towards teachers, rather than graduate school or pre-med or whatever. The education courses prepare for the state teacher-certification exam.
 
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jtbell said:
After finishing her B.A. in German many years ago, my wife became certified to teach in New York not only in German, but also in French, because she had taken a number of French courses and had studied it for four years in high school.
YAS, That was the kind of stuff I was talking about.
 
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1. How much education is required to become a physics teacher in high school or gymnasium school?

To become a physics teacher in high school or gymnasium school, you typically need at least a bachelor's degree in physics or a related field. Some schools may require a master's degree or higher, especially for more advanced or specialized courses.

2. Do I need a teaching certificate to become a physics teacher in high school or gymnasium school?

Yes, most states require physics teachers to have a teaching certificate or license. This typically involves completing an approved teacher education program and passing state certification exams. Some states may have additional requirements, such as a background check or specific coursework in education.

3. Is it necessary to have prior teaching experience to become a physics teacher in high school or gymnasium school?

This varies depending on the school and location. Some schools may prefer or require candidates to have prior teaching experience, while others may be open to hiring individuals with relevant experience in other fields.

4. What skills and qualities are important for a physics teacher in high school or gymnasium school?

In addition to a strong understanding of physics concepts and theories, effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential for teaching and explaining complex concepts to students. Patience, adaptability, and a passion for teaching and learning are also important qualities for a physics teacher.

5. Are there opportunities for growth and advancement as a physics teacher in high school or gymnasium school?

Yes, there are various opportunities for growth and advancement as a physics teacher. This may include pursuing advanced degrees or certifications, taking on leadership roles within the school or district, or participating in professional development opportunities to enhance teaching skills and knowledge.

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