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How to become a teacher?

  1. Jul 25, 2008 #1

    I just have a question about how to become a teacher.

    Is there a specific college I need to graduate to become an elementary school teacher?

    I might consider becoming an art teacher or a science teacher, but I'm not sure

    what kind of college I need to be attending.

    Thank you for reading my question!>< Hope you know the answer!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2008 #2
    What country do you live in?
  4. Jul 25, 2008 #3


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    Just about any public university will offer the necessary programs.

    Best bet is to go for becoming a science teacher:


  5. Jul 25, 2008 #4

    Chi Meson

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    Waiting for an answer to Moose's question.

    Also, where are you right now in your education?

    And, (if you are in the US) don't be an art teacher! Anyone can be an art teacher. We need science teachers! If you have a degree in Physical Science Education (or the like) and you have any charisma at all, you can choose where you would like to live and get the plumb job of k-6 education.
  6. Jul 25, 2008 #5


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    My dad, a lifetime teacher, always told me that with a degree in physics I'd have worldwide job security as a science teacher, and could always feed myself, anywhere.

    He also told me that as a male, I'd have no problem getting a job at a public elementary school, as long as I appeared competent.

    So, I offer his words to you.

    Since it sounds like you want to be a teacher, over teaching something specific, consider a degree in Education.
  7. Jul 28, 2008 #6
    oh, I'm sorry, I live in VA, but I might want to teach outside of VA. (Just a thought^^)
  8. Jul 29, 2008 #7
    I live in Belgium at the moment and my girlfriend, both her parents, her brother and her brother's girlfriend are all teachers. Seriously! I'm like the black sheep engineer. You know how it feels when you see a non science kind of guy sitting in a group of engineers as we discuss aerodynamics or crack jokes about trying to differentiate a complex function? This is what it feels like to be the only engineer at a dinner table full of teachers! I am often very quiet and often daydreaming about fixing my computer or something. :wink:

    BTW, they all studied a degree or diploma in teaching at a college or university in Belgium. I was thinking about moving over to teaching too, but maybe at a later time after I have done a little more design work. I was also wondering what it would take to become a teacher if I already have an engineering degree. They get three and a half months of paid leave per year, a decent salary (even compared to my system engineering salary, maybe I don't get enough!), half days on Wednesdays and the other days are 8:30 - 16:00. Pretty cushty if you ask me. Then again, I'm not sure if I have the minerals to teacher 25 10 year olds from 8:00 'til 16:00 every day for years on end. I think it's a lot more demanding than people realise.
  9. Jul 29, 2008 #8


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    All right, its my turn. I have degrees in Physics and Math, my job in industry is going to hell in a hand basket. Last spring I was helping the local High school electronics teacher with her class, enjoyed it very much. I would like to get into teaching, not clear that I can afford to drop everything to take even a years worth of courses to be come certified (some say I am already certifiable, does that count?).

    Does anyone know of any grants which would help me move from industry to the class room? I have over 30yrs work experience would love to share my knowledge with high school kids.
  10. Jul 29, 2008 #9

    Chi Meson

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    For those with degrees in science, many states have an accelerated certification process that can take care of all the hoop-jumping in one summer. In Connecticut it is called the ARC program ("Alternative Route to Certification"). CT has, by the way, the strictest certification requirements, though still too easy in my opinion.

    There are also plenty of allocations that vary district by district on "Emergency placements" where teachers can begin teaching before they actually complete their certifications. This is always necessary to fill science positions. Good thing about this option is that the district will then pay for your certification classes (or half, at the very least).

    Last I heard, only 60% of high schools across the country even offer Physics, and of those that do, about half of them are taught by teachers with degrees in physics. If you find a moderately sized school district, where there are about 1000 students in the high school, you can become "The Physics Teacher," which is essentially an untouchable position even in your first year. All you have to do is not commit a felony, and you are as good as tenured from the get-go.
  11. Jul 29, 2008 #10

    Chi Meson

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    The Ed school at UVa offers a specific degree in Physics Education. It has a separate admissions from the rest of UVa, so it is easier to get in. I think it's a 2-year program, but I'm not sure; you might need to transfer in some regular credits from another college. Even though the Ed school is "not quite" UVa, you still get a degree "from UVa," which looks good.

    That's what I'd do. Plus you get to live in Charlottesville.
  12. Jul 29, 2008 #11

    i live in Belgium too, Ghent to be more specific. Is it true that your salary is an engineer is not that high compared to a high school teacher's ? That sounds rather strange to me.

  13. Jul 29, 2008 #12


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    NY is looking for anyone with a degree or experience in Math and Physics for the position of science teacher. Talk to the education department in the state and the local school district with respect to requirements.
  14. Jul 30, 2008 #13
    In terms of netto cash in my account at the end of the month, the difference is about €200-€300. That's not a huge difference in my experience. In South Africa, where I used to live, engineers make about 5 times as much as teachers do. I'm a system engineer working 40 hours a week with 2 years of experience and my gf is a kleuterleidster working about 32 hours a week in her first year of work. Granted, I do get groepsverzekering, maaltijdscheques and a hospitalisatieplan. I guess that stuff adds up too :wink: But I figure that covers the 8 hours a week extra I work and the differences in leave we get (she gets 3 and a half months, I get 20 days)

    I'm not complaing too much though, she does look after 2 and a half year olds and works really hard. I like being an engineer too, so no problemo. I would like to share knowledge though. One of the reasons I joined PF actually.

    Oh and I live in Lede and work near Antwerpen and hang out in Wetteren. Did you enjoy the Genstefeesten? I went a few evenings, it was my first experience of the Duvel tent :biggrin: and of the whole fetsival actually. I enjoyed it! :approve:
  15. Jul 30, 2008 #14
    Are you sure you are not underpaid ?

    I mean, normally a teacher starts out at 1200/1300 euro's netto a month while an engineer (burgerlijk ingenieur dan toch) starts out at 1500/1700.

    Ohh, quite close. I was born in Wetteren ! Loved the Gentse feesten, not as many people as normal. But still around 1,5 million visitors.

    Well, i studied physics and now i am working in a bank. Pay is quite good. Maybe consider a change ? :)

  16. Jul 30, 2008 #15
    Well she must be at the upper end of her scale and I must be at the lower end of mine. That would account for the 200 - 300 euro difference.

    I'm going straight to the boss to demand a raise! ummmm, maybe i should get off PF first :wink: :redface:

    Thanks for your concern Marlon :) I'm not sure I want to work for a bank just yet, but have thought about it. (think we might be going off topic...)
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