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Just signed up to take my educator licensure exams

  1. Oct 20, 2012 #1
    So, I'm a first year physics grad student who's absolutely miserable in these grad classes. However, being a teaching assistant and running my own lab sections is my absolute favorite part of my week. I actively look forward to getting in front of the class and helping the students.

    I was a tutor for 3 semesters in undergrad, as well as a grader for 3 semesters and a lab assistant for a semester (some overlap there), and I enjoyed all of that as well. It was initially my intention to get my Ph.D and become a professor, but the key point in that goal was I'd be teaching. It occurs to me I don't need a Ph.D to teach. There was a high school teacher at my undergrad university that kept trying to recruit me (and others) to consider teaching high school. He says it's tons of fun.

    Well, I've decided that I'm going to refocus my efforts on becoming a high school teacher. It occurs to me that I just enjoy teaching, and I'm hoping there's not a huge difference between teaching these 19 year old kids and teaching ~15-17 year old kids. So, I just paid my money to sign up for the MTEL (Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure) exams.

    Does anybody have any words of advice for me? Any high school physics teachers want to confirm or deny that it's enjoyable? Should I run as far as possible from this path?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Disclaimer: what I am going to write is based not on personal experience with teaching, but on observations of discussions of those that teach.

    Please remember college students are a selected group (the cream), while HS students are just a bunch of average kids (just a milk). What you deal with now will be seriously diluted by those much less focused and much less interested. Teaching them can be still interesting, but you will have to spend much more time motivating them to work, than discussing interesting parts of the subject.

    Do you remember your tutoring rant? Start assuming it will be a norm, not an exception.
  4. Oct 21, 2012 #3
    Yes, I haven't forgotten the tutoring rant. I have an additional year of experience since then, and I feel that the highs of teaching outweigh the lows.

    I think I'd be a little easier on high school students than college students, because I know the high school students have no choice but to be there. College students are in college voluntarily, which is why it's more of a shock when they put in no effort.

    In high school, I put in no effort, and graduated with something like a 1.5 GPA. So in a way, I can empathize with high school students who don't try. Of course, I have no way of knowing this for sure until I actually do it.
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