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Physics Masters in Physics - High School teacher?

  1. Sep 15, 2009 #1
    I'm writing this for a friend of mine - really!

    He has a masters in Physics. He's currently teaching college level lab classes and thinking about becoming a high school Physics teacher. I know that all states have different requirements, but he's kind of at a loss for what to do to make that happen. I'm trying to find information on the internet to help him, but I can't get anywhere. Do you have to get a second masters to become a teacher? A certification program? Specifically interested in Arizona, but anywhere. Has anyone here gone into teaching after getting a masters? Just looking for someone to point me in the right direction. Thanks :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2009 #2


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    He's teaching at a college and he has no idea where to get information on becoming a teacher....? He should ask his department, they should know what credentials you need and what to do. Outside of that, the liberal arts/education department certainly would know too. The information should be surrounding him.
  4. Sep 15, 2009 #3
    I guess he went a meeting of some sort about how to become a high school teacher and they kept talking about getting a masters, but he thinks he won't need a second masters. I'm a little confused by the whole thing. I know nothing about education. He's been trying to get information and I guess is incredibly frustrated.
  5. Sep 16, 2009 #4
    Teacher credentialling is a function of state government. Therefore, I suggest looking at the state government website. In the case of Arizona, you'll probably end up looking at http://www.ade.state.az.us/certification/requirements/TeachingCerts/ [Broken].

    You don't need a master's degree, but they do want you to take a lot of education courses (30 credits), so I suppose that's not too far from a master's.

    If there is a shortage of physics teachers, it might also be possible to get an emergency credential.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Sep 16, 2009 #5
    Many states have a "Provisional certificate" option for people that do not have the Education certification. These are issued with a maximum duration (often around 5 years) and can not be renewed. During that time, the provisionally certified teacher must complete a state-approved certification program.

    Tell him to keep his eyes open for opportunities for "critical need" teachers as well. Fields (usually math, science, and special education) that are considered "critical need," that is, there are far more positions than qualified candidates, often have some decent incentives or opportunities that ease the transition into teaching.
  7. Sep 16, 2009 #6
    Thanks so much for all the help. How would you find places with critical needs for teachers? Any advice on who to contact for more information?
  8. Sep 16, 2009 #7
    In Arizona there is an online certification program offered by the Board of Regents. http://www.azun.net/Programs/programDetail.aspx?programID=70000

    Living in Arizona, I can tell you that most all schools here are in chronic need of science and math teachers, but the supply is currently large because large numbers of teachers were laid off in Arizona due to state budget cuts.

    The credentialing program will have information on open positions, as will the department of education at any of the three state universities. Most positions will be open in the Spring, because that is when new contracts are put out for teachers. Exceptions do exist of course. Local school districts will also put want ads in the usual places [classifieds, Monster, etc.].
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  9. Sep 18, 2009 #8
    Yea, finding a position will be trivial for him. However, I'd like to mention that high school teaching is a very different endeavor than teaching college, or even community college. He needs to be very aware of what he's getting into or it could be an ugly awakening.

    He'll work more, he'll teach less, and it'll be much harder.
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