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Sub vs full time teacher

  • Thread starter dsaun777
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I received a bachelors in mathematics fairly recently and I am thinking about a career in teaching. I know that you must posses a license to be a full time teacher in most schools, but what requirements are there for being a substitute teacher? I hear teaching can be too overwhelming for some people. For this reason I would like to try substituting before I try attempt a career of teaching. How much more time and education would I need to be able to obtain a license? Anyone else here from Massachusetts? They have pretty high standards in some schools.
 

berkeman

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I hear teaching can be too overwhelming for some people. For this reason I would like to try substituting before I try attempt a career of teaching.
What grade levels do you want to teach? I'm assuming that you want to teach at the high school level? I'm not of any help on the certification requirements, but on the issue of challenging environments, I do know that teaching math or science in public high schools can be a frustrating endeavor. In my experience (as a parent watching some HS classes in recent years), the level of disinterest and disrespect of many public school students right now is pretty hard to deal with. Teaching in a private school would probably provide you a better set of students...
 

phinds

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Unless you happen to be a substitute teacher for an extended period, being a substitute will not be much of an introduction to being a teacher. You will not have to create lesson plans, give and grade tests, worry about the long-term dynamics of the classroom, and on and on.

If you can't stand being a regular teacher for a year, you probably shouldn't even be thinking about being a teacher, so I'd say just try it.
 

phinds

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In my experience ... the level of disinterest and disrespect of many public school students right now is pretty hard to deal with.
My wife teaches high school and elementary school and that is EXACTLY what she complains about the most. It is horrible.
 
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What grade levels do you want to teach? I'm assuming that you want to teach at the high school level? I'm not of any help on the certification requirements, but on the issue of challenging environments, I do know that teaching math or science in public high schools can be a frustrating endeavor. In my experience (as a parent watching some HS classes in recent years), the level of disinterest and disrespect of many public school students right now is pretty hard to deal with. Teaching in a private school would probably provide you a better set of students...
I would like to teach serious students but I lack credentials to begin at a private school. And to be honest teaching high school students terrifies me. I would like to maybe teach middle school. I would probably like to try substituting just to get a feel for what is need to be a teacher before committing year of my life getting a license.
 

marcusl

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Be aware that substituting is, in many ways, harder than teaching year round. Think about how you treated substitutes when you were in jr. high--and you were probably better behaved than your peers. A lot of kids in band class traded instruments when a sub came in and played (horribly) something they had never tried before.
 

Dr Transport

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The pay sucks as a substitute, after leaving industry involuntarily, I took up substitute teaching while thinking about getting certified and going full time as a regular high school physics and math teacher as an alternative. I worked about 150 days during the school year and took a 90% pay-cut as a sub and would have taken a 60% pay-cut as a full time teacher starting with a PhD. To put it in perspective, I made more in my first month back in industry than I did in the previous 5 months working almost full time as a high school substitute. Ironically, I was the only staff member in the district with an actual degree in what I was teaching, none of the other science/math teachers had a BS/BA degree in their subject mater. The only one remotely qualified had a Chemical Engineering degree.

As was mentioned, the respect level from staff, admin, students and parents sucked as a sub, I was appalled.
 

CalcNerd

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Ironically, I was the only staff member in the district with an actual degree in what I was teaching, none of the other science/math teachers had a BS/BA degree in their subject mater.
Sadly, this is why our public schools do so poorly at educating for STEM type courses. Often teachers that were English majors in college end up teaching math at the lower (and sometimes higher) grade levels. A great (in a terrible way) example is simple mathematical precedence. I knew a fairly smart guy who didn't believe in it. His teacher taught him to do math from left to right (like a simple $1 calculator, ironically, that is how he proved himself right) because his grade school teacher taught him this method.
 
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I love teaching high school seniors. best age group. I also love teaching. I get to talk about something that I love day in and day out. I only report to work 180 days out of the year. in my city in Texas there are several alternative teaching certification programs that vary in length. the one that i attended was a four month program that taught me very little about actually teaching and more about district and state policies. I know other programs exist that are much longer and require you be in the class and do "student teaching". which I didn't have to do.

a mentioned above, you won't get much "teaching" experience being a sub. is what you will get is observing students at their most rowdy behavior. which could be beneficial to making your decision as well.

Ironically, I was the only staff member in the district with an actual degree in what I was teaching, none of the other science/math teachers had a BS/BA degree in their subject mater. The only one remotely qualified had a Chemical Engineering degree.
This is a thing at my school. I don't know anything about the whole district though. The other physics teachers at my school all have BS in biology. I'm the only one with a physics degree. And even with that it took the school three years to give me a physics class.
 

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