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Teaching Certificate While In School?

  1. Apr 23, 2009 #1
    I am an upcoming college sophomore who is planning on double-majoring in math and physics. Currently, I have taken Calculus I, and have independently studied Calculus II and III, as well as some linear algebra. I seem to pick up math very easily, and break things down, learn the material inside out, and as a result I can relay information on a level most people can grasp. That, combined with fricken loving math has me wanting to find ways to make money off of it while attending school.

    I come from an area where the education system is lacking. I also graduated from a private school where degrees aren't required to teach. Once I get my minor in math (or maybe even before) would it be possible for me to get a teaching certificate (or something) that will enable me to teach summer school possibly at one of the private schools in my area?

    I figure that this would look good for grad school as well.

    If this isn't feasible, would I have any other options?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2009 #2
    Teaching certificates are a very local thing. Without knowing what state you live in (or even if you live in the US), it is impossible to tell you what is possible in your particular situation.

    That said, a bachelor's degree is usually a requirement for most teaching certificates. (Whether you could convince a private school to hire you without one is a different question entirely.)
  4. Apr 23, 2009 #3
    Certification processes depend on the state, which generally has requirements that require a form filled out by an accredited educational institution (via some form of degree in education be it a minor or some program in education, a bachelor's degree in education, or a master's degree in education). These all typically require some supervised experience in teaching (like an internship under an experienced teacher with occasional observations by a faculty member). So you will have to look into requirements at your particular institution (if seeking a master's, you could do it at a different institution). Note also note that to become certified, you must pass a battery of tests (the "PRAXIS" tests) -- national test, though your state determines which are required for its certification process.

    In my experience, to become licensed as a substitute teacher still generally required a bachelor's degree in some field, though not education.

    Private schools, since they don't accept state or federal funds, don't have any restrictions regarding hiring. Certification is, however, often viewed as a large plus in the hiring process. More and more, private schools are becoming charter schools however, and since those do accept funds, they generally are required to have some minimum percentage of their teachers be certified (depending on the amount of funding they receive).... this is especially true in cases of student enrollment with "vouchers."

    I do have one friend who once served as a substitute teacher one term for one class of physics at his former high school, which was private. This was even during his senior year of college (back in 1995 at least). I think this case was rare however. If you have connections, you MIGHT be considered qualified to teach a summer class of physics or math... but I'm also not sure how many private schools offer summer classes. In my experience (which consists mostly of public education), most summer classes are remedial (so there are possibly some in lower level math). I also suspect that if they are offered by a private school, it likely that the normal teacher would want to teach these classes... since at private schools the salary scale is generally lower than at public schools (where the scale is already low!).

    In my opinion, you'd probably be better served (monetarily) in you found a research position in a professor's lab. This would also look better if you do intend to go to graduate school. Of course as a rising sophomore... your experience level is probably considered low for either position (teaching or research). At your home institution, however, you might have a shot at getting a research spot if you know your faculty well. Sometimes getting in the lab early is considered optimal... since they can train you and then get good use out of you through your remaining three years.

    Good luck!
  5. Mar 10, 2011 #4
    These all naturally need a few managed practices in training (like a placement below a knowledgeable educator with rare observations by a faculty member). So you will include to appear into necessities at your exacting institution (if looking for a master's, you might do it at a special organization).
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