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Teaching High School Without Teacher Certification?

  1. May 15, 2010 #1
    As title asks, is it possible?

    I'm eventually aiming for a bachelor's in pure math with minor in philosophy/physics. I could get my master's before or after getting a job.


  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2010 #2
    It's pretty common at private schools. Public, not so much. Your resume will probably get scanned for certification and then ignored if there is none.

    But depending on where you live, getting licensed may be easy. In my state all you have to have is a degree in anything and then you have to pass two tests, one a writing one and the other in your intended subject. I got licensed in a day, although within 5 years I'm supposed to upgrade it by taking the usual Mickey Mouse teacher courses.
  4. May 15, 2010 #3
    Is a bachelor's preferred to a master's? (Thinking lower entry salary means you're more appealing) Is experience necessary if you've done amazing in your undergrad with or without research all whilst not having cert?

  5. May 15, 2010 #4
    If you want to be a math teacher, no one really cares how much math you know beyond the state-mandated minimum. When my wife was transitioning from a computer programmer to a high school math teacher, she was *never* asked a single question about math at any job interview. (Everyone assumed that she knew enough, since she had passed the subject test for her teaching credential.)

    (Incidently, despite having a master's degree in math and a master's degree in computer science, she ultimately had to go back to school for a year to get her teaching credential before anyone would hire her. Your mileage may vary.)
  6. May 15, 2010 #5
    The whole point of various teaching fellowships (Teach for America, Teaching Fellows in NY) is to get people without education degrees teaching. The fellowships usually pay for masters degrees in education in exchange for two or three years of service in (usually inner city) public schools.
  7. May 16, 2010 #6


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    From what I hear, it can be awful, especially in California. I've heard of stories where people had dozens of years teaching experience, a PHD in their field, and they couldn't get a job at a high school (they wanted to get into HS teaching... they didnt HAVE to get into it :P) because they weren't credentialed. Oh and as someone pointed out, they don't care if you know your subject. I remember reading an article about a test school they were trying out in new york where the pay was extremely high so when teachers were interviewed for the job, they were actually grilled on their subject and ability to teach it and some who were interviewed (that is, by a newspaper) said it was the first time in their 30 years of teaching that they were actually asked about their knowledge of their subject.

    Everyone I know and people who have known peers who went through credentialing said it was the biggest waste of 2 years in their lives, yet everyone knows you have to do it, no exceptions.
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