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Teaching Highschool Physics

  1. Nov 6, 2007 #1

    I was wondering what requirments are there beyond a Bs is physics to teach highschool physics. I believe you have to have teaching certificate, does any one know what goes into obtaining this? I was thinking as a first job out of college I might want to teach physics. I have heard they will pay for grad school while you teach. Though I guess this may vary per state. I live in Maryland if anyone happens to know the states guidlines in particular.

    I dont want it to be a career but I am think about getting a degree in Astronautical Engineering and I was thinking about teaching and getting the public school system to pay for my degree. Does anyone know if there are any commitment requirements if they do pay for tour degree? And I am not settled on teaching here in Maryland so if anyone knows any other states requirments that would be usefull too.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2007 #2
    This is not a requirement to teach high school physics anywhere I've heard of, although I've hardly made an extensive study of it since my career interests aren't in that direction. My high school physics teacher majored in Biology, for example.

    The programs that pay for your education if you teach (the federal ones, anyway - private scholarship money does whatever it wants) do so mostly in the form of forgiving your student loans after the fact. I believe they suspend payments/interest while you're teaching, and negate the loans in one chunk after a time requirement is met. I believe there are also constraints on where you can teach to be eligible, e.g. the program is slanted in favor of getting people to teach at "bad" schools.

    Two points to consider: it doesn't work for any teaching position of your choice, and the time requirement is long enough that the difference in pay would probably mean you make more money just getting an engineering job and paying off your student loans the traditional way. Regardless, they don't "pay for your degree" up front, although there are certainly plenty of "future teacher" scholarships.
  4. Nov 6, 2007 #3
    In Texas, you have to have a degree, and go through an accreditation program, and pass the test.

    As for your other questions, those are rather difficult to answer, at least from my view point. My fiancee is a teacher in Missouri and she has mention a few times that the school will pay for her to get her Masters in Mathematics or Education. It's difficult to teach and obtain your masters though. It's fairly time consuming commitment to be a teacher, or at the very least, an effective teacher. I would assume that if the school is paying for you to get an advance degree, they'll want you to teach for as many years as they paid you to get that degree.

    A friend of mine did the whole, get paid by the army to do research as an undergraduate and grade student, but for every year they pay for you, you have to work for them upon completion of your degrees. I would imagine if a school did pay for your advance degree, they'll want something along that line from you.
  5. Nov 6, 2007 #4
    Advanced degrees are probably an exception in many places, didn't think of that. You can often get the same arrangement from other employers, too. Doesn't really work for undergrad.

    Good for Texas. I wish more places would use Math majors for math teachers, Physics majors for physics teachers...there is a bit of a supply/demand issue, but the scenario of having an education major teach math, and the math major teach music because they're junior and the math job pays more seems to happen more than one would like. Two of my high school math teachers were decently clueless, as a result...and the one I had that actually knew the subject got shoved into something else after a year for pretty much the reason I mentioned. :yuck:
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