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  1. Sep 6, 2010 #1
    Part 1 (Skip this if you would rather get to the point)

    Long story made short I'm an individual that was failed in the worst possible way by the US education system. I found school to be really basic, learned to read, early was really good at math, then school turned into repetitive nonsense that I mastered ages before, and I grew bored. I never did homework and slept mostly and had teachers continually hate me and say I wasn't smart enough to be in their classes only to have their own words tossed in their faces when I continually placed the top in my school through standardized testing. Even trying to address the issue with counselors eventually got me expelled into an alternative school where a lucky bond with burnt out science teacher reignited my desire to learn and I was given the outlets to do so. More issues with the rest of the teachers who seemed to despise me at the alt school as well forced me into a situation where I had to leave to get my GED or never graduate. So I left. Got it in one day.

    Afterwords I was 16 so most workplaces wouldn't hire me so I opened my own computer business, which at first was just me fixing viruses and misc problems on peoples computers (manually) without the aid of programs. Computers just kinda started making sense right about then and that turned into hardware upgrades, then building them, then making my own designs and cases, which turned into a venture into making specialized computers for disabled kids that would allow them to interact with video games like normal kids do every day, and then tutoring. Pretty much all that came with no formal training. Then the economy got bad. I offered a rare service that many people needed but skipped on cause of ailing bank accounts and I ended up in retail. . . Which is driving me insane, I'm valued because I can tell anyone who comes into our store exactly how and why anything in our store works, any console, device, electronic, or why it stops working, except that in retail I deal with the lowest common denominator of people, in my opinion some of the dumbest people in the world.

    Part 2 (Start here for the point)

    I'm 22 now and for the sake of my own sanity college seems like the best option, and I'm especially interested in teaching, something strongly encouraged by that incredible teacher I had in high school.

    I looked into all the teaching subjects and there are billions of pieces of information about everything EXCEPT science. So I have some questions.

    How does one go about getting to teach Science? (please explain in depth)
    Specifically High School Science? (Gotta start somewhere)
    Can you only teach the subject you get a degree in?
    Can you major in more than one field at a time?
    What field might I be good in? (See below information)

    I'm a dissector, I get it from my dad who always emphasized heavily that I know how to learn rather than be taught what. I have an infinite memory. I have an extremely thorough basic understanding of 90% of electronics, esp dealing with computers. I love knowing what makes something tick. I was never good at math until I got into to stuff like algebra, but science makes most math make sense to me because science often has concrete applications for mathematical formulas that make no sense to me out of context. I'm excellent at data entry, research by breaking stuff down analyzing it in pieces and making understandable conclusions and putting them into writing. I learn fast, significantly faster than most people, math may not make much sense to me, but after I "get" something I never lose the ability to remember how it works. I often find myself continuing the learning process just by thinking, I continue to make connections from one subject or theory long after I've learned it to another, I guess connecting the dots. I devote myself to my crafts, staying up for days, just to finish the next big thing, bridge that new gap, solve that problem that's vexed me for weeks.

    And most importantly, in the most extreme way imaginable I am completely used to being told no, or that I'm not good enough, or wont make it, or amount to anything, public school gave me that. I feel like I have something to offer people, I just want a chance to make a difference. I'm aiming at high school because just like a teacher once did for me you can inspire young people to get out into the world and realize their dreams.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2010 #2


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    I'm originally from Pennsylvania, so all info on certification comes from friends who went through the process there. Also, I am not a certified high school teacher nor ever plan on going through the process. Use this as a guide, but remember I am not an authority in the area.

    1. To be qualified to teach high school science you need to major in a scientific discipline in college, while also taking enough education courses to get certified to teach in your given state. There are also standardized exams in both your subject and general knowledge about education that need to be passed in order to get certified.

    2. Don't really know, but I have a friend who majored in physics and passed the certification exams for math and physics. He has taught both, though he primarily teaches physics I think.

    3. Yes, many people double or even triple major, though remember that the workload also doubles and triples.

    4. Based on what you said about liking concrete applications for math and fiddling with electronics. I'd suggest looking into studying some form of engineering. You'll learn enough math and physics to pass the subject parts of the teaching certification exams in those subjects. You'll also have many other career options should you change you mind about being a teacher.
  4. Sep 6, 2010 #3
    Teaching credentialling varies from state-to-state, so you'll need to check the requirements in your particular state.

    In CA, you need to have a bachelor's degree and take an approved teaching credentialling program, but I don't believe that your degree has to be in the subject you want to teach. You *do* have to prove competance in the field by taking a subject test as well as a general credential test (which is actually very SAT-like).

    In some states, there are short-cuts if you want to enter teaching from some other field, such as engineering. (Even in CA, there is an "emergency" credential... but when my wife wanted to become a teacher, she wasn't able to find a district willing to hire on that basis.)

    Anyway, check your state department of education website for details.

    And be aware that this is probably the worst possible time to go into education... budgets are being slashed everywhere!
  5. Sep 6, 2010 #4
    "And most importantly, in the most extreme way imaginable I am completely used to being told no, or that I'm not good enough, or wont make it, or amount to anything, public school gave me that."

    Oh, cry me a river already!
  6. Sep 6, 2010 #5
    Yeah, his attitude really sucks.

    @OP, I'd say that if you got a much better attitude against just about everything your life would get so much better. People in general treat you like you treat them, treat people with respect and you will get respected. Not always of course but it works in most cases.
    So learn to swallow your pride, will most likely be the most important thing you learn in your whole life.
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