Originally Posted by mmadha
NYR, any advice for an aspiring teacher? I just finished my BA in History and am looking at teachers' education programs.
Its tough these days. In fact, in NYC there has been a hiring freeze and current attitudes towards teachers are pretty poor, especially among the uneducated portion of our society. Its also a lot more work than people seem to think. My advise would be to get all of your ducks in a row, pass all your tests, get as much certification as humanly possible, and you may even have to start teaching in private schools first to gain experience (or get yourself hired as a permanent substitute). Basically, make it impossible for a principal/district to NOT hire you when the time is right. Also, trying it out for a year in a private school will help you figure out if its something thats really for you.
Last thing, while it may be important to keep in mind the stuff you learn in your education classes, NONE of it is as helpful as teaching experience.
You ay also want to get yourself used to the new National Standards. These will be rolled out in NYC in the next few years, unless you're teaching in Texas and Hawaii, the only two states not partaking in this.
Originally Posted by FtRoyalty
Do you plan on staying in CA? Most states have websites devoted to teaching in that state and provide information about licensure and certification. If you want to teach next year, knock out out any required tests (Praxis II, content exams, etc.) as early as you can. In my experience, states are pretty strict about getting passing scores as these go into being "highly qualified" by NCLB. They are more forgiving about missing a few education courses and will probably grant you a provisional; however, this is not the case with tests.
Edit: Private schools usually don't require licensure. The cultures between public and private are very different, but the actual classroom teaching is basically the same.
^^^Good advise, but I disagree on the public and private being the same in the classroom. At least where I am. Private schools, although dependent on tuition, can toss any child who is a true disruption, or a child who's parents are not supportive enough, public school, not so much. That definitely finds its way into the classroom.
Originally Posted by Rugger
Entitled teachers thinking they're irreplaceable and that they possess the magical elixer of education(thinking a teaching degree makes you a good teacher, or better..that graduate classes make them more worthy of a teaching job and that they should be compensated for it) even though their school is failing, their students hate them and they are barely in touch with reality. Add on top of that over zealous and demanding teacher unions and their chain-mailing yuppies demanding a raise while the rest of the country suffers and people are losing jobs...whining about pay freezes...you get the idea.
I agree with the first part. We have these people from Colombia University in the NYC Schools who wouldn't last 10 seconds in our classrooms, but try and tell us the "right" way to do things. The most valuable education in our field is on the job training, not what some book about educational philosophy, written 70 years ago, says. The second part though is a bit unfair. If you added up all of the bonuses the CEO's and employees of federally bailed out companies (who caused much of this mess) got, it would more than enable every teacher in these places to get the raise they expect.
Originally Posted by pvrhye
Not all that rough. I have taught one class in the last month and a half. I can easily shrug off any BS for the luxurious downtime afforded. These days I'm more or less a professional poster on these boards.
I'm not sure if teaching one class for a month and a half qualifies you as a "teacher". If you have that much downtime, I guess you don't have much stuff to grade?
Originally Posted by deadly7
NYR, what's your opinion on changing teaching laws? I don't know how it is in NY, but in a lot of states, you can't teach unless you have XYZ degree, certificates, and "student teaching" hours. I know of a few professionals that would, one day, like to "give back" and try teaching. Unfortunately, there are many restrictions in place against that. Have you worked with people in industry, and would this be a good change?
Its just a way of holding off hiring new teachers. It goes in cycles. When I was hired 10 years ago, they pretty much gave anyone who wanted a job, with the promise they get all that stuff within X amount of years. With the way hiring freezes and pay freezes are now, its only a matter of time before we have a major teacher shortage again nationwide.