Teaching

Hi,

I am about to complete a Masters degree in science, geology concentration.

I will be offered close to 6 figure salaries and should take such a position to pay off student loans.

That said…I am being very much drawn to a life of service and have an aptitude for teaching. I would do best with high school honors type courses. While I do not have a teaching credential yet I understand if one has experience and is desired by a school that can be waived or obtained while teaching. My references are quite amazing through little effort of my own. I happened to impress several of the worlds finest geologists who would be happy to endorse me for such an undertaking.

My only stipulation is I be in a Catholic environment. I want to maintain my daily Mass schedule.

My wants and needs are small. I live comfortably on ~$1400 a month so imagine I could pay off my loan on a $35-40,000 a year salary. If I procure a position in a “needy” region I can have my debt reduced as well.

The parish I am part of just had a turn over and the priests are all new so I have not had the chance to contact them for suggestions.

I am just starting this search, although the draw has been for a long time, and hope to have some leads by the spring.

Thanks for any help or suggestions!

EP

I would only point out that some of my kids best HS teachers, especially in Math or Science, have been ones that had experience in industry for some period of time and then started teaching.

Please check your states’ credential requirements, some states do allow people without certification to teach in their major areas but my experience has been that only happens in critical shortage areas. A school can’t just hire someone who is not licensed over someone who is, unless your state is very different from the four I have taught in prior to retirement. If you have the opportunity to make some decent money you could pay off your loans while you take the classes you need for your license. I worked for ten years with new teachers during their first year of teaching and I want you to know that what you will learn in the classes that will lead to your certification will make teaching, even though you have a mastery of your subject, so much easier than trying to learn on the job so to speak. Before you turn down a high paying job be sure to check you idea out for its practicality,

Well stated.

You should look into Teach For America (TFA) or other similar programs. They focus exclusively on high-need areas, offer a process to get credentials, qualify you to get AmeriCorps grants to help pay off student loans, offer loan forebearance (until after your 2-year commitment with them), etc. It’s a really good program that has its heart in the right place (though you will certainly not be teaching in a Catholic school).

Also, my understanding is that if you teach in high-need districts for 5 years then you qualify for student loan forgiveness. Similar offers come with most civil service positions, such as social workers. Certainly beats paying the minimum for twenty years until your loan is forgiven automatically!

OK…

Look…I am well aware of the challenges I face which is why I turned here.

The USA is starving for science and math teachers and I am simply searching to refocus on the Catholic teaching opportunities.

As to the HS teachers with industry experience….I can say that 90% of the professors at the university level I have worked with have little to no industry experience. While it is true they have worked with industry it is more of consultant or had their own projects funded by industry. But pulling a regular industry paycheck; no.

IME Teaching is an art. I have worked with some brilliant scientists who do world class work but I would not let them teach a child to tie shoes! Then again there are some like me who have been teaching as graduate and undergraduate that it comes very easy and end up correcting the “professor” from time to time.

Thanks and please if any constructive advice.

EP

In the two states where I have any understanding of the teacher recruitment process (Florida and Georgia), all you have to do is take a series of tests (in Georgia it is called the GACE-- Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators) that show you’re essentially capable of being certified in your subject area. After you pass these tests, you can get hired as a teacher anywhere in the state. Once hired, however, you have two years where you need to be in the process of actually getting formally certified. I know Florida is very similar to this-- where you can get hired first as a teacher, and then go through certification within the first few years after landing the position.

Getting a bachelor’s degree in an educational field automatically confers certification, so if you didn’t get a B.S. in Education, this is the route you go.

true. Check Georgia’s ranking. It’s not great.

So should we strive to only be working where there isn’t an active up-hill battle? Some of the best teachers have the mindset, “Who are the most needy? Where is the most disparity? Where can my efforts do the most good for those in need?”

Georgia’s educational issues have a lot more to do with economic desperation in the inner-city than with their certification process for teachers.

I’m responding to the fact that there is more to teaching than knowing your content.
Most parents would like to know that their children’s teachers know learning methods, styles, types, and a fair amount of psych study.
My daughter had a teacher at Georgia State that was an architect. Couldn’t teach his way out of a paper bag. He was teaching drafting. his advice? “Do it like it shows in the book”.
What I’m talking about it the fact that not all professional people are qualified or capable of teaching effectively.
People can have all kinds of noble ideals, but still go about it the right way.
Even the Catholic schools are now reluctant to take people without advanced teaching degrees in Georgia.

To the OP: The Catholic school across from our parish only offers Mass once a month.
Likely unless the parish has an evening Mass everyday, you won’t be able to make daily Mass even in a Catholic school setting. I asked, when I was DRE there, to be able to walk across the parking lot for the 25 minute Mass 3 days a week. The answer was absolutely not.
Check all of this out before you sign on, if it means a lot to you,
God Bless.

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