|Teaching High School Without Certification
Click here to check out Dr. Lynn Friedman's new website, with more comprehensive information on work-life, psychology, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
I am a senior biology major. Over the last few months I have been
thinking that I might enjoy a career in high school teaching. I spoke
with a professor in the School of Education, about this interest, he
advised me that in order to teach I would have to obtain certification.
I have only a semester remaining. Obtaining certification will require
an additional year and a half of school. I am uneasy about assuming the
additional debt especially since I am not 100% sure about committing
myself to this goal. How might I test out this interest? Must I really
be certified in order to teach?
Not fully committed
Actually, I do have a couple of thoughts. In order to test-out your
interest and to qualify yourself for a teaching job, you should obtain
tutoring and teaching experience. These activities will allow you to
establish contacts and to develop some preliminary teaching skills.
Also, there is indeed a way to test out your interest in teaching
without obtaining certification. You can teach at an independent
(formerly known as "private") school. In order to credential yourself
for such a position, you need to do well academically, obtain tutoring,
teaching and/or summer camp experience. Also, these schools typically
require faculty to coach a sport or two. So, successful experience on
the playing field is a real asset. Similarly, experience in clubs and
activities such as the newspaper or the chorus as well as a willingness
to coach these activities is a real advantage.
Applying to these schools, in many ways, is easier than tapping the
public school market, particularly if you are not too picky about
location. There are two companies that will market you to potential
schools, they are Carney Sandoe
in Boston and
Independent Educational Services
in Arlington, Virginia.
Carney Sandoe is free to the applicant.
IES charges a nominal fee. Before interviewing you should make it your
business to obtain the school's public relations materials. Be sure to
look the part. If you are a graduate of an independent school yourself
that will be an advantage. Also, it might be helpful to arrange to
visit an independent school and talk to people who teach in one so that
you can become familiar with how they operate. You may also want to check
out the National Association of
Independent Schools and
Teach for America. Also, many places, including New York City, hire
without certification. Look into obtaining temporary certification.