Have you ever thought of becoming a teacher?
Maybe you are like me and got a Bachelor’s degree in one field and years later realized it just wasn’t a good fit any more. My first time in college, I zoomed through Engineering school and started work right away. Oh, I was so naive and green it’s painful to think back about myself in the situations I faced. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say right?
Now I’m in my 40s and pursuing a new career – teaching.
I don’t know why that seemed like such a weird option when I look at all the things leading up to this. As a little girl I remember lining up my teddy bears and teaching them math problems. As an adult I’ve written a book to help young people go out on their own – click here to learn more. It makes sense that I’d love to help teach kids in a formal setting.
Ok, so this idea was suggested to me by a couple different people in over a week or two time this past April/May. It took a while to get through my thick skull that maybe this was the career path I was trying to find. In late 2018 and early 2019, I put my resume out to over 30 different jobs mainly for engineering or a related field. Never heard back at all from anyone! That was a big flag that was waving around in front of me but I hadn’t figured out until two friends and I think my parents suggested being a teacher.
I thought, “No way do I want to have to go back through college again! I don’t have time for that!“
Turns out it works out because lots of states offer an alternative certification program for people that have already graduated from college with a certain grade point or higher. From searching online, it looks like all states offer this through specific programs per the state. Here in Louisiana, a 2.5GPA from the Bachelor’s degree is required and generally passing of Praxis I and II tests. But if your ACT score was 22 or more, then you can be exempt of taking the Praxis I. I’m not sure if this is true for all states though so be sure to check it out for your specific state.
Other great things about this alternative certification, is that I can work as a teacher after a specific amount of classes are taken. The application process wasn’t at all stressful. I was a bit anxious about the interview to be accepted into the program but the department head and professors were gracious and encouraging. For the university I’m attending, there are summer classes, spring & fall evening classes, and online classes.
So far, I’ve started my first class this summer online. It’s interesting and is about childhood psychology, adolescents, and early adulthood. I have 100% so far so good! My second class will start in July and juggling two classes might be a little more tricky but I’ll push through.
A TIP: You can study for the Praxis tests. The Praxis I test is a general knowledge test. The Praxis II test is specific to whatever you are hoping to teach and the grades you are wanting to teach. For more information on these tests visit the Praxis website here.
I am nervous about the Praxis II test. It has been 20+ years since math has sparked in my brain. Whew. Those cobwebs have been so hard to clear out studying. The good news if I do not pass the test, in 3 weeks I can try again after even more studying. I’m hoping to not have to retake it, but it does relieve some pressure just in case.
Another thing to note, at least for Louisiana, is there is a primary education certification and a secondary education certification. I have high hope of teaching high school math and maybe physics. Being a nerd is finally starting to pay off with this potential job!
If you have ever thought of becoming a teacher, check with your local school board. There are likely programs for alternative certification in your state. These may have some online classes as well!