Can I become an elementary or middle-school teacher with a B.S. in biology?

Question:I have been married to my husband for about 4 years, and we're thinking about having children, but the public school system our kids would have to attend does not have a very good record. I've taught 5 semesters of college level biology courses during graduate school with outstanding results, and have organized many presentations about biology to elementary schools (with great feedback also, but it might have been because I brought animals with me). Please tell me what you know. Thanks.

Answers:
This would be easier to accomplish in a state with a teacher shortage. I teach in the state of Florida and to combat a severe teacher shortage, anyone with a four-year-degree can apply for a temporary educator's certificate if they are willing to take and pass a general knowledge education test. This is called alternative certification. The individuals then have three years to complete a beginning teacher program (often paid for by the school district you are teaching in) and take several additional tests and pass them. Many successful teachers have began their careers this way. However, it does require a commitment to starting a new career, earning less salary, and learning about the teaching profession through hard work and trainings. I have taught for 4 years, and I did not begin my career this way, but you are bringing an attribute to the profession that many others won't. It would be wise of you to connect with principals and share some evidence of your work in biology. Especially helpful would be the elem. presentations on biology. Hopefully you have some pictures or other documentation of your previous work with children. The best thing about your particular timing is that NCLB is moving toward including standardized science scores when deciding if individual schools have made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) making somebody with your skills and background more desireable. I hope this helps you consider teaching. Find your state's departement of education website to find information on transition to teaching or new teacher certification requirements.
Yes
I would think You would do a great job. You'll need to earn a credential and pass subject matter verification. look into your local university if this is the way you'd like to start. Check with the district, often districts have alternative credentialing routes.

I know in Los Angeles, our district offers what is called a district intern. all credential classes are held locally, it is a 2-3 year program which takes care of all classes, and requirements while you are working in your own classroom.

good luck!
It depends on the state/district. You will probably have to take some classes and pass a licensure exam. I changed certifications last year after 6 years of teaching in order to meet NCLB requirements and had to take classes and pass a new exam. I think I knew more than the professor who had *never* taught a high school class before.
You will need to take 1 semeseter of required education classes, do student teaching and take the PRaxis test for each grade and course of study.
If you are used to college aged students I'd recommend getting into an education program and getting your certification to teach 9-12 science or bio. There are tons of openings in the sciences and mathematics fields, and you'd probably really enjoy working with high school or jr. high aged kids. I do.
In Texas you can.

Houston has a one year program called ACP http://www.houstonisd.org

during this year you can teach and earn your salary. If I can be of help just ask me.

W Thomaz
Math teacher

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