New Teachers

Change career to science education - where to begin?

Hi, I'm considering switching careers from medicine to science educator. Where can I find more information on how to start? Thanks! Eric

Eric Friedman
Eric Friedman
10 Activity Points

I did a similar change and the best advice I received was from a university counselor. They can help you decide which courses are needed. Do you have an idea of grade level and/or science content area?

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48540 Activity Points

Eric, Wonderful that you are considering a career change from medicine to science education. I work with many older students who are career changers perusing positions in science education. In the Boston MA area there is a great need for science educators. Your background in medicine would certainly be an asset Betty has given you great advice to talk to a university counselor. You might want to look at some of the disciplinary core ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards ( NGSS ) for how science is approached. For example, here are the introductions to middle and high school life sciences http://standards.nsta.org/AccessStandardsByDCI.aspx http://ngss.nsta.org/ms-life-sciences/ Middle School Life Sciences Students in middle school develop understanding of key concepts to help them make sense of the life sciences. These ideas build upon students’ science understanding from earlier grades and from the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts of other experiences with physical and Earth sciences. There are five life science topics in middle school: (1) Structure, Function, and Information Processing; (2) Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms; (3) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems; (4) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems; and (5) Natural Selection and Adaptations. The performance expectations in middle school blend core ideas with science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing useable knowledge across the science disciplines. While the performance expectations in middle school life sciences couple particular practices with specific disciplinary core ideas, instructional decisions should include the use of many science and engineering practices integrated in the performance expectations. The concepts and practices in the performance expectations are based on the grade-band endpoints described in the NRC Framework. http://ngss.nsta.org/hs-life-sciences/ High School Life Sciences Students in high school develop understanding of key concepts that help them make sense of life sciences. The ideas are building upon students’ science understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts from earlier grades. There are five life science topics in high school: (1) Structure and Function, (2) Inheritance and Variation of Traits, (3) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, (4) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and (5) Natural Selection and Evolution. The performance expectations for high school life sciences blend core ideas with science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing useable knowledge that can be applied across the science disciplines. While the performance expectations in high school life sciences couple particular practices with specific disciplinary core ideas, instructional decisions should include use of many practices underlying the performance expectations. The performance expectations are based on the grade-band endpoints described in the NRC Framework

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42070 Activity Points

Hi Eric-- With your background, you would certainly bring a "real-world" perspective to the classroom! Talking with a university counselor and reviewing NGSS documents would be good places to start. If you're interesting in public education, you should also consider the certification requirements in the state where you live/want to teach.

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
7925 Activity Points

HI Eric, I also was a "career changer" teacher. After serving in the Air Force, I did the Troops to Teachers program and became a science teacher. I am very happy with my decision to be a teacher. It is a really fantastic Like Mary, I think that the real world perspective that you would be able to offer your students would be fantastic! The advice to talk to a university counselor is a great idea. You can also consider volunteering in a school to see which grade levels and/or course you prefer. Many states offer alternative licensing procedures if you have a degree in science or work experience in industry, so you may be able to apply for a teaching certificate without any additional educational requirements. If your state does offer this option for your license, I'd suggest taking a classroom management course either online or at your local university. Once you begin teaching, NSTA offers a program called the New Teachers Academy (http://www.nsta.org/academy/). There are also many PD opportunities that are offered through NSTA, other teaching professional organizations, and through local school districts that can help you hone your teaching skills. Best of luck as you embark on your new career...and welcome to the teaching profession! Maureen

Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
40810 Activity Points

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