Description: Kindergarten through senior in high school (K-12) teaching opportunities can be found in both public and private schools. Graduates with advanced degrees in science are likely to find opportunities in teaching science classes at a high school or a middle school rather than in a primary school. The choice between teaching at a public or a private school is a personal one, as there are advantages and disadvantages to either setting. To be qualified to teach at public K-12 schools, one needs to have a teaching degree or a post-Bachelor teaching certificate. Certificates are designed for individuals, who have a bachelor’s degree in fields other than teaching, and wish to earn a formal teaching credential. However, teaching certification is not required for teaching at a private school. A great K-12 teacher is someone who loves teaching and enjoys being around young students on a daily basis. Teachers often have additional extracurricular responsibilities (i.e. coaching, community services, advising, etc) in addition to teaching in the classroom. However, this is more common in private schools.
Advantages of an advanced degree: While an advanced degree (PhD) in biomedical science can help you obtain a position in teaching advanced science classes at a high school, it is not a requirement.
Key competencies: Key competencies in K-12 teaching are an ability to design a curriculum (only applicable in private school setting), organize and prepare lesson plans, and ability to present clearly to students at beginning to intermediate levels. Importantly, K-12 teachers also need to be able to relate to young students.
On-campus student organization: None.
First steps: Anyone who is interested in pursuing teaching in K-12 schools should communicate with his or her thesis advisor and to seek out some teaching opportunities during graduate school. At the very least, one should serve as a teacher’s assistant (TA) in classes offered to graduate students. In addition, one should reach out to someone in the BGS office who can provide them with more guidance in obtaining teaching opportunities.
Videos: None available yet.
Alumni network: Contact Rebecca Lopez
- What Is a Public School? | Teach.com
- Ben Orlin, Why Are Private-School Teachers Paid Less Than Public-School Teachers? | The Atlantic
- Understanding Licensure & Certification Requirements | Teach.org