Advice for career change to H.S. History

Discussion in 'High School' started by nutoteaching, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. nutoteaching

    nutoteaching Rookie

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    Nov 30, 2018

    Any help will be appreciated...

    I am currently in a job I grow less and less happy with.

    I do, however, love history, went to college for a BA in history, and later returned after a few years in the military for a master's in history. To be clear, I did not follow through with the master's, although, I was doing very well in it.

    I want to teach history. I want to teach only history... While I was progressing through the master's, I was told by multiple teachers advising me that I may end up as a social studies teacher and may be asked to teach economics, geography, psychology.... I lost interest. I was also told I would be teaching at a public school in an urban setting to start. Again, I lost interest. I can only see myself at a private school, probably in the suburbs.

    Is it true I may be asked to teach another subject if I go into social studies? If I go into a history teachers program, how competitive will it be on the other side?

    Is it also true teachers begin in public (urban) schools? Is there competition for private schools?

    Thank you.
     
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  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 30, 2018

    I can't speak for all districts, but I'll tell you how mine works:
    1. High school history jobs are posted as high school social studies jobs. You could have 5 sections of geography and 1 section of government/econ. You could teach 3 sections of US history and 3 sections of world history. It all depends on the needs of the school. You get what you get.
    2. High school social studies positions are generally the most competitive. Aside from multiple subjects credentials, the second most popular credential to earn is a social science credential (that's what it's called in CA).
    3. All new teachers don't start their career in an urban school. I started out my career in a Title I, low socioeconomic school (nearly 100% free lunch). However, it was the best experience of my life. After working in several schools throughout my district, I've gleaned that kids are kids--whether they come from the projects or the golf course community.
    4. I have no info about private schools other than the fact that they make significantly less money than public school teachers (in my area, that is). They're grossly underpaid.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  4. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Nov 30, 2018

    I'm a middle school social studies teacher, so it's a little different, but I can tell you that it's probably pretty unrealistic to find a job in social studies, let alone just history. In fact, in the state of Ohio, where I live, the 7-12 degree to be a history teach is called "Integrated Social Studies." Basically, you won't even get hired as a teach if you have a history degree. Districts want to see that you are well-rounded and are able to move you around, if needed. I would re-evaluate your expectations for this one.
     
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  5. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Dec 4, 2018

    Where I am you would teach World History, American History, or Civics and Economics. You might also teach Psychology, but there are fewer sections of it since it is an elective. As a HS history teacher you would be expected to teach any of those classes.

    You would probably also be expected to coach a sport. I don't know why it is, but most of the history teachers are also coaches in my district. It would be possible but unlikely to get a history job without also being willing to coach.

    Do teachers begin in urban schools? I live in a rural area so no, in my area teachers do not begin at urban schools. I do think most private school teachers start out as public school teachers or have a personal connection to the private school (alum, parent, relative of someone).
     
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  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Some states' public-school systems do still offer a history license that's distinct from either a generalist social-science or social-studies license or licenses in economics, geography, civics, anthropology, etc. - but fewer do this than used to even a decade ago. If you're genuinely not interested in teaching anything but history, nutoteaching, the pickings are likely to be rather shockingly slim.
     
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  7. nutoteaching

    nutoteaching Rookie

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    Thank you all for taking the time to reply.
     
  8. Clay Morgan

    Clay Morgan Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2019

    Hey nutoteaching,

    It really is state by state. In Tennessee, US/World History, US Government, Economics, Geography, etc., are all separate endorsements.

    At least here, a key to being more competitive is being able to teach and/or do other things (subjects, coaching, etc.).
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Yes, I'm pretty sure it would depend on the state. You might want to look at teaching at the college level if you're adamant about what you want to teach. I would definitely think though you would need some teaching experience prior to that.
     
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  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    As well as completing that master's degree.
     
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  11. hmsmark

    hmsmark Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2019

    Honestly, I don't think teaching is for you if you have the attitude that you only want to teach History. Here's why:
    1. Social Studies/History teachers are the most glutted field in teaching. While you may read articles about a teacher shortage, there are plentiful numbers of teacher candidates in the Social Studies in most parts of the country.
    2. Only wanting to teach History would make it even less likely you would obtain one of the few numbers of Social Studies jobs.
    3. Only wanting to teach in a private suburban school makes it even far less likely you will get a job because if anywhere has a need of social studies teachers, it is in urban schools.
    4. This may not be a deal breaker for you, but private schools typically pay next to nothing. You will likely make more money at Walmart. I am not joking.
    5. Even if you do get a History only teaching job, you will still have to teach other things within your class. They may have advisory, where you teach social emotional skills, you may have to dedicate time to test prep, where you teach English or even math drills. You may have a Government unit built in to your History curriculum.

    Honestly, you may be more comfortable trying to move into college/university teaching. This will probably give you more of what you're looking for.
     
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  12. nutoteaching

    nutoteaching Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2019

    I am very grateful to all of you and your advice. I have taken some time to digest your replies and think of something to ask in return, so this is what I got.
    1) What states are there that strictly hire History teachers? I believe I read TN above, but who else? I have made attempts to look this up, but I cannot seem to find a webpage (or series of ones) with that information. I understand this move may limit the possibility of teaching between states.
    2) After careful thought, I suppose my main concern is being asked to teach something like psychology or economics. I am pretty confident I can take on something like government or geography. And, I should clarify here, I actually look forward to something like coaching and advisory. I can help with basic math and am more than willing and able to help with whatever personal curve-balls they are trying to swing at. Realistically, how rare is it for a new Social Studies teacher to be asked to teach psychology or economics? My hunch is that it is exceptionally rare. Is that accurate?
    3) I think I adjusted my goals based off of your replies :) . I would like to seek employment with a public school probably in the suburbs (or even rural to begin with). I went to a public school in the suburb, so my concern is that I would not be a cultural fit for students in an urban school. Do others share this concern with me, and if so is there a way to navigate around this to land a position in the suburbs. I am aware the suburbs may compensate better, so they may be more competitive. Am I accurate with that statement? However, at least to start, it is the culture differences that concern me most.
    Thanks again for all of your help. I look forward to your replies.
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mar 17, 2019

    A rural school would likely be an adjustment, too. We have had suburban teachers come to our rural school and leave after a year or two. It just wasn’t for them.

    We have so many social studies teachers. We have them more than any other teacher.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Wait, why do you have such an excess of social studies teachers at your school? Are there so few of other subjects taught or do you mean that there are too many social studies teachers comparative to the other subjects that are teachers are licensed for?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 18, 2019

    Each state's department of education is the best source as to whether that state offers a teacher license in history only rather than bundling history in with other social sciences. Try Googling "___ teacher license subject areas", where the blank is filled with a US state name, and looking for websites that end in .gov and/or contain the string "doe" and/or show other signs of being owned by or associated with the state department of education. The first two or three states may be frustrating and time-consuming, but after that you'll probably start to get a sense for how the information you want tends to be packaged.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We have multiple candidates for social studies positions, and we have trouble finding teachers for science, language arts, and math.

    Plus, many of the teachers we currently have are certified for social studies and another area.
     
  17. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    We have openings in some Midwest states, but you are really limiting yourself if you restrict yourself to only history.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t understand why so many people get social studies and elementary teaching credentials when the market is over-saturated with them.

    Nonetheless, I wish the OP best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019

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