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Topic: Any college professors here? I want to pick your brain

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Subject: Any college professors here? I want to pick your brain
Date Posted: 3/10/2011 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
Posts: 436
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Hello fellow PBSers,


I graduated last year from my university with an English BA. I didn't do any kind of teaching program, take any courses. However, after I graduated, I decided to go for my creative writing MA. The thing is, a lot of people lately have been heavily suggesting I go into teaching. But since I didn't go that route, I'm confused as to how I could do it. When I say this to those individuals, they tell me how about looking into teaching at a community college, etc?


Obviously all places are different as to how to get to that point, what you need etc. But I'd like to know if anyone can share with me some information. I'm not sure whether to pursue this line, but I'd like to be better informed so I can have more to say when people suggest teaching. Personally, I wouldn't mind teaching creative writing at the college level or even to young kids, but I'm completely at a loss as to what I need, how to go about it and so on.


I've made a few tentative attempts to find out, but it's frustrating, I get many different answers and wind up putting off my search for another day. I'd also like to know if this is even an option. I spent enough years as it is getting my AA and BA degrees. I'm not sure if I'm up to going back for a whoel different degree. I'd like to know this now before I really get in too deep. I want my MA right now, but anything after that is up in the air.


If anyone can share, I'd most appreciate it.


Natalie B.

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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There is another avenue into teaching for an English major.   It's to do the course work necessary to earn a TESOL certificate.  That's for Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages.   I did that, and it involved 22 credit hours of courses such as Theory of Second Language Acquisition, Sociolinguistics, Structure and Morphology (that we of course called "S & M"), a teaching methods course, and a brief practicum.  I did my practicum teaching descriptive writing to some of the university's foreign students enrolled in special sections of freshman English.  Some universities help TESOL certificate earners locate jobs around the world.    (I would advise you NOT to go to places like Riyadh or rural China, though.)

Last Edited on: 3/11/11 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2011 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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I teach in an EPI (Educator Prep Institute) at a local community college in Florida.  Basically, we are an accelerated course for people who have a degree already, but what to become certified teachers.  Our program takes 7 months.  Most states have a program of this type.  Ask about a program in education for "career changers".  Go onto your state education site.  Contact a local community college.  Personally, I believe everyone who instructs students, no matter what level, should be required to take courses in classroom management (my specialty) and instructional strategies.  I also teach elementary students full time - I use many of the same strategies and management tools in my college classes!

Date Posted: 3/12/2011 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
Posts: 436
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Thanks for the information. It's a starting point and gives me something to research! And teaching ESOL has come up. Lol. And no offense to China, but I would never go there. I have a disability and I already know that would not be a good place to go.

Date Posted: 3/16/2011 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2010
Posts: 238
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With an MA/MFA you can teach in a Community College.

With a BA and Certification (like Molly mentioned), you can teach in K-12 schools.

Some private K-6s will take teachers with just a BA.

My take on the Community College route: No parent/boyfrind/sister/bestie/coach drama. You just go in an talk about a subject you know and love. You're also dealing with fully engaged people who want to learn. Students range in age from 15 to 75 and that difference in a classroom allows for beautiful discussion and VERY heated debate. The first few semesters are rough as you figure out your teaching style and draft your lectures/syllabi/readings, but after that it becomes the most awesome job ever.

Have a kid? Teach fewer classes. You make your own schedule.

Don't agree with the textbook?  Say so. You don't have to teach so student's pass a state test, you can teach so they learn.

Need time to work on a Ph.D? They'll help pay and give you time to do it.

Last Edited on: 3/16/11 8:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1