Business major -> English teacher
June 11, 2009 5:39 AM   Subscribe

I've decided I want to teach high school english. Problem: I have a BS in Business Admin. How do I do this?

I want to teach english in a NY state high school. This decision aside, I need help.

I graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship this May. While I was in my last semester, I realized that I've always wanted to teach. This decision may have been hasty, but let's assume for the moment that teaching will be everything I've dreamed it to be, because that's not the focus of this question.

Current thoughts include a community college for the english credits, then a SUNY or Marist or Mercy for the masters in education. I've been on the NY education site, and found it a bit jumbled and slightly confusing. The individual grad program sites are even less helpful. I know I need to call the schools, but I can't do that until next week, do to my work schedule.

Any MeFites have experience with this - majoring in something unrelated to what you want to teach? How did you do it? Can I do it in less than three years? HELP!
posted by firei to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, you have a few options. To teach in public schools, you need to be licensed as a teacher. In a private school, no. I had a few friends who went straight out of their college major to teaching in private schools, so that would be one option: get the English training (and you might even find a course in an English department on pedagogy, depending on where you go) and then straight into teaching in a private school.

Second option: Some public school systems allow you to enter with a sort of conditional status of completing official certification, so again you could just do the English training and then enter a school system.

Third option: Do the entire training. Having already completed an undergraduate degree, you might be able to do this in two years -- probably a year's worth of English courses (though I really don't know what goes into English education training -- I did music and biology), and then education requirements should easily be done in a year.

Fourth option: Try a route like Teach for America. They train you as you go, and education loves people who would actually stay on after TFA, and I'm fairly sure at least some states would allow someone out of that program to enter the school system as a sort of non-traditional pathway.

Best of luck!
posted by davidnc at 6:07 AM on June 11, 2009

Check to see if you qualify for this. Note: it's gotten hugely competitive, post-recession.
posted by availablelight at 6:19 AM on June 11, 2009

Since you're considering Marist, you may want to take a look at Bard's new teaching program, too. They have a one year MAT option and a two year MAT option and there's a chance to do the program in the Bard area or in NYC.

Just throwing it out there as another option near one you're already considering.
posted by zizzle at 7:38 AM on June 11, 2009

Getting a teaching degree later in life without having a background in education is relatively common, and because of this there are a lot of accellerated degree programs that are specifically designed to work for people who already have a background in another field. The programs vary in substance and quality, so you will probably need to research the specific programs available in your area if you go with that route.

Also, anecdotally, English is one of the more difficult subjects to break into as a new teacher. There is a lot bigger pool of candidates for English teaching positions than for, say, Biology so keep in mind that you may have to settle for working in a less than ideal location or school environment if you choose to teach English.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:10 AM on June 11, 2009

They just put a hiring freeze on NYC public schools that's probably going to stick around for a few years, so I hope you don't mind going upstate.
posted by lolichka at 9:41 AM on June 11, 2009

You can teach at most Catholic schools for a year or two before they want you certified. This might mesh well for you with a nite-class adult teacher certification course. Plus if you decide after the first year of actually teaching that you hate it, you don't have to sink more money into training you won't use.
posted by WeekendJen at 12:49 PM on June 11, 2009

Community college credits aren't a good bet, you need higher level stuff. Bard MAT is great, but expensive. Check out MAT programs at other places. The only problem with getting an MAT is that school districts have to pay you more than someone certified with just a BA and don't like doing that if you lack experience.

Have you considered teaching English as a foreign language? It can be wonderful!
posted by mareli at 5:21 PM on June 11, 2009

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