Letter to the Editor | All students should pursue teaching certificates
April 13, 2019
As a now retired certified physics and chemistry teacher from the Chicago Public Schools, I have sadly noticed numbers of college graduates with bachelors degrees, from psychology to business, working as baristas or cashiers in establishments such as Starbucks or McDonalds for about $10.00 per hour. Many students in higher education are in for a difficult financial experience because they cannot find living wage employment anywhere in America today.
When possible, I tell these intelligent young adults almost everywhere in the USA has immediate, well-paying employment opportunities for those with a state teaching certificate in mathematics, physics, chemistry or special education starting at about $50,000 per year. One does not need a degree in mathematics, chemistry or physics, just a state teaching certificate.
Even a registered nurse starts almost everywhere at about the same $50,000 per year salary.
At our school there was a musician who taught all week and did his musical combo, his real love, on weekends.
Every student in higher education should obtain a state teaching certificate in mathematics, physics, chemistry or special education just to fall back on in case their non-STEM or Medical-type degree does not generate gainful employment. Every student needs to take electives, and courses leading to a teaching certificate may prove to be the only way graduates can provide a means of making a living wage.
Stewart is a retired Chicago Public Schools teacher.