Q: What is Teach North Texas?
A: Teach North Texas is the secondary level (grades 7-12) teaching certification program at UNT for undergraduate math and science majors at the University of North Texas. The Teach North Texas program is a 22-hour minor that fits directly into your degree plan. Upon graduation, you meet requirements to test for teacher certification in your designated field.
Q: Can I major in a subject area other than Math or Science and still complete the Teach North Texas program?
A: You must major in either Math, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, or Information Technology to complete the Teach North Texas program. The College of Education offers programs that certify teachers for other content areas. You can view the College of Education website at www.coe.unt.edu.
Q: I am a graduate student seeking a Master's degree in Education. Can I join Teach North Texas?
A: Unfortunately, at this time, our program is only available to undergraduate students. The College of Education offers several avenues for you to acquire your teacher certification. Please visit their website at www.coe.unt.edu. If you are interested in completing a second Bachelor's degree, then, yes, you can complete the Teach North Texas program as long as you are pursuing a second degree in either Math or Science.
Q: I spoke with somebody at Orientation about Teach North Texas. I was told I would be enrolling in two STEP courses. What are these STEP courses?
The two Secondary Teacher Education Preparation (STEP) courses are courses designed to give interested students a first-hand taste of what the teaching profession is like. These courses are the first two classes of the TNT teaching certification sequence and count toward teaching certification requirements.
In STEP 1, you will learn under the direction of a former high school teacher with at least three years' experience in public secondary education. The course consists of 80 minutes of lecture each week. You will also teach science or math lessons in an elementary school classroom to obtain firsthand experience with planning and implementing an inquiry-based curriculum. In this first course, the emphasis is both on inquiry and classroom management techniques.
STEP 2 continues what you will learn in STEP 1 but in a middle school setting. There will be an emphasis on writing lesson plans, developing good questioning strategies, and assessing performance objectives.
Q: This is my first semester at UNT. Should I take the first introductory course now (TNTX 1100) or wait a semester?
A: TNTX 1100 is a fun, exploratory level 1-hour class designed specifically to help you determine if teaching is right for you. We recommend starting our program your first semester at UNT. This will ensure that you enjoy teaching and help us begin planning your future course sequence. The more flexibility and greater number of courses we have to work with, the easier this is to accomplish. Plus, if you decide teaching isn't right for you, we can help guide your next steps in achieving your career goals.
Q: My Advisor already set my schedule at Orientation, and I registered for the courses she told me I needed.
A: Not a problem! Jennifer McDonald is the academic advisor for TNT, and if you are interested in teaching, she will be happy to help you rearrange your schedule to accommodate the addition of TNTX 1100. You can still change your schedule even though an academic advisor previously filled out an advising sheet recommending courses for you.
Q: Teachers aren't getting hired. I don't want to complete a minor if I won't get a job after I graduate.
A: Math and Science are the two highest needs fields at the high school level. Math and Science teachers are in demand, and Teach North Texas frequently receives requests for our program graduates. We currently have a 100% employ rate for all of our graduates.
Q: Teachers don't make a lot of money. How much is the average teaching salary for Texas?
A: Teaching salaries vary across Texas, but beginning teacher salary for all Ft. Worth ISD schools is over $46,000, and many school districts pay up to $60,000 for first year Math and Science teachers. Other area districts are comparable dependent upon location. Remember: this is a beginning salary for a first-year teacher.
Q: I want to pursue teaching, but I'm worried about financial aid. Do you have any scholarships available?
A: As a member of Teach North Texas, you are eligible for numerous scholarships and grants. These range from scholarships granted by the Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics departments to outside scholarships from programs such as TCTM and AFCEA. TNT even sponsors the NOYCE Grant, a $10,000 scholarship for senior-level students pursuing Secondary Level Teacher Certification in Math or Science.
Q: Will adding this minor add hours to my degree plan?
A: The majority of teaching degree plans do not add any hours. We utilize the built-in elective hours that are in most degree plans. For information about your specific degree plan, please feel free to come see me.
Q: I want to coach. Will this program help me become a high school coach?
A: Coaching does not require certification in Texas. Holding certification in a high needs field like Math or Science quite possibly will be the edge you need to place you over others competing for coaching positions. If you would like to coach, I recommend you become a member of the State Coaching Association for the sport/sports you wish to coach. I also recommend volunteer coaching at any level. Any item placed on your resume that highlights coaching and leadership experience is key. UNT also offers coaching courses that might be beneficial.
Q: I'm planning on becoming a doctor. Will this program work with my pre-med degree plan "just in case" I don't get into medical school?
A: Yes. We have several students in our program who are pursuing Secondary-Level Teacher Certification as a "back-up" career. This is perfectly acceptable, and we work to ensure you meet all requirements for both tracks.
Q: I'm about to graduate. Should I take the Teach North Texas classes?
This depends upon the number of courses you still need to complete degree requirements. In general, junior level students are able to complete all requirements on time. If you are in senior standing, please contact me so that we can determine if completing our program is feasible.
Q: Do I have to promise to become a high school teacher if I take the Teach North Texas classes?
No. You will not be required to get a job as a secondary teacher as a condition of our program. That said, we of course hope that our program will inspire you to choose secondary teaching in mathematics or science as your vocation.
Q: Do I have to take a test to become a teacher?
A: You will take two exams to receive certification. The first will be a content exam and the second will be a pedagogy exam. Don't worry. You will be fully prepared to take both exams prior to graduation.
Q: I was told I need advanced hours to complete my degree. What are advanced hours, and how many do I need?
A: Advanced hours are 3xxx and 4xxx level courses. Any course that begins with a 3 or 4 qualifies as advanced hours. You need 42 total advanced hours to qualify for graduation. This is true for any subject area. The Teach North Texas program provides 16 advanced hours that count toward this total.
Q: I think I want to teach at or below the seventh grade level. How do I obtain certification for that?
You will need to pursue certification through the College of Education. They offer Early Childhood-4th grade certifications, 4-8 certifications, as well as certifications in Special Education and Kinesiology. For more information, just visit the College of Education.