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Brochure

Thinking about teaching?

Audience/setting: Students in introductory math and science courses/personal conversations with students.

Time: 15 minutes to print

Synopsis: Use this brochure to engage students in deeper conversation about considering a career in secondary math or science teaching.

Implementation

Download and edit the brochure template. Engage students one-on-one with the brochure as a discussion piece. If you feel comfortable, as students discuss their perceptions of teaching, share the information in the brochure with them.

This brochure can be used as a conversation-starter or as a take-away for a student to ponder after a discussion. Pin up multiple brochures in the classroom or hallway near a “Blow Minds! Teach Science/Math” poster, or leave some out in the department office or waiting area.

    Toolkit materials

    Download and edit the brochure template. Use this as a discussion piece to engage students in one-on-one conversations.

    "Thinking about teaching chemistry?"

    Printable EPS file (70.62 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching chemistry?"

    Customizable Adobe InDesign (5.23 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching chemistry?"

    Printable PDF file (34.36 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching chemistry?"

    Customizable Microsoft PowerPoint (3.22 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching math?"

    Printable EPS file (70.48 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching math?"

    Customizable Adobe InDesign (5.20 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching math?"

    Printable PDF file (2.60 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching math?"

    Customizable Microsoft PowerPoint (3.19 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching physics?"

    Printable EPS file (79.49 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching physics?"

    Customizable Adobe InDesign (5.20 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching physics?"

    Printable PDF file (2.62 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching physics?"

    Customizable Microsoft PowerPoint (5.59 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching science?"

    Printable EPS file (79.43 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching science?"

    Printable EPS file (79.43 MB)

    "Thinking about teaching science?"

    Customizable Microsoft PowerPoint (3.28 MB)

    Brochure cover

    Help get the facts out about teaching by downloading a customizable brochure and distributing it to your students.

    Photo: Chris Coleman

    It pays to teach

    It might seem most sensible to start discussion around the inherent goodness of teaching. While it is important to empathize with students who are interested in teaching because they want to help others, don’t overlook other elements of a prospective teacher’s value system.

    Financial incentives are of great importance to most STEM majors. Remind students that it does pay to teach, and that it’s worth looking at the full benefits package of a teacher, not just the simple salary.

    When considering base salary, salary scale, benefits (including insurance, retirement, and tuition reimbursement), and college loan forgiveness, a teachers’ financial status can look equivalent or even surpass that of non-teaching STEM careers.

    Looking for a challenge?

    Students interested in math and science often value the intellectual challenge of their disciplines. Despite the perception that teaching math or science to secondary students is easy, teachers actually interact more frequently and more deeply with their content area than many other professionals in math or science.

    Be happy. Teach chemistry.

    STEM majors, who often purposely chose an intellectually-rigorous major, are often concerned that secondary teaching won’t be intellectually fulfilling. This fear often comes from the cultural perception expressed by the old adage “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” It’s not uncommon for a math or science major who expresses interest in teaching to be told that they are “too smart” to consider secondary teaching.

    Data from STEM teaching and non-teaching professionals shows a different story, however. Science teachers report having equal or higher job satisfaction and intellectual challenge in their jobs than other STEM professionals.

    Students interested in math and science often value the intellectual challenge of their disciplines. Despite the perception that teaching math or science to secondary students is easy, teachers actually interact more frequently and more deeply with their content area than many other professionals in math or science.

    Want to be in demand? Teach chemistry.

    STEM majors want to be competitive in the marketplace, and teaching math or science gives them that edge. STEM majors who value making a difference in the world while being on solid financial grounding shouldn’t overlook teaching as one possible career option.

    Refer students to the American Physical Society’s PoPA report and resources about financial aid for teacher candidates (listed in the brochure) for additional data and statistics on secondary math and science teaching.Students often want to have a real, tangible impact on the world. The relationship-building inherent to teaching does just that.

    Remember that the purpose of this brochure is not to contradict nay-sayers, but to remove perceived obstacles for those students who might be considering a career in secondary math or science teaching.

    Good to know

    • Don’t hold back on just sharing the brochure with students who you think are potential to become teaching candidates. It isn’t always possible to identify who has interest, and don’t assume that teaching is an innate skill for which some students are better suited over others. Use this brochure with the intent to change perceptions, not just to recruit.
    • It is ok if you do not immediately know all the answers to the questions asked by students about teaching. Let them know that you can direct them to the right contact person who can help them, including a colleague and/or a local math or science teacher. If you still don’t know who to contact, reach out to one of these organizations.
    • Consider pinning some brochures for students to take up next to a “Thinking About Teaching” poster.