How to transition from High school Math Teacher to Wood shop Teacher

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Forum topic by JRshop posted 07-30-2014 08:06 PM 1295 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 726 days

07-30-2014 08:06 PM

Not sure if I am posting in the right Forum. Would anyone know the steps to become a Wood shop teacher if you are already a Math teacher? Any advice would be great, thanks!

7 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3255 posts in 2005 days

#1 posted 07-30-2014 08:14 PM

In my state we have gone to Technical Schools so you need to look there and apply. You need to know how to build houses from the ground up. Foundations to cabinets and paint. We no longer have a wood shop in every school like we had when I was in public school. They require you to have been in the trade you are teaching for the past 5 years I believe. Then they require you to get a B.S. with teaching credentials. This of course is already on your transcript.

View Loren's profile


8095 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 07-30-2014 08:24 PM

Well, you’d probably find getting certified to teach whatever
design protocol is being used in the system… it was mechanical
drawing when I was in school but I suppose that was superseded
by AutoCAD and now there’s Sketchup, which doesn’t make CAD
obsolete so you’d probably need to learn both.

CNC programming is a relevant trade skill as well today. I imagine
you’d do well to be conversant in maintenance of all machinery
used in school shops.

View Grandpa's profile


3255 posts in 2005 days

#3 posted 07-30-2014 08:35 PM

In the Oklahoma Technical schools we have broken it down to CAD training (one teacher in a morning class and an afternoon class). We have heat and air, precision machine, auto mechanics, carpentry, electronics. those are the old Industrial Arts classes. they also have other trade classes from hair dressing to LPN nursing,
pre-engineering and bio-med. They have had other and when interest dropped the classes dropped. These included electrical wiring, masonry, plumbing and others. Different schools have different classes because interests vary with location. There are sever sending schools to every tech school. I think we have about 18 sending schools.

View JayT's profile


4418 posts in 1540 days

#4 posted 07-30-2014 09:05 PM

Check with your state’s Department of Education. Every state sets their own requirements for teaching certification, so my knowing what is required here isn’t going to do you much good in your state.

That said, since you already have the education classes, you would likely just be required to get the additional subject specific classes. It may not even require that much or could be more. When I was teaching in Kansas and Nebraska, I could technically have taught any age and subject, regardless of what my area of emphasis was. Those states at the time granted a general teaching certificate, not a subject area specific one. It could have changed in the last 10 years since I got out of teaching, I don’t know.

Where the school would have run into trouble was that No Child Left Behind now requires a certain percentage of teachers be “highly qualified”, which is based on their training and education emphasis. I would have been considered a highly qualified teacher for the subject area I majored in and took continuing ed on, but not for another subject or age, even though I could have legally taught in those classrooms. Some states also have procedures in place for a person to get a temporary certificate, which allows them to teach a certain amount of time while they get the requirements taken care of.

Again, this is all controlled at the state level (though the federal government has a lot to say on funding), so you will have to find out what is required in your location.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Gentile's profile


227 posts in 1148 days

#5 posted 07-30-2014 10:34 PM

A buddy of mine did the opposite. He went from being the Shop/Technology Teacher to be a Math Teacher. He had to take a boat load of Math classes to become “highly qualified”. He saw the writing on the wall.
The Tech position became a part-time gig. With all the No Child Left Untested stuff, the Elective Teachers are being cut. It’s a darned shame…
I know I didn’t answer your question, but I thought I’d share a reality of the Teaching Profession these days.
I’m glad I was able to retired from the mess a few years ago…
I was a Visual Arts Teacher, it was a blast, I really envied my buddy the Tech Teacher. He had as much fun as I did.

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View Yonak's profile


979 posts in 850 days

#6 posted 07-31-2014 04:31 AM

Contact the department chairman of the college where you would be taking the classes. It seems like that would be the easiest way to find out. I feel your state department of education would have no idea how to come up with a realistic answer.

When I took classes to be certified in Industrial Arts Education, after already having certification in another subject, it took 4 quarters.

View Woodmaster1's profile


703 posts in 1916 days

#7 posted 07-31-2014 04:36 AM

I was an industrial arts teacher that had to take project lead the way certification classes to keep teaching. PLTW is a pre engineering program. I now teach introduction to engineering design, principles of engineering, digital electronics, and civil engineering and architecture. Teaching the engineering classes are a blast. You get the top students and do several hands on activities. There are several math and science teachers that go that route in my state. The certification classes are two weeks of intensive instruction for each class. I retired this year but still was needed because they had no replacement for me. They are going to recruit a math or science teacher to take over next year. There is still over 20 openings in the state for PLTW teachers this year. Sorry about the long answer but check it out you will not be disappointed.

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