Physical Science Teachers

Nature of the Work

Physical science encompasses a broad range of scientific subjects. For eighth grade and early high school integrated science classes entitled “physical science,” the material includes an introduction to a broad range of scientific principles. Topics include physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, environmental science, biological science, atmospheric science, and earth science. Physical science teachers introduce these students to these subjects in order to prepare them for more in-depth study later in high school.

Physical science teachers are also qualified to teach any physics or chemistry course to high school students in grades 9-12.
In addition to their regular teaching duties, physical science teachers may also be expected to serve as mentor teachers, study hall supervisors, or sponsors for student clubs and organizations. Physical science teachers should also be available to talk with parents who may have questions or concerns about their students’ progress.

Most teachers work a 10-month school year with a 2-month summer vacation. During the break, they may teach in summer sessions, take other jobs, pursue hobbies or spend time with their families.

Teaching Methods for Physical Science Teachers

Those teaching an integrated science course to younger or less-advanced students have the opportunity to expose their classes to interesting information about a wide range of scientific fields, and the more exciting and relevant they can make the material, the better success they will have in piquing the students’ interest in a particular field. Teaching interactive lessons with group work and visual aids often helps the students absorb the material.

For physical science teachers who teach chemistry or physics, the key to creating a successful learning environment is to be readily available to answer students’ questions and to explain the complex material in a way that they can understand.

For all levels, engaging the students in lab activities, building models, and other hands-on activities helps them understand the concepts taught in lecture in a way that seems relevant to day-to-day life. Field trips to science centers or other nearby places that have programs established for teaching science to school groups are also valuable experiences for the students to understand and enjoy the material.

Job Opportunities for Physical Science Teachers

Currently, many school districts have difficulty hiring physical science teachers. For this reason, many job opportunities are available for those who are qualified. Rural and inner-city schools, where the need for quality teachers is often most great, provide even greater job opportunities for prospective science teachers.

Requirements for Physical Science Teachers

Physical Science teachers pursuing alternative certification are required to have a bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA in at least 24 semester hours of science, including at least 9 hours of chemistry and 9 hours of physics. To work in a Texas public school, teaching candidates must be enrolled in an alternative certification program and have passed their content test.

Alternative Certification Programs are attractive options for individuals who would like to become a teacher without taking classes in a college or university.

The Web-Centric Alternative Certification Program (WCACP) provides a path for individuals to obtain teaching certification from the comfort of their own home. The courses, videoconferences and chats are conducted 100 percent online, so students can work at their own pace. Some students finish in 12 weeks, while others take more time and work a full time job while studying.

Individuals interested in teaching Physical Science can benefit from the 8-12 Physical Science content area. Completing the WCACP with the Physical Science specialization provides a certification to teach eighth – twelfth grade Physical Science in any Texas middle or high school.