High School STEM Teacher
Why teach STEM?
Science and math classes enable students to develop the critical-thinking skills required to make informed decisions about public policy, evaluate claims made in the media, talk to their doctors, and navigate an increasingly technological world.
During high school, students expand the basic concepts they've learned about biology, space and earth science, engineering, chemistry and physics. They are learning that science is a process for producing knowledge.
Students making sense of the physical and living world around them need teachers that know their disciplinary content and how to teach in an effective and equitable manner.
Why be a High School STEM Teacher
“Bellingham Public Schools needs strong, innovative teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to help fulfill The Bellingham Promise. We promise to develop students and graduates who are scientists and mathematicians, skilled users of technology, innovators and creators… and so much more. We’re looking for the best teachers to inspire students within these disciplines that link to some of the fastest-growing occupations globally.” - Dr. Greg Baker, Superintendent, Bellingham Public Schools
Want to see what being a teacher would be like?
SCED 481 is a two credit course designed to give you an introduction to being a science teacher. Learn More about SCED 481.
Did you know...Grade 7-12 science and math teachers get paid quite well!!
- Bellingham School District Teacher Salary Information
- Washington Teacher Salary Database: search individual teachers’ salaries by name
- More salary related and other facts about being a teacher
Is there a need for teachers?
The United States faces persistent shortages of appropriately trained middle and high school STEM teachers in high-needs fields, particularly physics, chemistry, and computer science.
What about student loan forgiveness?
Could I still do research?
Being a teacher offers opportunities for flexibility in where you live, great salary with benefits, time for family, and if you want the opportunity to do field work, get grants and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Learn more about research
Understanding the Secondary Education Puzzle
The path to becoming a High School STEM teacher can seem confusing at first. In high school, the endorsement you get should reliably qualify you to teach the class of the same name. For example, with a biology endorsement, you can teach high school biology or middle school biology. In high school, there are often specialty science classes, such as anatomy or environmental science, and it is up to the school district to determine which science endorsements qualify a teacher to teach these types of courses. So here we try to put the pieces together to help you understand the process.
You will want all the course requirements from each section of the puzzle to overlap as much as possible. For example, you will want your GUR courses to also count toward your major if possible. Here are some course checklists that will help you!
Sec Ed Prequisites
While you are completing your GURs, major, and endorsement courses, you should also be completing your secondary education program prerequisites. However, you will first need to decide which secondary education program you plan to apply to. You can apply to the undergraduate program, post bac program, or Master in Teaching (MIT) program. Learn more about the different programs and their prerequisites.
Sec Ed Program
STEM Major: To become a secondary teacher, you must complete a major as well as completing the secondary education program. Your major should be in the same subject area(s) (biology, chemistry, earth science/geology, general science, math, and/or physics) as the endorsement you plan to earn. Learn more about the STEM Major.
An endorsement designates the subject and grade level in which a teacher is prepared to teach ("content area", "academic subject", "major", and "endorsement" are often synonymous with the middle/high school classroom subject). To teach you must complete at least one qualifying endorsement program. Learn more about Endorsements
How long will it take?
Check out these useful timelines to help you figure out your own timeline to becoming a Secondary Teacher:
- Students just starting their college career
- Students who have college credit or are transferring to WWU
- Students who are finishing or have already finished their Baccalaureate degree