I really don't want to get a certification in physical education, but i felt that the dance certification would be a form of "gym" that i could teach!
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This is something that you would most definitely want to discuss with your guidance counselor. I believe that biology would be your best bet. I also think that it would make you more marketable and it would better in the long run. Dance is pretty limited but biology has many different avenues.
The biology certification would make you much more marketable. But, it's a much bigger commitment. A biology teacher certificate is upwards of 130 semester hours, and I can't see a dance certificate being anywhere near that.
The long term advantage though, in salary and job security, is with the life science certificate.
The emphasis in so many schools and states right now on math and science education and achievement makes this one a no brainer. Wish I could tell you differently as the arts and music seemingly always get the short end of the stick, but that is an economic and political reality in the field today.
I would also go for the biology, but if you could also get dance, you might be able to work at a school as a health and PE teacher, if there were a program focusing in dance or the arts. If you are truly up in the air and not yet committed to a program, you could consider math as well as biology. Math seems to be in constant demand.
As a regional school administrator who has conducted her fair share of teacher searches over the years, I can assure you with confidence that a certification in dance will not get you noticed in the HR department of a public school district. A biology certification will vault you to the top of many interview lists.
If you are looking to make yourself more marketable in the teaching field I would suggest Biology over Dance. Most districts struggle to find Science teachers, I know in our district we would look at the Health and Biology as a plus.
BIOLOGY. Given that school districts are having great financial difficulty right now, many are looking for people with dual/flexible certifications. For example, my school was specifically looking for someone who was certified to teach both English and History. That way, they would have some flexibility in the event of a partial teacher cut. As much as you don't want to do a phys. ed. certification, a lot of districts lump their phys. ed. and health classes under one umbrella, and have teachers teach both classes. Certification in dance would probably not make you marketable in that situation.
It is great that you are going into the health education field. It is my personal opinion that a certification in biology would probably strengthen this field in the event that you go into a medical field sometime in the future.
This is totally just my opinion, but my district just hired a new health teacher, and that teacher not only had a certification in health, but also in Life Science. I don't really think a dance certification would help at all, although it would look good on your resume. Since many P.E. teachers are also Health teachers, it may be beneficial to get your P.E. certification, but honestly, I think having a background in biology would be a great plus for a health teacher. You should also check into the state education department. Each state has different requirements, and having a knowledge on what they are looking for in each field will make your ultimate decision much easier. Also, anything where you have dual certification will make you more marketable. There aren't many dance teachers in schools; however, every school needs a Bio teacher, or a P.E. teacher. Having a dual certification in one of these, in addition to a certification in Health, will most definitely make you more attractive to school districts. Good luck to you! Regardless of what you decide, teaching is a very rewarding profession and I'm certain you'll be very happy!
Whenever issues of career choice are posted, I always suggest that individuals check with counseling centers, people they trust on a personal and professional level, as well as their own sense of personal reflection. These are the best guides for decisions. Forums such as this one might tangentially help, but should not be seen as anything else. I think that certification is a tough thing, in general. The most obvious answer would be the more certifications a candidate has makes them more attractive to administrators because staffing needs in any school are always fluid. For example, a position in one department might be filled, but something might happen and a vacancy might open and a candidate that applied for one position might suddenly become eligible for this one because of their multiple certifications. Depending on the specific district, both certifications might have validity. If the health position desired is for wellness, the dance certification might have some very pliable use. At the same time, districts have a much easier time examining the background of a biology major because of their applicability to health classrooms and science classrooms. The certification in Physical Education would involve more than the dance concentration, so that should be noted, as well.
It has already been said but I would like to reiterate. Biology is going to be your best bet and administrators love teachers that are dual certified as I am. So why not do both? The economy is limiting subjects that don't involve the "core" classes. The first thing to go when money gets tight are the subjects considered not as important as math, English, science or social studies. PE/Health has never been eliminated like some programs. But I've been teaching the better part of twenty years. I can tell you the economy will change and why pass up the chance to teach what makes you happy? The job is more fun when you like it. You should plan for that possibility. In a compromise, you can always teach a unit on dancing in your PE class. I can see it encouraging some students that don’t normally participate joining in more readily.
Across the country schools are finding it most difficult to fill science, math and special ed. positions. I believe that biology definitely makes you more marketable. In the current economic climate, electives like dance are being dropped from the curriculum. Unless you have some desire to later open a private dance studio, I would go with biology.
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