"Science - General" vs "Science - Multiple Subjects"

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"Science - General" vs "Science - Multiple Subjects"

Postby jodi » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:44 pm


I feel like this might be a little bit of a silly question, but I like clarification. I'm looking for a HS Science position, can anyone tell me the difference between these two categories on the ATP job site?

Also, while on the subject, what kind of applicant would they be looking for (if they didn't specify)? Best case scenario would be an applicant with every science subject endorsement, but what do they normally accept? I've started getting my documents together for the Initial Certificate, so I'm not quite ready to contact any districts directly to ask, but I was hoping to get a general idea.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: "Science - General" vs "Science - Multiple Subjects"

Postby Transplant2AK » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:18 am

The short answer is that many districts in Alaska are in need of people who are willing and able to teach multiple subjects, due to staffing logistics. I am a social studies teacher by trade with several years of high school teaching experience. Throughout the hiring season, I have been offered quite a few different jobs, but none of them were actually social studies. Most were Secondary Generalist positions, meaning I would have taught multiple subjects at the high school level. In some cases that might mean SS/LA or MA/SCI, in others it means you teach all four. It all depends on the size of the school in question; some schools are simply too small to have specialists like you see in the lower 48. Ultimately, I took a job as a Middle School Generalist, so I will be teaching every core subject at the 8th grade level next year. In order to qualify for that position, I only needed to be certified in one middle school subject, which I am. I'm going to guess it works in a similar way at the high school level. My guess is that "Science - Multiple Subjects" means that your primary responsibility would be to teach science, but that you would be a generalist of some kind.

If you want to break into a rural school district, being flexible seems to be an important quality.
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Re: "Science - General" vs "Science - Multiple Subjects"

Postby jodi » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:56 am

Hi Transplant! Thanks for your reply.

Teaching multiple subjects was actually what drew me to AK. I was mostly worried about endorsements I guess. For instance if "Science - General" actually required a "General Science" endorsement or HQ to apply. But based on your reply, it sounds like the two are functionally equivalent. Maybe it's just a matter of what HR felt like putting at the time. At the very least, it sounds like my Biology and Chemistry endorsements should be just fine for either.

I think I'm pretty flexible too, I just got done teaching 3 years in South Korea, so I hope so! ㅋㅋㅋ (haha in Korean)

Again, thanks for your reply!
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Re: "Science - General" vs "Science - Multiple Subjects"

Postby ksralaska » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:07 am

Basically, outside of the big cities (Anchorage - Juneau - Fairbanks) general science endorsements will qualify. AK has so many exceptions due to staffing logistics. For example, I teach HS and MS science and have a general science endorsement. I teach Chemistry, Physical Science, and will be teaching Biology and Physics and so on.

Teaching new subjects that are not necessarily your college "specialty" is one of the wonderful things about Alaska. I think most teachers agree that though content knowledge is very important, it can be picked up, and having good pedagogy is what matters.
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Re: "Science - General" vs "Science - Multiple Subjects"

Postby jamieburgess » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:38 pm

Jodi - if you have endorsements for both Biology and Chemistry you should be pretty set to teach just about any high school science. You should be very marketable to districts, but if you go rural, expect to teach a lot of different preps - many of those schools will only have 1 science teacher for all classes. Very small schools may ask you to teach math as well, so be sure to ask which classes they would want you to teach during the interview process.
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