Supported Site Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo: Recruitment

Successes

  • Over the lifetime of the project, there has been an increase in the number of physics teachers produced. We averaged 1/3 of a teacher per year in the 3 years before PhysTEC; we now average 1 teacher per year.
  • The Physics department began consistently making announcements about the opportunity to become a physics teacher and made the information about how to do this more accessible to interested students.
  • The TIRs modified an exisiting Introduction to Teaching course to address the specific needs and interestes of potential science teachers. The course was then taught by a TIR.

Challenges

  • None

Sustainability/Institutional Buy-In

  • The announcements are easily sustainable.
  • The special introduction to the teaching course is sustainable. The TIR will teach this course every year.

Lessons Learned

  • A small amount of effort in advertising, which doesn’t cost anything, allows those students interested in teaching to find the credentialing program.

Activity Summary

  • PhysTEC faculty made announcements to physics majors about the opportunity to teach and where to find more information (from the TIRs and from the webpage). The TIR visited upper-division physics classes during the first week of the quarter, and the Physics Department chair made announcements during the first week at the orientation for new majors. Additional announcements were made at the Physics Department Pizza Advising. The TIR made announcements at the annual BBQ at Muir Hall (the science dorm). The TIR emailed all the physics majors to see if they were interested in teaching and generated a list of people who might be interested.
  • PhysTEC faculty made a webpage that contains all the important information about the credential program at Cal Poly (important dates, certification and courses that need to be completed) in a concise and clear manner.
  • The list of physics majors interested in teaching was used as a recruiting pool to staff the local junior high school visits. This gave the students who participated a low-commitment teaching experience.
  • PhysTEC faculty reformatted the Introduction to Teaching course, a required course for all credential candidates, especially for science majors. This course is supposed to be taken before students graduate, so that they see what the teaching profession is like before they commit to the credential program. By formatting this course especially for science majors, we hope to encourage more science majors take the course, as a low-commitment way to find out about the teaching profession. A professor and two TIRs met in the Fall 2006 to design the changes. The TIRs taught the course in the spring of 2007.