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Information and Resources for New and Prospective Teachers


New Teachers: A Special Opportunity Awaits you at the California Science Education Conference!

If you are a new teacher, CSTA has an exciting opportunity available to you at the 2013 California Science Education Conference, which will be held October 25-27 in Palm Springs. The conference offers over 200 sessions, covering every science discipline and every grade level, Kindergarten through University, and will offer a New Teacher Strand featuring a variety of professional development experiences specifically for teachers in their first through third year of teaching. The strand is designed to provide new teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to begin a science teaching career on a positive footing with courses in:

  • Classroom Management
  • Materials Management
  • Pedagogy
  • Literacy/ELL
  • The Nature of Science
  • Assessment
  • Standards

Attendance at the California Science Education Conference and participation in the New Teacher Strand is the most comprehensive approach to a new teacher's professional development.

Teach California

The California Department of Education has an excellent online resource for prospective teachers. Teach California has credentialing and job information as well as an interactive question-and-answer feature. Click on the Discover Teaching Science link on the home page to get answers to your specific questions about science teaching. http://www.teachcalifornia.org.

Science Teacher as Researcher (STAR) 

Science Teacher As Researcher (STAR) is a CSU-sponsored program for science majors or single subject students/recent grads who are planning to teach middle or high school science. The program provides an eight-week paid research opportunity at a federal lab or research center in the San Francisco area. STAR interns are paid $4,000 for the eight-week program. The program is intended to provide first-hand experience with applied research, cultivate an interest in and increase the prestige of science teaching as a profession, and foster inquiry-based science teaching and learning. STAR participants will be creating a research poster/presentation at the end of their eight-week program, and they will have opportunities for mentoring by scientists and inservice teachers. Additional information about the STAR program can be found at www.cesame.calpoly.edu/programs-star.html.

Preservice Teacher Program (PST) 

The US Department of Energy Office of Science runs a program to provide internships for preservice teachers (PST). This program is a paid, ten-week summer research program. Similar to STAR, the PST program sends preservice teachers to work in research labs. Like STAR students, the PST students will be creating a research poster/presentation at the end of their program. More information can be found at www.scied.science.doe.gov/scied/PST/about.htm.

Activities to Use With Preservice Teachers

Science Methods Instructors: Introduce your preservice students to CSTA and professional enrichment. New and prospective teachers will benefit by understanding that they are an important part of the larger science education community and that professional growth in their career is a lifelong endeavor. Introduce your preservice students/teachers to the benefits of belonging to their professional organizations and participating in ongoing professional development activities. Download activities to use with your preservice students. Use the PowerPoint presentation, below, to enhance the activities.

PowerPoint Presentation for Preservice Teachers

Click on this link to view a PowerPoint presentation which will familiarize you with your professional organization!

Credentialing Information for Prospective Teachers

Teachers are credentialed for teaching by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Information for Elementary Credential
Information for Secondary Credential

BTSA Programs

Induction programs for new teachers are conducted by districts and county offices around the state. The Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) website has resources and professional development opportunities for new teachers.  To find the BTSA coordinator in your area, click on the state cluster map, then on the cluster for your geographic area.

Highly Qualified Teacher

All districts must also certify that their teaching staff meets the requirements of the "Highly Qualified Teacher" mandates of the No Child Left Behind act. Information on California's Highly Qualified Teacher criteria can be found on the CSTA website at http://www.cascience.org/csta/leg_hqteachers.asp.

SEC - Science Education Community

The Science Education Community in the California State University (CSU) is a community of CSU faculty, K-12 science teachers throughout California, K-12 administrators, interested legislators and, of particular importance, preservice through induction year science teachers, including undergraduate and credential students and those in their first three years of teaching science. Visit http://teachingcommons.cdl.edu/sec/ for resources, credential information, grants and awards, research opportunities, and more.

MERLOT — Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching

An educational resource for teaching and learning, join MERLOT—it's free—and contribute to this growing community of teacher education instructors by using the learning materials, submitting your own modules and assignments for evaluation, and learning ideas to help you teach online and in the classroom. Visit http://teachereducation.merlot.org/ for more information.

New Teacher Center, UC Santa Cruz

The New Teacher Center at UC Santa Cruz offers an array of induction, mentoring, and other support programs for new teachers. Visit http://www.newteachercenter.org/ for more information.

California Science Project

The California Science Project offers professional development throughout the year at 18 locations throughout the state. Contact them at http://csmp.ucop.edu/csp.