Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Vocational/Teaching

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General Conference
Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 1944

1. What education is needed for teaching the following: a. Elementary school, b. Secondary school, c. College

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The requirements necessary to become a teacher vary dramatically from country to country, and in the United States, it varies from state to state. In general, a four year bachelors degree is required to teach elementary school, though often there is no direct "degree" in elementary education. Rather, the education certification is the "minor" one earns while receiving a bachelors' degree. If one is planning to teach in secondary school, the teacher often receives a degree in the subject of interest, and certification (whether denominational and/or state), as a minor or fifth year of education. Both elementary and secondary certifications require student teaching, which is either one-quarter or one-semester in length, depending on the program.

The path to becoming a college professor is much more varied. College professors eventually earn a doctorate in the area of their particular interest and giftedness. However, they may get that degree immediately after they finish a bachelors' or masters' degree, or years later either before they began teaching at a college level or after they have begun their professorship (but usually before they become full professors). College professors are specialists in their field of study, which means they have often been professionals in that field for a number of years prior to entering the college teaching scene.

2. What is re-certification?

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Recertification is when you have someone’s certification or qualification renewed. Teacher recertification is the way that teachers keep "current" in the issues that affect their classrooms, their teaching style, and most importantly, their students. Most students think that their teachers get the summer off. In reality, most teachers spend a large portion of each summer attending summer school, taking additional classes that will help them be better teachers. In most cases, re-certification requirements require that a teacher earn a certain number of college credits every three years.

There are a variety of certifications and endorsements available to teachers. In the SDA teaching system, a teacher begins with a basic certification, after three years and some classes and tests, a teacher may receive a standard certification. After a significant number of years and education (usually a masters' degree) a teacher is eligible to receive a professional certification.

3. Interview at least two teachers with the following questions

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  • a. Why did you choose to become a teacher?
  • b. What part of teaching do you like the best?
  • c. What part of teaching do you like the least?
  • d. What do you do to get ready for a school year?
  • e. What do you do to get ready for a school day?
  • f. What teacher-related activities do you do after school is out each day?
  • g. What are some qualities of a good teacher?
  • h. What are the responsibilities and duties of a teacher?

When interviewing a teacher, please keep the following tips in mind:

1. Teachers love to tell stories, and love to spend time with people... be prepared to listen!

2. Because teachers love people, they often have a hard time saying "no" or "could we do the interview later?" even when they are really busy and have lots of demands on their time. So, be polite and alert to what might be going on in the teacher's life and try to find a time not too near test week, a holiday, or the beginning or end of a term.

3. Take good notes. Teachers love to see that you care enough to write it down!

4. If your selected teacher is okay with it, record your interview on an audio or video device. This will allow you to go back and "review" what you've learned from the interview.

5. Don't limit yourself to this list of interview questions. Get your heart involved in the interview, and learn what you can about the teacher and what it is like to be one. This is a special one-on-one opportunity you have with a special person. Make the most of it!

4. Explore the Bible and the book Education by Ellen G. White to learn what teaching methods Jesus used. Present a three-minute oral report on what you learned.

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The Bible can be searched online at The Ellen White writings can be viewed and searched online at

5. If you are 16 years old or younger, do the following for a minimum of 40 minutes per week for three weeks.

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  • a. Assist a teacher in designing and preparing a bulletin board.
  • b. Assist a teacher in preparing learning aids.
  • c. With the supervision of a teacher, teach a child or class at least one concept.

6. If you are older than 16 years, do three of the following

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  • a. Teach an adult's or children's Sabbath School class for a minimum of six weeks.
  • b. Teach in one day in each department of Vacation Bible School.
  • c. Teach two Honors from the Honors Handbook.
  • d. Assist in teaching requirements for one of the AY classes, culminating in investiture.
  • e. Teach at least one year in an elementary or secondary school or in a college.

Historical notes

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When the original Honor for Teaching was accepted in 1944, it was for adult Master Guides and had only one requirement: "Have five years of professional teaching experience on the elementary, secondary, or college level."- Junior Missionary Volunteer Handbook, revision of 1957.

Many Honors have grown and changed over the years. Today we focus on development that allows our youth to participate in and earn any Honor.

About the Author

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Mark O'Ffill is a member of the NAD Honors Committee and submitted the 2006 requirements for the Computer and Advanced Computer Honors. He also is the author of the Internet and Internet Advanced NAD AY Honors.

Mark was the webmaster for the 1999 and 2004 NAD International Pathfinder Camporees, serving for over seven years in that capacity, providing the Camporee community with an online informational resource.

At the writing of this biography, Mark is the Religion and Computer Teacher at Pacific Union College Preparatory School in Angwin, CA. He also serves as Registrar and Information Technology Services guy for this institution. He has been a staff member at PUC Prep since 2003.

"Pastor Mark" is an ordained minister, and served for almost five years as a youth pastor in Florida. He is a 6th generation Seventh-day Adventist pastor, and loves studying Adventist history.

Mark is an avid Pathfinder, serving as a Pathfinder staff member since the age of fifteen, when he was the youngest Director in the North America Division. Since 2004, he has been the Area 9 Area Coordinator for the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He loves earning Pathfinder honors and mentoring staff members in creative teaching methods they can use in teaching Pathfinders.