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Don't Shortchange Math and Science

College/Career Expert Advice from Carol Carter

Q: I will be a freshman in college this fall and I know I want to be a principal and teacher. I really want to teach elementary or middle-school English and history. However, I'm really bad at most math and science subjects and haven't put a lot of them on my four-year class schedule plan. During my senior and junior years, I don't have more than one class of each. Am I making a bad choice?

A: I think it's great that you know what you want to do -- you sound very determined and dedicated. It's important that you take the required amount of math and science so that you don't fall behind. Take as many history and English courses that you can so that you can figure out if that's really what you want, because your interests may change as you get older. Also keep in mind that math and science can open up your mind to new ways of thinking and to a lot of problem-solving techniques, which will definitely be a good skill to have as a school principal. Not to mention that math and science will always creep up on you in the GRE exam, as well as on the teaching certification exam. My advice is to do as well as you possibly can in the math classes that you take, and to always keep that part of your mind active, but also to pursue your interests in English and history.

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Carol Carter is the author of many books on college and career planning. She is the cofounder of Lifeskills, Inc., a nonprofit organization that encourages high-school students to explore their goals, career options, and the real world through part-time work and internships. She also gives workshops around the country on career exploration and other issues directly related to helping students succeed in college, career, and life.


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