Can I teach high school?

I went to the job fair yesterday for the school system. I know they desperately need math and science teachers at all levels. I gave my resume and talked with the high school for a bit. I think they are very excited about me because after I left the table, I was tracked down by one of the teachers and he gave me his card. Before I made it to the next school (middle school) I was also tracked down by one of the assistant principles. He was trying to lure me into teaching their program for students needing special help in graduating. Not slow learners or disciplinary students, but students who need extra help because life has not been kind to them. (They may have children already or a non-supportive home life.) He gave me his number and asked me to call him next week if I would like a tour or to sit in on a class.

The downside is that all of the certification tests are expensive! They have a general test and a professional teacher test (why they have two is beyond me) and then there are the subject tests. At $100-$150 each, that adds up quick, plus there are fees. To qualify for just one subject, I would be spending about $400 all total. Is it worth it for essentially a job application? Granted, I would have my certification for 5 years. I wouldn’t make very much money, but I would be “in high demand” as they put it. Teaching school here would be a nice, easy commute but teaching high school is hard. Very hard.

However, I like the idea of touching lives. Of making a difference. I have no children and I’ll never win a Nobel Prize, so basically I have no legacy. Once my life is over, who will remember me? I will have left no footprint on society or this planet. Only a lot of empty pill bottles.

I am getting maudlin. I need to keep an open mind. High school might be the place for me after all. Or is it only my lack of self-confidence telling me that I can’t teach at a level higher than that? I don’t know.

Also, how will my mental illness figure into all of this? I have to take a drug test – how will I pass it with my Klonopin?

Anyway… do you think I should hand over the money and go for my certification?