School of Arts and Sciences

ABCTE Program Helps Physical Therapy Professional Transition to Teaching Career

Monday, March 07, 2016

Pictured is Rachael Morrow, D.P.T., a 2015 graduate of Point Park's ABCTE program and secondary biology and chemistry teacher at North Allegheny Intermediate High School. | Photo by Nichole LitzingerMeet Rachael Morrow, D.P.T.

Job title: Secondary Education Biology and Chemistry Teacher
Employer: North Allegheny Intermediate High School
Degrees and certificates earned: Instructional I Certificate in Secondary Education/Chemistry, ABCTE program, Point Park University, 2015; Doctor of Physical Therapy, Oakland University, 2012; and Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology, Grove City College, 2009
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Plum Senior High School
Now living in: Mars, Pa.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I’ve always liked school and learning about science. While I enjoyed working with patients in physical therapy, I really wanted to get back to some of the basics of science. It sounds cheesy, but I started to love science because of my high school biology and chemistry teachers. My honors and AP biology teacher made the subject fun, interesting and challenging. He inspired me to work harder in his class. I hope that I inspire my students in the same way.

Why did you choose Point Park’s ABCTE program to earn your teaching certification?

Instructor Ken Mori really helped to set my mind at ease by providing me with a complete description of the ABCTE program at Point Park. The ABCTE program helped me to transition from one professional career to another and allowed me to focus on educational principles since I already had the content background.

"The ABCTE program helped me to transition from one professional career to another and allowed me to focus on educational principles since I already had the content background."

-- Rachael Morrow, D.P.T.


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How did you land your teaching position with North Allegheny Intermediate High School?

North Allegheny School District was at a job fair I attended last year and I was fortunate to land a short interview with the principal that afternoon. The high school was looking for a long-term substitute teacher in chemistry. However, I only had my biology certification at the time, so I didn’t quite fit the bill. 

The following April, the school district had another opening in biology for a long-term sub and because I had just earned teacher certification through the ABCTE program, I was hired. I worked hard while in that long-term position, passed the Praxis test in chemistry and taught a chemistry lesson as part of North Allegheny’s interview process. Being in that long-term position gave North Allegheny a chance to give me a trial run and helped me to be hired for a permanent position teaching biology and chemistry. 

Which Point Park course did you enjoy the most and why?

The Classroom Discipline course was my favorite. I learned a lot from that course and received additional resources to grow my career and advance my professional development. Also, my professor in the course was very helpful and understanding of my career timeline.

What are your career goals?

I want to be an active participant and contributor in my school. This year I have started to help out with the Health Occupation Student Association, which is a good fit with my physical therapy background. In five years, I see myself mentoring, helping and leading other incoming teachers as a way to give back to the professional community. My colleagues have helped me so much. They are always ready to answer any questions I have and help me with activities and materials. My transition to teaching has been made so much easier because of their help and support.

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