Monday, January 16, 2006

Who says I can't teach?!

Last week was, to say the very least, a challenging week, professionally. It is the end of the first semester of a school year which has been confounded by a whole host of problems.

I am tired.

I’ve also been told that, because of the No Child Left Behind Act, I will have to take time out of my life to add to my already full professional life to add to my teaching certification list ALL of the subjects I teach. I’m currently licensed to teach French, but I have also taught Spanish, math, physical education and creative writing classes in the last 3 years. Even though the State of Massachusetts allows me to simply take the subject tests in order to add these licenses to my certification, these tests require time and effort to prepare for. Frankly, I’m not inclined to jump through these hoops simply because someone in Washington believes that I must not be qualified to teach because I don’t have a piece of paper that says so.

I cannot wait to start a school that demonstrates a better way to look at teaching and learning than simply through pieces of paper. That’s not to say that I don’t think there is value to things like certifications and licenses but, at least for teaching as a profession, I cannot help but think they create more problems than they solve.

Maybe that’s just me being bitter.

I’ve had problems trying to obtain a teaching license ever since I earned by B.A. because, according to my transcripts, I have neither enough coursework in a single language to say I know anything about my subject nor enough credits in education courses to suggest I even know how to teach. I deliberately chose a degree in World Languages (not French, not Spanish, not Portuguese, not Italian, not German—all of which I know) because I wanted my time in school to be spent on ALL of them, and I chose to focus on teaching because I wanted to learn how to TEACH. It kills me that *I* would have trouble getting a license when I had more time in supervised practica as part of my B.A. than most people do for their Master’s degrees. All because the paperwork doesn’t read the way someone expects it to.

I’ll probably take the tests eventually, if for no other reason than to tell the establishment it can kiss my ass, but it is not a priority for me. I have bigger, better fish to fry.

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