Saturday, February 12, 2011

What it Takes to Bcome a Teacher

I wrote this four years ago, but if anything has changed, it's been to add more hoops.


Hoops to Jump Through


It's gotten worse since I was getting my credential. Now, in addition to doing your coursework, you have to:
  • take the CBEST test ($41, not hard)
  • take the CSET test ($222, really hard, many people retake it and pay again)
  • take the RICA test ($140, don't remember how hard)
  • take a CPR class ($)
  • BTSA (two year long mentorship program)
  • CLAD certification (extra classes and $$)
  • Student teaching (unpaid and virtually or completely full-time)
  • Tasks 1-4 (see below)
  • Clear credential (extra classes and $$)
  • Fingerprints ($)
  • Certain number of hours of classes or professional development (I forget how many) each 5 years to renew your credential. ($)
Oh, by the way, the prospective teacher has to pay for all of this. According to this website, the median salary for an elementary school teacher is $38,175, so we don't exactly make it back in a hurry.
These are the tasks. This is what would be the final straw for me, had I not gotten my credential already. I think the idea might be that the more hoops you have to jump through, the more dedicated you are. More realistically, the more hoops you have to jump through, the more tired you are and more likely to burn out and give up. Seriously, look at the list above and the tasks below and keep in mind that all of this is BEFORE you get to teach, not make much money, get very little respect, and work very very hard. then tell me, is it a surprise that we keep losing dedicated teachers?

Tasks:

Task 1: Principles of Content-Specific and Developmentally Appropriate Pedagogy
Within this task, the candidate will respond to four distinct scenarios that cover developmentally appropriate pedagogy, assessment practices, adaptation of content-specific pedagogy for English learners, and adaptation of content-specific pedagogy for students with special needs, respectively. Each scenario is based on specific components in the candidate's subject matter content area. For example, Multiple Subject candidates will address English/Language Arts in the first scenario, Mathematics in the second, Science in the third, and History/Social Science in the fourth. This written task is not dependent upon working with actual K-12 students. The following TPEs are measured in this task:
Making subject matter comprehensible to students (TPE 1)
Assessing student learning (TPE 3)
Engaging and supporting students in learning (TPE 4, 6, 7)Task 2: Connecting Instructional Planning to Student Characteristics for Academic Learning

Task 2 connects learning about student characteristics to instructional planning. This written task contains a five-step set of prompts that focuses the candidate on the connections between students' characteristics and learning needs and instructional planning and adaptations. The following TPEs are measured in this task:
Making subject matter comprehensible to students (TPE 1)
Engaging and supporting students in learning (TPE 4, 6, 7)
Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for students (TPE 8, 9)
Developing as a professional educator (TPE 13)Task 3: Classroom Assessment of Academic Learning Goals

Task 3 gives candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to design standards-based, developmentally appropriate student assessment activities in the context of a small group of students using a specific lesson of their choice. In addition, candidates demonstrate their ability to assess student learning and to diagnose student needs. The following TPEs are measured in this task.
Assessing student learning (TPE 3)
Engaging and supporting students in learning (TPE 6, 7)
Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for students (TPE 8, 9)
Developing as a professional educator (TPE 13)Task 4: Academic Lesson Design, Implementation, and Reflection after Instruction

Task 4: Academic Lesson Design, Implementation, and Reflection after Instruction
This task asks the candidates to design a standards-based lesson for a class of students, implement that lesson making appropriate use of class time and instructional resources, meet the differing needs of individuals within the class, manage instruction and student interaction, assess student learning, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson. To ensure equity to the candidate, a videotape of the lesson is collected and reviewed. The following TPEs are measured in this task.
Making subject matter comprehensible to students (TPE 1)
Assessing student learning (TPE 2, 3)
Engaging and supporting students in learning (TPE 4, 5, 6, 7)
Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for students (TPE 8, 9)
Creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning (TPE 10, 11)
Developing as a professional educator (TPE 13)

One year ago: One Major Problem With Standardized Testing

Three years ago: From Mexico

Four years ago: Hoops to Jump Through

Five years ago: Dumpster Diving

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