Saturday, July 1, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Alternative Certification Paths

CURMUDGUCATION: Alternative Certification Paths:

Alternative Certification Paths

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We need alternative paths to the classroom. 

Mind you, we don't need paths that are shortcuts. We don't need an alternative path that is just a five week long truncated training that wouldn't prepare a camp counselor for a summer with jumpy ten year olds. We don't need alternative paths used by charter operators to train people to fill their own charter openings with not-too-qualified bodies. And we definitely don't need the alternative path, favored by more and more states, that is no path at all, but just dumping someone into a classroom when her only qualification is a college degree and a pulse.

Most of the alternative paths in use these days are intended to help businesses fill openings or to help politicians look like they are addressing the teacher "shortage" (a shortage that is really a lack of willingness to do what it takes to make teaching more appealing work).

These alternative paths are bad-- bad for the profession, bad for the people who follow them, bad for the schools where those "teachers" end up working.

But it would also be a mistake to suggest that if you didn't decide to pursue a teaching degree when you were nineteen or twenty, the window has closed and you can never choose teaching as a career.

Nor is it reasonable to expect a later-in-life career switcher to somehow navigate a traditional teacher education program while still supporting herself or her family.

So what would a real alternative certification path for career-changers need to look like?

* Some standard of content knowledge. Yes, even if you're a former astrophycisist who wants to teach first grade. Knowing content well enough to use it in your profession, and knowing it well 
CURMUDGUCATION: Alternative Certification Paths:

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