On Becoming a Professional Hoop-Jumper

One of the reasons why I am still an untenured teacher after four years of teaching is because we move around a lot. I was certified in Michigan, then taught in California for 2 years; I've been teaching in Michigan these past two years, and next I'll be teaching in Texas for who knows how long?
You might be able to imagine that it caused some major headaches (and even tears!) when I started teaching in California and had to deal with countless hoops to jump through to get my California teaching license. I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say that two years wasn't anywhere CLOSE to enough time to complete the endless list of requirements.
But at least California let me start teaching before I started hoop-jumping. I just got off the phone with human resources in Texas they were all like: "Oh by the way, you can't step foot in your classroom until you get your Texas teacher certification". What??? Why wasn't I informed of this earlier? You mean I can't start hoop-jumping once I get there? The lady hinted that I might want to get that started soon since it can be a long process.
I am so sick of each state having such a GOD COMPLEX. Here's been my experience.
CA: "We are soooo special. We really can't trust Michigan to do a good job training their teachers. I mean, we have English Language Learners here. What's that, Sarah? Your Hearing Impairment certification equips you to teach ELL as a language acquisition expert? I don't understand. You had better just do what we say. Also, you have to go through a rigorous mentoring program called BTSA (don't worry, it will only take 80 hours on top of your day job to complete!). Because as a Michigan teacher, you just might strangle your students, and we want to make sure you're not doing that. Because we are the best state ever and we have to make sure we weed out those whackos from the midwest...."
TX: "No, no, no, you can't even start being a teacher out here until we give you a special piece of paper saying that you are qualified. You already have piece of paper from Michigan, you say? Well, you probably just colored a coloring book in college to get that. Or maybe you sang a song. In either case, we need to make sure you pass our basic skills test, for one thing. Michigan basic skills are SOOO much different than Texas basic skills. I mean, can you even add? Texas is special. You have to do special things to teach here or else you're going to screw up our students..."
MI: "Hey, we made this teacher do THREE SEMESTERS of student teaching--one for each area of certification--which we can guarantee is more than any other state requires. Because Michigan is superior. So just let her teach in your state. Trust me."
My next move? Get Nationally Board Certified!!


Sarah said...

Hmm, I'm teaching in Texas and KNOW we have uncertified teachers here! They won't let you file for the temporary certificate to get you started? Sorry they're making it so hard for you! This is exactly why I never want to move out of state. Crazy!

Ok, you've probably already checked this out, but just in case, here's some info!

The following is from this website - http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/certinfo/routescertif.asp?width=1024&height=768#oos2

Certification Based on Credentials from Outside Texas

An applicant who has been issued a standard certificate or credential from another state, territory of the United States , or another country may apply for a Texas certificate. The credential must be equivalent to a certificate issued by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), and must not have been revoked, suspended, or pending such action. SBEC will evaluate an expired credential provided it was standard at the time of issuance. A statement issued by another state department of education specifying eligibility for standard certification upon completion of certain employment or examination requirements will have the same standing as a standard certificate.

To apply online for a review of credentials, click here.

An applicant who holds a standard credential issued by a jurisdiction outside Texas , and who meets specified requirements as determined by the review of credentials completed by the SBEC may be issued a One-Year Certificate in one or more subject areas. During the validity of this temporary, nonrenewable certificate, the applicant must complete satisfactorily all appropriate examinations for each certification area for which continued certification is desired. If the person has completed an examination administered under the authority of a jurisdiction outside Texas that is determined to be comparable to a Texas test, they may request an exemption of the Texas test. To review information on comparable out-of-state tests, click here.

To apply online for a One-Year Certificate, click here.

To establish eligibility for the Standard Certificate, certified applicants from outside Texas must complete all requirements specified in the certification plan prepared by the SBEC.

To apply online for a Standard Certificate, click here.

Cori said...

Hey, don't even try to come to Washington! Things are even crazier here! If you want to consider National Boards, you should talk to Andrea. She mentors teachers in that program!

Anonymous said...

Texas will be very fortunate to get you as a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Come to FL, they LOVE Michigan trained teachers!

Anonymous said...

Something is REALLY wrong with our certification system. It makes no sense! Mom

Anonymous said...

Hey, nice venting. I am impressed. You are learning a wonderful virture (patience)...

Anonymous said...

How dare they question my daughter's competencies!

Her neutral, objective dad.

Anonymous said...

What a zoo!! Do we need a teacher czar?

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