Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teacher Mike up and running
(and jumping through the hoops)

Well, running might be a stretch. But the school year is almost here and I am actually ready to get this thing rolling. It is not that I am so excited about school. That has never happened to me.

My path from AtHomeDaddy to Middle School Teacher has been a fairly straightforward process, but there have been lots of "hoops" to jump through along the way. Since I am going into teaching without a college degree in Education, I am finishing up an Alternative Certification Program (ACP).

ACPs were allowed into Texas back when there was a Teacher shortage. The aim was to recruit degree-holding professionals into public education while giving the background knowledge about curriculum design and classroom management in quick class sessions. Over the years ACP programs, like the one I am enrolled in, moved a significant amount of their coursework to the internet. This was a great way for me to meet all of the program requirements with a minimum of hassle.

Jump forward through my first semester of teaching, and all of the drama that came with being laid off and eventually rehired. Right at the end of the school year, only days after my new contract had been signed, I was asked to switch jobs and to teach Special Education Math classes.

Now anyone who has known me for a long time should let that sink in. Nobody is ever very surprised when I tell them I teach Special Education. But MATH??? REALLY?!?! Yep.

Anyways, the new gig came with new requirements to complete another certification (to go along with my oft used Elementary Teacher and High School Language Arts Teacher certifications). Tomorrow I take my exam. And if all goes as it should, I'll be teaching math in less than a month.

The biggest problem with all of this is that it has left me and several of my friends and co-workers in limbo through the summer. Nobody really wants to jump into setting up a class if we will be shuffling around at the last minute because Teacher Mike didn't pass his certification exam. I REALLY do not want to be the guy who set off any more drama on our campus.

As soon as I signed my contract for the upcoming school year, I started looking forward to a relaxing summer and my first fall semester. Now that this exam is looming. I realize I was really looking forward to an end to all of the "hoops", too. Enough with the surprises, 'mkay?

Assuming all goes well tomorrow, I'll have one more comprehensive exam to get through this fall. But that test is one that I have known about since starting the program. After passing that one, I'll be finished with my teacher's certification program.

But I bet there will be a lot more "hoops" to come.

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