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Old 11-28-2011, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Dallas
1 posts, read 4,861 times
Reputation: 20

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Hello,

I'm interested in pursuing a teaching career in the Dallas area. I will be going the alternative certification route. My bachelor's degree is in journalism.

I think I have a decent chance to get hired - I have 2 years of subbing experience with the same local district.. I want to work in special education.. I'm young, energetic, etc. But I'm concerned about even getting hired on for the "probationary" year. I see there are teaching spots open for next year, but I'd be willing to bet that hundreds or even thousands of people are vying for these openings.

I'm concerned about the job market for teachers. I'm concerned about dropping $6k on this certification. Are there cheaper, lower risk options??

DFW is seeing so many transplants and the housing market shows no signs of re-bounding. I'm concerned that public education and the job market for teachers is only going to get worse over the next 10-15 years. Where is the money to pay teachers going to come from??...

Is anyone out there going through alternative cert. right now? Looking for a teaching job? Etc.?

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,822 posts, read 55,990,399 times
Reputation: 19019
Use the 'search this forum' feature to see all the posts about alt cert folks who can't get jobs.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:01 AM
 
11,961 posts, read 22,269,325 times
Reputation: 10690
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Use the 'search this forum' feature to see all the posts about alt cert folks who can't get jobs.
+1 to that.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,660,917 times
Reputation: 1362
alt cert is not the way to go. Too many teachers out there with teaching degrees and expirence that are looking for jobs.
Since you sub, talk to the principals at the schools you are working at, they do the interviewing and I am sure they will tell you they will almost ALWAYS take the teaching degree over the alt cert.

check out both UNT and TWU online courses to get your teaching degree, I have 2 friends doing this right now for SpEd. (they are both Aides for SpEd)
SpEd is one area that seems to need people, esp if you are willing to work in Life, PCCD, or medical fragile as well as grades 5-12. Elementary doesn't have as much of an issue as the secondary does in filling those jobs.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:57 PM
 
30,073 posts, read 47,320,143 times
Reputation: 16023
I'm concerned about dropping $6k on this certification. Are there cheaper, lower risk options??
NO--
and if you took one why would that make you a better candidate for a job than a teacher with a true college degree in education and maybe a MS and experience?

The fact that you have two years experience working as a sub means nothing--unless you have a very good relationship with the principal at your school--
a personal relationship is really the only way to "ensure" you get a job offer if you have an alt-cert degree--and remember that until you are hired and teach that first year, you don't really HAVE an alt-cert degree...

and there are many districts that are just making it a rule they will not consider a probationary alt-cert candidate when there are certified teachers applying...
your only choices would probably be charter schools--and private religious ones--where they don't face the same credential challenges that public schools do...
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Keller, Tx
443 posts, read 1,388,037 times
Reputation: 267
As long as Rick Perry has a stranglehold on district finances they will not be doing a great amount of hiring. At this point, schools just have to hope that someone in Austin gets a brain, does the unpopular thing and raises taxes to support the education system. The state legislature gives the schools a bunch of demands on what they have to do, then provides them with no real financial support to back those programs up. They used to have property tax support, but the legislature arbitrarily decided to reduce the max property tax rate by almost a third, assuring the schools that state financing would fill in the gaps. The economy goes south, and the first thing the tea party and Rick Perry do is cut that state financing to an unmanageable level. Many schools in Texas are currently filing suit against the state for using education to cover the states funding gaps.

Last edited by DFWMike; 11-28-2011 at 03:23 PM..
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:39 AM
 
441 posts, read 1,597,026 times
Reputation: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
I'm concerned about dropping $6k on this certification. Are there cheaper, lower risk options??
NO--
and if you took one why would that make you a better candidate for a job than a teacher with a true college degree in education
Not sure why the burden of proof is arranged solely in that direction, unless it's a subtle reference to institutional inertia present in the hiring process. I would also point out that "more likely to get hired" != "more likely to be an effective teacher".

I will accept the argument that it is easier for the certified teacher to get the job. The current hiring system is biased, without basis, against alt cert folks. Anyone wanting to go the alt cert route should be aware of that. The alt cert path to employment reminds one of the story of Sisyphus.

I do not accept the premise that one or the other is more likely to be a more effective teacher, if that is your underlying point. The literature also does not seem to accept that premise. There are many studies available for the googling if one is interested in the research. This one is fairly readable and has an easily-understandable major finding:

Quote:
There was no statistically significant difference in performance between
students of AC teachers and those of TC teachers.


What we do with such findings is another matter. I predict hiring practice will continue, irrationally, to favor one over the other. And that members of the group who benefit from the current system will continue to support and offer rationalizations for that system. Present company excluded, of course.

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 11-29-2011 at 08:12 AM.. Reason: bolded source of quote for easier recognition
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:07 AM
 
30,073 posts, read 47,320,143 times
Reputation: 16023
I would like to know where you got that quote regarding performance differences between AC/TC teachers...
quote the source--not just the soundbite

you have to remember that unless you are testing the students in a kindergarten situation--there are always more than 1 year of teachers who are involved in any student's knowledge quotient...

As a teacher who taught with people who had alt-cert backgrounds and traditional ones--
I think that the alt-cert people were much more likely to not be what I would call a "qualified" teacher--
but I certainly admit that there were teachers hired with traditional backgrounds who were disappointments...

one of the best alt-cert teachers I have seen was an attorney who left law to teach history--and he excelled at it--
but he also excelled as an attorney--he just decided that was not what he wanted to do--
I don't think you can say that he took the least expensive route to teaching since he himself said he was able to use a good deal of his law school background in his classrooms...

I would be in favor of alt-cert instruction if there was a reliable infusion of real-world teaching in the classroom--
I don't think that ANYTHING prepares you to teach except teaching--and while alt cert throws people into the classroom for a year before they are "certified" professionally--at least you have to student teach for a semester under traditional degree plans and you also do other in-class monitoring/shadowing work while getting a degree--
so there is some exposure to what a live classroom experience is all about--
doing all the paper work in the work is not going to prepare someone to deal with unmotivated students, students with drug problems, the sheer avalance of grading and paperwork that comes with any academic teaching assignment in today's education system...

alt -cert programs were designed to benefit the company that is selling them and supposedly providing the "service" to their clients--and many people have made a lot of money pushing that process...
they are just like many of the "tech/career" schools that are under scrutiny now for failing to really provide an edcation to their students...

if you believe that alt-cert is a viable process for training a teacher then you should also acknowledge that the process used to do that has many weaknesses that it has no interest in correcting...
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:35 PM
 
441 posts, read 1,597,026 times
Reputation: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
I would like to know where you got that quote regarding performance differences between AC/TC teachers...
quote the source--not just the soundbite

I linked to the 60-odd page paper, complete with extensive appendices of statistical and procedural info, immediately (ten words) before the quote. IIRC that was the first sentence of the first listed finding in the final chapter and not some minor soundbite I cherrypicked.

It was a direct quote from the article which was placed in this forum's quote markup. If there is a more explicit way to "quote the source" I don't know what it is.



Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
if you believe that alt-cert is a viable process for training a teacher then you should also acknowledge that the process used to do that has many weaknesses that it has no interest in correcting...
It's true. Now substitute "college" for "alt-cert" and the statement is still true. Singling out alt-cert for this criticism is meaningless.

I will leave the last word to you. I value your opinion on other matters here but have not seen evidence that you are able to discuss the certification issue objectively and in good faith. With any luck we have shed enough light on the subject that interested onlookers will be able to research the issues and develop their own informed opinions.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:00 PM
 
30,073 posts, read 47,320,143 times
Reputation: 16023
I read parts of that study--
it was done only in certain types of school/class settings where teachers taught both the math and reading sections to their same students--no shifting of students from one class to another--
so it was limited in scope to certain schools--since many schools will swap teachers/classes and have certain teachers do LA and others do math for a grade level
it was limited to k-5 in elementary schools so no junior or senior high classes were compared
and it was voluntary participation--
so right there I think it is not a "random" sample--
I don't think very many teachers who believed they would fail would participate--so it is likely that the ones who did were confident that they had superior skills and abilities

The chart I saw showing comparisons on scoring between students of TC and AC trained teachers showed that the AC trained students scored lower-

it was just decided by the people making the test parameter that the % of reduced success was not "significant"...

but nothing I saw showed that an AC teacher routinely achieved results better than TC trained teacher and again I did not read all the study...

It was done by the USDE which has espoused a vested interest in supporting alternative training, as well as other methos of improving education--like NCLB precepts and high-stakes testing...
which really have failed to produce some (most actually) of the improvements that were promised

I did not see anything specific as to how the teachers in the test group were observed--
if it was a scheduled observation, if it happened several times in a month or over a semester/year--if it involved the same people from DoE viewing same teachers
I know the principals were involved but when I taught my principal was in my classroom for a scheduled observation for 1 class period a year--

of course I saw him in the bldg several times a day and he might be walking the halls when class was in session but our doors were normally closed
Often it seemed they decided whether teachers were doing a good job by what did not happen--
no angry parents, low numbers of referrals to the APs, low numbers of failed students to recycle, few students failing TAKS, not lot of missed days

There are some people who go into teaching via the alt-cert route and they can do a good job--and there are teachers who come through a traditional route and they do a bad one--
I have said that many times...

but I don't think someone who is looking to take the alt-cert route because they are having no luck finding work in their "qualfied" field, because they think it is a cushy/fall-back job (although who could think that after everything in the media about teachings' stress levels I can't imagine), because they don't know what else to do----those people I don't think need to be in the classroom
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