This is my fourth year as a teacher. I just got the email confirming that I have now jumped through all the required hoops to have my “clear” credential. (When you first get your credential it is “preliminary” and you must complete an “induction program” within the next five years in order to continue teacher.) I’ve been lucky to navigate all this bureaucracy without needing to actually take any classes — unless you count the online classes I took, which I wouldn’t. The online classes were pretty flimsy and easily dispatched by writing some essays and uploading whatever lesson materials I had laying around. The induction program is usually a two year process, but I was able to get a special exception to do it in one and cranked out all of that paperwork last year. So I’ve just been waiting to get the official word, and I’m happy that you can now look me up to see this:
I’m sure that the intent of these credential requirements is not just to make work. And I think it’s important to have some kind of criteria and standards. But in reality, I learned everything I know about teaching by teaching, and by talking to other teachers as a colleague (both online and in person). So while I’m happy to have this hurdle out of the way, it also reminds me that I know a lot of good teachers whose paper is not fully in order, and good potential teachers who are kept from the profession because of things like this. (And, of course, the low pay.) I have almost never seen anyone take the approach that a credential requirement is actually going to be educational, and they almost never are — so are we all just cynics, or could there be a better approach to licensure for this profession?