Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Minnesota Teacher Licensure-- You ALL can teach.

The Minnesota Legislature and Governor have decided that experience working with kids isn't important as important as having bodies in classrooms.  We now have alternate licensing in Minnesota.

This from the state that has increased license expectations for tattoo artists and body piercers.

I believe that the thinking is that most of these people with alternate licenses will go right to work in our toughest schools.  The kind of schools that have external forces that wear heavily on teachers.  I hope that putting those people that think that it will be "neat to teach" in the classroom, without decent preparation, doesn't create more problems.  The under-prepared usually don't do well in tough situations.

This should work, if schools really are machines and teachers are just cogs in the industrial model. You should be able to replace anyone in the school machine and get good results.

We'll see.  I personally think it would be fun to try to be a million dollar per year CEO.  Maybe we could trade places while you give teaching a try.

If you are in charge of hiring someone with an alternate license, for the love of all that is holy, give them lots of support and supervision.  Please help them be successful.


Jude said...

Colorado has had alternative licensing for several years. I've known quite a few people who became teachers through that route. It isn't a walk in the park--in Colorado, once you're hired, you have to go through training, classes, and extra supervision, which costs you $5,000 for a year. I know one teacher who's a bad teacher and was hired for political reasons; but my principal, who was excellent, began his teaching career in math after a career as an engineer--he's a good principal. Our math teacher decided that she didn't want to finish her doctorate in physics. Our tech teacher also has a master's degree and is doing a great job. And then there's me. I have a master's degree in library science and 19 years of experience working in libraries. Alternative licensing gives me a chance to earn a living at a job I love (instead of being paid as an aide). Depending upon the regulations by your state department of ed, you should soon be getting some great teachers.

Roger Whaley said...

I'm just worried that we will have some issues. Sounds like Colorado thought this through with the training, classes and extra supervision.

I am worried that this is a solution looking for a problem. We don't have a shortage of teachers. We have hundreds of applicants for every job we post.

Here is another question... If you already have course work for a masters or doctorate, would you really have problems getting some course work in pedagogy and a full term of student teaching? It was harder for me to get into and afford grad school than to get a teaching license.

Jude said...

It might be because I live in a rural area that alternative licensing is so appealing. You can find some online sources to obtain teacher certification (e.g., Western Governors University), but if you're already working full time it's difficult to work in student teaching and other requirements. At any rate, the program seems to work well. Here's our alternative licensing page: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/Licensure_AlternativeApp.asp