Alternative Certifcation

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ryhoyarbie, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    In your opinion, do you think doing alternative certification can be a downfall for those trying to get hired who went through this way?

    I went through alternative certification in the fall of 2007 and passed the content exam of social studies 4-8. However, since I did not get hired last year, I then took the generalist 4-8 content exam and passed it last month. I have also been subbing at two school districts for the past year, from elementary to middle school to high school, to get exposure and experience. I even know two principals I have worked for in the past that I just subbed for, if that might help me.
     
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  3. mego65

    mego65 Comrade

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    I'm not sure since we don't have alternative programs where I live. But, in the town I live in, where the competition is fierce they generally only hire from the hardest program that is offered. So, of course I did this program and put myself through a year of hell, to have the district lay off a hundred teachers for the second year in a row. Now, I will be moving to Texas where my extremely difficult year will mean nothing.
     
  4. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    This is a question for STG. In my area, unless you have an education degree don't bother applying. The market is saturated especially with social studies and gen ed teachers. I have some strong opposition to ACP which is why I went back to school, did the courses and the student teaching. It's an employer's market now and they can be very choosy right now.
     
  5. kalli007

    kalli007 Companion

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    I'm going through the Alt Cert program right now, and I am terrified about not getting hired. My degree is FAR from Education related, I do not think that I would get hired over an experienced teacher, but feel good about my chances against new teachers due to having a decade worth of substantial work experience.

    My goal now is to concentrate on beefing up the resume through subbing and probably getting a daycare job this summer.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    ryhoy-Since TX education hasn't been affected by the economy like other areas of the country it is hard to say. The competition for social studies is fierce unless you can coach some sport. Most schools in TX have their social studies teachers coach some sport. Because you passed the Generalist you can teach math and science; however, most schools like to hire teachers that have degrees in those areas before looking at generalist candidates. You are going to have make yourself really stand out above those candidates that went the more traditional route.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think that in the most desired districts you are going to have a hard time getting hired even in Texas with an certificate. Not that you won't get hired, but you are probably not going to be hired in their first round. If you are willing to work in a less desired district, it will probably be fine, but you might still have to wait until they have hired teachers that have experience/student teaching. If you teach for a few years you would then be considered with other applicants with the same experience.
     
  8. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    Well if I don't get hired, I need to do something else then, other than subbing for next year.
     
  9. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    AC

    I went through a university AC program as I went to law school before deciding to become a teacher. However, I did student teaching while in the AC program so I did have that valuale experience. I was certified in 2005 and began teaching that year (hired by the school where I student taught). I would have never had that connection and been hired without student teaching.

    Since then I have never been asked or inquired about my certification route.

    I do think this is not a good time for AC candidates though, especially if you want a teaching job before certification. I know in Texas district have to choose a certified teacher over a non-certified so finding a district without access to cert teachers is nearly impossible. There are just too many certified teachers out there.

    A word of caution: Please reconsider going in the classroom as teacher without no experience. If you can, try doing the student teaching (you learn invaluable info that you can't without it). I know it's hard on the pocket - but I was a single mother of 5 and did it.

    Just my :2cents:
     
  10. nayelismom

    nayelismom Rookie

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    I went through an ACP and got hired away. Now, I will mention that I got hired as a general ed teacher ONLY because I'm a certified bilingual teacher. So they would be able to move me where they needed. I think it just depends on the field and I would agree with STG on the coaching bit.
     
  11. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Bilingual

    I know here in Texas, if you are bilingual - you are a shoein to get hired. I wished I were. Districts will nearly beat down your door to beg you for an interview.
     
  12. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    I've been subbing for two school districts since the beginning of the school year. However, the program I went through, Region 11, did not have an internship to student teach. I'm just hoping the subbing I've been doing will help me.
     
  13. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Where is Region 11?

    I'm in Region 10 (DFW area). I didn't realize some don't have the student teaching option - but I did get it through A&m_Commerce. Like I said, I am very thankful I did it because I learned so much (much more than when I subbed). My student teacher mentor really let me see being a teacher through her eyes and I had a hand in creating lesson plans, implementation, reteaching, assessment - not just handing out worksheets.

    If you can't do student teaching then subbing is a good alternative. Subbing is good for classroom management and making connections. During the time I was doing my student teaching I had friends that were traditional AC teachers ( in other words they did not have student teaching experience, they were thrown in the classroom and took classes as they went along). Many were VERY frustrated by lesson planning, behavior management, documentation, etc. These are things that I at least expected going in since I had all my classes and student teaching.

    All I am saying in my area (DFW) you will be hard-pressed to find a job via AC right now. Now, several years ago you could , but now we have lots of cert teachers and district must choose them instead. District must let the state know when they hire AC teachers and certify that it was because no cert teachers were applying.

    Good luck and stick with it. It is a great, rewarding profession.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    jeannie-my sister went through the same AC program and got the first job she interviewed at, but that was about 3 years ago. I have to agree that Region 10 is going to be flooded with traditional college grads in the areas that you're looking at.
     
  15. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    Region 11 is for Ft Worth, while Region 10 is for Dallas area. I'm also aware that Commerce does have a relation with the Region 10 program too. The Region 11 program though had nothing about student teaching. If it did, I would have done it.
     
  16. K-5*Newbie*

    K-5*Newbie* Rookie

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    Hi, I am not from Texas, but here in NJ someone with an alternate route cert. has to take classess after they get a job. The hard part IS getting the job. My BF is special ed and English, so the districts are desparate for male teachers, especially in SPED. So if you have time or money to pick up another cert, do it! NJ universities are thinking about closing just K-5 programs and making them K-8 with a subject, because there are no jobs in K-5. Ofcourse if you're a male teacher, you have a much better chance, or if you're doing HS.

    I graduated last May with K-5,regular route, no job! So I got a job as a SPED assistant, went back to school and got my SPED cert as well as middle school math cert. So I already have a job lined up for next year.

    If you don't find anything this year, try to apply for an assistant position, it's better than subbing, stable and usually with benefits. Good luck
     
  17. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    As stated in previous postings, in TX critical areas is what is going to get you in regardless of whether you went the traditional route or ACP. As an ACP intern, I got hire right away. Special Ed & bilingual are critical areas where I am located.
     
  18. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    smalltowngal - your right, I began teaching 4 years ago so things may have changed I suppose.

    And, I didn't go through Region 10 AT ALL. I decided to go through A&M-Commerce. I know others who went through Region 10 specifically and they didn't feel nearly as prepared. I have to say I felt very prepared going through a university.

    Wow, I didn't realize Ft.Worth was a different Region. I think that is why you can't student teach. I don't think you can student teach with Region 10 either. I was able to student teach because I went through the university.
     
  19. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    Well when I graduated college in 2005, I really did not know what I wanted to do. Then I decided to do the teaching thing by going through Region11. But I guess I could have stuck around for another year in college and do their teaching program like you did with Commerce. Oh well, it's in the past.
     
  20. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    I am alt cert and bilingual -- and got the job at the first school where I interviewed.

    Becoming bilingual is something everyone should consider, especially in the border states.
     
  21. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm still completing my ACP (I will be done at the end of the summer) and I'm in my second year teaching; HOWEVER, I teach middle school math in an inner city school. I was hired at the time when the P desperately needed somebody with a heartbeat in front of those classes. They had run off several teachers and a number of subs and it was only October. My degrees are in math and I had been teaching at a community college for 5 years as an adjucnt. Basically we both took a chance on each other and it worked out.
     
  23. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I went through an ACP and I got a job.

    It wasn't easy. I subbed four years! The third year is when I did my ACP. I didn't get hired the next but I only wanted to work in one school My kids went there. I almost got the kindergarten job at the last minute but they ended up not needing to add a section.

    In my fourth year, I did a long term sub position. I think that sealed the deal for me. My district does not look favorably upon ACP's. They don't need to as it is a popular district for teachers.

    I went through Region 10. No student teaching.

    I don't know how much daycare experience will help unless you are looking to do pre-k or something. It made no difference for me whatsoever.

    RYHOYARBIE (what in the world is that anyway?) You can get hired but you need an in. You need to maybe meet with a principal and ask to do some observing or apply for a long term sub job, if there are any left.

    I wish I was bilingual. I can speak Spanish but not with the confidence to teach in a bilingual room....or the certification for that matter. You should have heard me trying to explain in Spanish what was wrong with the lawn mower to a man who wanted to buy it.
     
  24. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Yes I wish I were bilingual too. I would love for my kids to learn Spanish. It sure is a bonus in life. My best friend is a dual language teacher. She loves it. She teacher predom Spanish-speaking kids and English-speaking kids in same room. Half in Spanish, half in English.

    Bilinguals has such an advantage.
     
  25. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Hijack--

    Me too jeaniemleigh- My oldest is in his second year of it right now and I am going to encourage him to take it all through high school, too.
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My kids translate for me sometimes....that's bad. I do speak enough french to fumble my way through communications with the hatian parents though. I really want to get better at it. I've been seriously considering, oh, what's that language program that's so good...brain fart, can't think of it.

    Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled thread...
     
  27. suzerich

    suzerich Companion

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    Rosetta Stone? I've been thinking about it too. I took the equivalent of 4 years in German (2 high school, 14 hours college) but it was years ago.

    I'm in Web-Centric ACP and realized I've probably made a mistake and should have gone with TAM Commerce, because of a conversation with the person scheduling observations at one of the ISD's I would like to work for. They have agreements with them apparently for observations and student teaching.

    I've passed 4-8 generalist and 8-12 history and have been subbing, but not as much as they've called me. I'm going to my first job fair next week, but I'm not real confident I'll find a job. I still have to complete a minimum of 20 observations, and finish a module on classroom management and technology. I have an MLS in Library Science and I'm hoping to get a job somewhere south of Hwy 287. But, I've been reading this board for a while, and I'm not sure they'll even look at me.

    I have made friends with a new teacher from a online ACP who was hired last minute last year because she could do the newspaper. So, its possible.

    Good luck everyone.
     
  28. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Rosetta Stone...that's it. Thanks.
     
  29. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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  30. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Sometimes observations are waved if you have sub experience. I had 3,360 hours of subbing when I got to the part where I needed to do the observations. They waved it.:thumb:

    Sidenote, I do observations all the time now that I am teaching. They are so productive for me. I can target exactly what I want to work on or what I want to watch and the teachers have no problem with me coming in and watching them.
     
  31. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    suzerich, I haven't heard of Web-Centric. Is that all web-based???

    You know what - anything is possible. If you have the motivation and drive, you can do anything. God knows you may be knocked down a few times, but if it's (teaching) worth it to you, you'll find a way!!!!!:p
     
  32. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    After reading the posts here, I'm beginning to think the alternative certification thing might not be so hot for people who want to teach.

    I think student teaching would be great for half a semester or a little under that for people such as myself, just to see how teachers manage behavior problems, lesson plans, and such. Though I guess a first year teacher who did student teaching might get frustrated and overwhelmed too.:dizzy:
     
  33. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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  34. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Comrade

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    I've been in contact with my teacher consultant and she hasn't told me that at all. But I finished the program back in December of 07.
     
  35. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    yes a first year teacher (and not so first year teachers) get frustrated with different things (behavior, documentation, paperwork, assessment, etc.) even if they have student teaching. Student teaching does not alleviate all first year issues. But I do feel like my mentor helped me understand or at least helped me expect certain problems and I got some experience with the safety net of my mentor there. It was MY GUIDED PRACTICE>

    But student teaching experience is different for different people. I know people who had horrible mentor teachers while student teaching. I had a wonderful one who taught for 25 years. She was very conscientious and told me what I needed to know. One of her best tips she gave me was to be careful who you open up to and watch what you say. I have seen so many make this mistake. Ok, now I am getting off-topic. Sorry

    Anyways, I know money is a concern. But I spent 3 months working everyday for no money - and as I said, I did it with 5 children. But I knew it was worth it. I would suggest volunteering if you can't student teach.

    I think volunteering is even better than subbing. Volunteering you can be in with a teacher (great observation opportunity) and she can let you read with small groups, do non-confidential paperwork, show you how she assesses and documents, etc. These are things you don't have an opportunity for while subbing. This would be a great thing to do if you know a teacher.
     
  36. suzerich

    suzerich Companion

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    Yes, I don't want to be more than 30 minutes from my son's school. My house is farther away, but I want to be close enough to his school that I can get there if there's an emergency.
     
  37. suzerich

    suzerich Companion

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    Yes, its web based,but very interactive, chats, webcams, moodle operating system, and completion of 20 observations (prior to 2009) or 30 observations afterwards. The directors call you personally to assist with questions. I think its a good program for online. I'd spent so much money on other degrees (MLS, MA) that I haven't been able to use, I wanted to make sure I really wanted to do this before paying out the larger amounts. I started out wanting to be a school librarian, but they've changed the requirements to 2 years education before school library certification.
     
  38. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I want to become a school librarian, but I just finished my M.E.D. in Reading and don't know if I could handle the extra money to wind up making the same as I do now. ALthough it would be a MUCH easier job than classroom teacher.
     
  39. suzerich

    suzerich Companion

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    That was my problem. To get the teaching experience, an ACP program is about $4000, school library certification on top of that is a minimum of $2500-3000, plus I have no idea where my GRE scores are and its been over 5 years since I took it the last time. Don't want to do it again if I don't have to.
     
  40. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    I just wanted to mention that not every alternative certification program candidate is a total "wash" and won't "make it" in teaching. Personally, I know way more teachers who went through traditional university programs to become certified and are hardly up to par. There are a lot of things that you can't learn in a lecture about being in a classroom. Most things are just learned in real life and through experience. It's great if you know how to write a four page lesson plan and come up with intricate behavioral management systems, but it's completely different when you're in the classroom. Anyone can LEARN how to do those things, but it's drive, compassion, and the desire to make a difference in the lives of children that really determines who will be a good teacher.

    Principals and school districts definitely like to "see" the traditional certification on paper. However, if you have a decent background in working with kids (or even volunteering / giving back / etc.), have a good personality, and really just want to be a teacher for the right reasons, they'll be able to see that in an interview.

    I'm glad for ACPs that are out there for people like me. People who graduated from college not really sure what they were going to do, worked in the real world for a while, then decided they wanted to make a difference. There's no way I would be a teacher right now if I had to go through five years to do it. It's a tough job and I love it, but I wouldn't have been able to make a career change if it required five more years of schooling.

    I've trained other teachers in my district on various things, teachers come to me for help with behavior management, visual cues, structured teaching ideas, etc. Just because I didn't have five years of university preparation, doesn't mean I can't be a spectacular teacher.

    I just wanted to let those out there who are going through ACPs right now that it is NOT the end of the world, and if you want this, you'll get it. I know the economy is tough, you have the "Alternative" part going against you, and so on... but ANYTHING is possible for those who try.

    Good luck to all of you ACPers and I wish you the best. (You can do it!)
     
  41. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    teachersk

    I don't believe anyone was saying that AC teachers aren't up to par. I know that was my route into teaching. We were just discussing whether it was more difficult to get in. And I know in Texas it is (not impossible), but at least in Texas the district must certify that the didn't have any acceptable certified teachers in order to hire an AC teacher.

    I consider myself to be one of the best teachers ever - and I didn't have a desire to teach until after I went to law school. I decided I couldn't stomach being a lawyer, stayed home with kids awhile and began subbing (since I could do it just when I wanted to). I fell in love with teaching.

    So route in teaching doesn't indicate at all how good of a teacher you will be. But it is harder to get hired if you aren't already certified. It will require more perserverence. That perserverence will tell who really wants it.

    Alt cert programs started to get a bad wrap after 9/11 when lots of people lost their jobs. Many of those people (not all of course) simply wanted a job and thoguht teaching was EASY. We know better.
     

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