Alternative Certification vs. Post-Baccalaureate

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SiriusBlack, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. SiriusBlack

    SiriusBlack New Member

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    Mar 28, 2011

    Hi,
    This is my first post here.

    Anyway, I am actually a grad student who is close to finishing a Theatre related MA. I have a Theatre BA also and have come to realize that I have made a terrible, terrible choice and that people in their early 20s are too young to make permanent career choices.

    I can even plunge further down the academic spiral and get more in-debt and waste 10 years of my life getting a PhD in a field which will be almost impossible to find a job in, or I can learn something practical.

    I've thought about learning Computer Science, but that would take years. Getting certified to teach grades 8-12 seems like a more reasonable option.

    I can either go to a Post-Bacculaurate program and spend about 2 -2 1/2 years (would be 1 and a 1/2 years, but I have a lot of undergrad courses in Social Studies that the university wants me to take), plus tens of thousands of dollars, or I can go to an alternative teacher certification program like Texas Teachers Alternative Certification (board won't let me post links so google it).

    I have my doubts about the alternative teacher certification programs like that, does anyone have any experience? I know they are accredited, but still I am cautious.

    I know the high school teaching market is tough also, but it can't compare to how hard the college professor job market is.
     
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  3. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Mar 28, 2011

    My advice (from someone who knows) is do what you are passionate about. I did the opposite of you - I was too practical as a teen and young adult, and I didn't pursue the world of academia because I thought it was impractical - I thought I should have something that led to a job. Now I am 30 and going back to school. It's not a waste if it is something you want and are passionate about.

    If you are really passionate about teaching and not just picking it as the reasonable choice, then I would recommend the post-bacc program. I am not familiar with Texas, but I know around here most states rarely use the alternative certs candidates anymore because there are so many coming out of college already highly certified. It is still sometimes used in hard-to-hire areas like math and science, but social studies is by far the most saturated department. It is very competitive and I couldn't imagine a school hiring someone in an alt. cert. program when they could have 50 highly qualified candidates.

    Sorry to paint a bleak picture, but that's the reality right now.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Mar 28, 2011

    Skim our job seekers board if you want to get an idea of what teachers are facing these days. It's a very rough time to get into the profession. Plus, many of us feel that it's a calling--as Silverspoon said, you have to have a passion for it. I also majored in theater way back when but ended up with a career in television writing, which had been my initial passion (things just worked out for me). I went back to school in my 40s, got my credential, and have been teaching for 9 years. I've been very lucky.

    If you're serious about teaching, could you get certified in math, physics, or chemistry? Those areas always have the highest demand.
     
  5. SiriusBlack

    SiriusBlack New Member

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    Mar 29, 2011

    Thanks for the advice.

    I have some teaching experience from being a TA and giving a few lectures, plus all those presentations grad students have to do should count for something, but probably won't.

    I could possibly get certified in Math. I made As in both college math courses and people would come to me for help. It may not be the ideal subject for me to teach, but it is possible.
     
  6. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 29, 2011

    If you CAN do math, I would. I teach English, and with the job market the way it is, I looked into math. Except there is no way I could pass our state math test without at least 3 years of classes soooo...
     
  7. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    Mar 29, 2011

    I'm currently in an alternative certification program for special education. The job market is extremely competitive at the moment and even in high-needs areas (like special ed, science, math).

    Districts are unlikely to look at you twice if you are in an alt. cert program without previous experience in schools. The only reasons I chose alt. cert is because I already had significant experience working with children in and out of school settings, thus I had much more experience than the average education graduate.
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Mar 29, 2011

    I agree - if it is a passion pursue it - if not, look for something else. A few comments - there may be 1 drama teacher in a school versus 10+ math teachers. Our principal won't even interview someone who has an alternate certification.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Mar 30, 2011

    If you're planning to teach as a career, I would say to get an actual degree in education or at the very last take some post bs courses.

    I am an alternative certified teacher (my major was journalism) and often times I lie about my major because I know people will look down on me if they knew. (there's another alt certified person at my school and the other teachers talk about her in the breakroom. they're like, "she's not even a REAL teacher.")
     
  10. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    Mar 30, 2011

    Sadly this kind of situation is all too common, but remember that your route to certification is not an indicator as to your success as a teacher.

    You work harder and you work smarter and you prove that you are capable. Of 4 new hires in my department for this school year, I was the only alt. cert individual and I am also the only one who was recommended for re-hire.
     

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