BTSA sucks...

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Teacher_Man, Apr 24, 2008.

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  1. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Just throwing it out there as a topic of discussion...

    I know it's supposed to "help," but all it does for me is add more stress and work to an already stressful and difficult first year. Seriously, why can't some of the more tedious and time-consuming assignments come during the summer, when teachers would actually have the time and energy to do them.

    I honestly don't think I'll complete the whole program in the two years they give you free to do it in. That probaly means bad news for me, but at this point, I really don't care. People tell me I'll have to pay for the program if I don't finish in the two years. Does anyone know what it would cost? What happens to people that don't finish in two years? Can we get extensions, or are we just screwed? Thanks for allowing me to vent...
     
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  3. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Apr 25, 2008

    I feel your pain

    We just took a day off today to finish all of the paperwork. Have you used all of your absences for BTSA?

    My ST and I got together for breakfast with another ST and BT and we just jammed through all the paperwork we had been neglecting all year.

    It was tedious, but I am so happy to be done. Hang in there and you will make it through the paperwork nightmare that is BTSA.
     
  4. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    :eek: I don't know what BTSA is:eek:
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment". It's a program that the state of California instituted for newly minted teachers as they go through the first (and, I think, second) year in the classroom.
     
  6. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Consider yourself lucky... Yes, as stated earlier, it's an "induction" program that's supposed to provide support for new teachers. I know it's common here in California, and I would imagine there are similar programs in other districts around the country. And needless to say, it sucks...
     
  7. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    That's not a bad idea, I guess. I've never taken a sick day to do BTSA stuff, but maybe I will in the future. But I guess that's one of the things I hate about it... I shouldn't have to waste a sick day doing BTSA stuff, especially for a program that's supposed to "help" us get through our first years.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    You have my sympathies. I swear all this crap aimed at "improving" education onlytakes away from it. Here's yet another shining example.
     
  9. AlliBob

    AlliBob Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2008

    :agreed:
    I am a second year teacher in California and I agree BTSA sucks! It offers more of a headache that it does support. It is possible to complete the program in two years if you spread all the work out. You just have to do a little bit every week and stick to it, which isn't easy to do. I would try to take all of the seminars in the summer and try to get exempt from the seminars that you feel strong in. I am supposed to be done with BTSA in June and I don't know if I will make it. I am probably going to have to take a sick day or two to finish, but I don't care. I just want to be done! I heard that the extension isn't that hard to get but it only for a couple months. I think you have to write a letter stating why you need an extension. Good luck! :2up: Hopefully you at least have a good support provider. I love mine!
     
  10. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Yes, I'm sure I'll be one of those requesting an extension. And regarding my support provider, she's fine enough, and I'm sure she means well, but to me, she comes off sounding like a nagging mother more than someone trying to help. She really anal too, very by-the-book, which sometime makes things difficult. I'm not asking for someone who'll let me coast, but from others I've talked to BTSA, she's more demanding than most.
     
  11. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2008

    Not a sick day

    I didn't have to take a sick day to get the work done. We have codes for absences and BTSA has its own code, so it didn't take away my personal necessity days. In any case, BTSA does inhale with great velocity.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I've only completed 1 yr of BTSA so far because I only taught for the 2006-07 school yr. The BTSA program where I was working was pretty easy. My BTSA teacher came every 1-2 wks throughout the yr & we had about 4 meetings throughout the year, but regarding the paperwork, it was easy.

    I dread what it will be like at the next district I get hired at because it can't be any easier than what I had!
     
  13. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2008

    Glad to hear you had a positive experience with it...
     
  14. mikaelab

    mikaelab Rookie

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    As your admins if you get btsa days paid by the district. In my district, we had two paid work days per year with our support providers. Your admins might say yes if you ask. There has been so much money thrown at btsa, I wouldn't be surprised if it is there and you just don't know it. Then you wouldn't have to use a sick day.

    Yes, it sucks, and it is good to be done. I taught in another state prior to moving to California and they STILL made me go through it. It was ridiculous. California requires so much less school (education class-wise) for people to become teachers (1 year as opposed to 4), that I see why they do it. But they should change the process BEFORE teachers become teachers - have college majors in education (duh what a great idea...actually have teachers go to school to be teachers...weird), etc. That way induction wouldn't be necessary, and new teachers could simply be paired with an on-site mentor (that is what I have heard a lot of other states do - including the one I came from).
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Thanks!
     
  16. l_ung123

    l_ung123 Rookie

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    I concur that BTSA is more work than help. My BTSA binder is due May 6th and I still have a lot to do. On top of all the events we had to do an action research project and present it at the colloquium. What's even worse is that I'm trying to finish my master degree at the same time. I'm suppose to turn my master project in May 10th! Advice for anyone thinking about getting their master and doing BTSA at the same time, finish your BTSA then go for the master. DON'T do both at the same time. Trust me...
     
  17. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Apr 27, 2008

    BTSA=Beginning Teacher Stress Assignments
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    My colloquium was very informal. I worked for a tiny district so there weren't that many of us. We only had to go around the room (sitting where we were) & talked for a few minutes about what we learned. They served refreshments too.

    I was working on my Masters the year prior to my doing BTSA. I was working on my Masters (comprehensive exam) & student teaching a 6th grade class during the same term. And I never wanted 6th grade at all! I completed it all w/ flying colors!
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Bleh! I hated BTSA. I was so stressed as it was, teaching kindergarten, the last thing I needed was to run around the school collecting paperwork for the standards folders. And all of the lesson plans that they require!!!! Errrr, and I created lesson plans in my teacher prep school up to the wazoo and here they want me to create more!

    Our county held a BTSA graduate review where we could share our opinions on the program. Out of the 100 or so who went through the program, only 5 of us went. We ALL complained about the program and what a waste it was. I was so glad when I finished that program. I gained absolutely nothing from that program.
     
  20. Kerfuffle

    Kerfuffle Rookie

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    Hee hee, love it! :lol:

    As an ST I'm currently facing memorizing junk about the constitution... to pass some test... in order to teach SCIENCE. Grrrr. I am sorry to hear BTSA is just a frustration. A little something to look forward to next year I guess. :|
     
  21. MS Candy

    MS Candy Comrade

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    I am so sad I am missing all the fun....I came to GA thinking I would have a BTSA type program and we have NOTHING, not a mentor or anything....I am glad in some ways because yes it has been stressful year, but I also have no support. Good Luck to all of you!
     
  22. Annie227

    Annie227 Companion

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    Apr 28, 2008

    That's hilarious!
    BTSA was a big factor in my decision to leave California! I have a 2 year induction program here in Virginia too, but it is less work and more useful.
     
  23. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Teaching sixth grade, the kids like to say all sorts of things that I wouldn't say in front of my grandma...like SUCKS! On the first day of school, I told them that the word has inappropriate origins, so they can say that "_______ inhales with great velocity." (You fill in the blank with whatever irks you at any given moment.)

    They looked at me, quite perplexed because they did not understand the meaning of the words (along with others, like 'odor'). Someone finally looked the words up.

    Call it "vocabulary development" or something of that sort.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Vocabulary development, indeed...

    Another approach is to supply an improbable object for the verb: "sucks great green moon rocks" was an alternative suggested by a friend of mine some years ago.
     
  25. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Although I do agree with most of the comments here, I do appreciate Ms Candy's comments about support. I consider myself lucky to have a good support provider. We share ideas, meet regularly, share successes and failures, share information, and have a good relationship. However, doing the Events is a joke that in my opinion is, although not completely worthless, certainly not worth the time and effort put into them...that time could easily be spent really improving my teaching...
     
  26. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Sounds like a horrible program. Sounds like New Teacher Academy in Mobile COunty. One of the reasons I won't teach there. I pray that Baldwin COunty, my dream district, doesn't adopt a program like this.
     
  27. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I was supposed to go thru it, but nobody was willing to help me. Every time I asked about it, I got nowhere! People at my job claimed I didn't have to do it, because I technically wasn't a beginning teacher,since I had experience. But my credential clearly stated that I needed it.

    I ended up back in IL, so I didn't worry about it anymore.

    There are some statistics that say teacher mentoring/induction programs helps reduce the amount of teacher turnover. That would be the case, if it didn't cause more stress than the job itself. Many mentors are just looking for a check, and not willing to do the work involved. However, here in IL it is manadatory that all new teachers go thru a induction program for 2 yrs before getting standard certicate. And, many districts are provided their own mentor programs for new teachers as well.
     
  28. MissWull

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    At my university, Azusa Pacific, they allow you the chance to take four 9 week classes in order to get your clear credential. You can only take them if your district doesn't offer BTSA though. The total cost of the program would be just under $6,000 with the universities tuition fees. It is also a better time to get it all complete...about 9 months instead of 2 years!
     
  29. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    I believe with the new laws in CA, if you received your prelimenary credential after a certain date, you have to go through BTSA. If your district has no BTSA program, then you can take classes through a university. Before the laws were changed, you could clear through classes OR BTSA, but now it's only through BTSA.

    The problem with that is if you complete BTSA through LAUSD, you won't credit for the work you did if you transfer to Long Beach Unified, or wherever. With university classes, you can take those with you anywhere you go, whereas BTSA work stays within the district you completed it in. What a scam...
     
  30. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Wait... I'm confused. When I went through BTSA with my district, we were allowed to apply for units through two different universities (san diego and fresno pacific). I was under the impression that if I ever applied to another school district, that those units, along with my colleges and univeristies, would transfer with me. What do you mean you can't take it with you?
     
  31. teacherfan

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    My question about BTSA is what if I don't get a job? How do I clear my credential? I have been subbing since I got my prelim and am so worried I will not clear it in time.
     
  32. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    I work for LAUSD so I'm not sure how it works other places, but as far as I know, the BTSA work we do with the district stays within the district. So all the work and effort I put in towards salary points only applies if I stay in LAUSD. If I move to Long Beach Unified, for example, all the salary credit I earned doing BTSA in LA DOES NOT transfer with me, because I did that work with the district and not a university.

    Other teachers have told me that they know people who stay with LAUSD purely because they would lose all the salary credit they earned doing BTSA. If they moved to another school district, all the salary credit would be gone, plus they might have to start BTSA over if they weren't done already with clearing their credential.

    Again, this is how I understand it. If anyone can correct me or clarify this point, please feel free to do so...
     
  33. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    That's a good question... I would imagine there must be some way for you to complete BTSA within your school district while you sub. I would contact someone within the district and inquire ASAP.
     
  34. MS Candy

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    I did my student teaching in Cali and at a Montessori school, some of the teacher told me they just went back to school and took a year or did a masters to cover-or bypass BTSA....not sure about the specifics. But I do believe that there is a specific number of credits that will cover it....
     
  35. uclalum

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    Yes, unfortunately you are correct. All of the BTSA salary points do not transfer if you leave LAUSD. I wish that we were offered university credit like Peachy! On top of that, LAUSD is sooo slow in giving us the salary points. I am still waiting for my salary point for Standard 17. I completed it almost a year ago! My Support Provider and I have made dozens of calls to the district. The program with LAUSD is so disorganized.:down:
     
  36. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Wow, that sounds horrible!!! It's too bad that LA is allowed to get away with that. I wonder what their reasoning is behind that?
     
  37. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Like I said, I've heard others say that they know people that choose to not leave the district because of the salary points they would lose. They want to leave, but financially they'd come up on the short end. Maybe I'm being cynical, but perhaps that's the reason right there...
     
  38. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    how's the weather out there??? Still hot as ____ :rolleyes:? Did you have any trouble from fire?? Is it finally put out?
     
  39. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I am sure they will offer you some type of extension. Like I had 1-2 yrs to pass CBEST, and 1 yr to complete BTSA, and all the alphabet mess under it.

    ok, here it is:

    RM2

    this credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects in self- contained, to everyone on earth! :confused: (ok, so why did I still need the Child Care Permit?!)

    RC

    the holder must take and pass CBEST within one year of issuance date of this document.

    valid 9/1/99 to 10/1/08 (wow...this year? I can go back and still be legit?)

    R14D

    to renew this credential the holder may be required to do the following: (right...may be!) commission approved induction, CPR card, BTSA, health education special education, computer based technology, 5th year study (hey, isn't this all the same thing? why not just say grad school and be done with it!)

    R14T

    the following requirements may be needed to renew this crednetial and complete option above. commission approved induction, CPR card, BTSA, health education special education, computer based technology, 5th year study


    uh, didn't they just say that...how confusing!

    no wonder you are po'd
     
  40. no_one_teacher

    no_one_teacher Rookie

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    I totally agree! I'm in my 2nd year of BTSA and its just a lot of work. There are so many forms, acronyms, dates, developments, reflections--it's ridiculous. I am trying to hold on until I'm fully credentialed or "confirmed" as I like to call it.

    For actual university credit units, I understand that there a few academic institutions that offer you actual units for the BTSA/CFASST stuff. I'm not totally sure, but I have heard that Point Loma has some program like that.

    Also the teacher that is subbing and is trying to get into BTSA, you need to contact the district and tell them your situation. When I was starting off, my district didn't have a position for me and I was just floating around. I wanted to get started on BTSA as quickly as I could, but "they" said I needed a permenant place. Which is a whole post altogether. If you are willing to shell out a few bucks, there some community colleges that offer the BTSA program to clear your credential, I know that Pasadena City College was one.

    BTW, can you tell that I'm procrastinating from my own BTSA work?
     
  41. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    funny...CA calls it a Clear Credential

    IL calls it a Standard Certificate...

    is anyone out there totally clear??? :p
     
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