BTSA sucks...

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

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  1. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2010

    Wow, this sounds a lot like my student teaching experience, except with getting paid and having full responsibility of the classroom. That really stinks!
     
  2. ChicagoTeach

    ChicagoTeach Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2010

    Hmmm..... The woman is trying to help keep you on target and you are busting on her? Does not sound like you are taking the teaching profession very serious. If you WANT to be a teacher and this is a requirement, the logical answer is that you do what needs to get done even if you stay up late, work on weekends, and forego any fun that you COULD be having just to make it work. Just saying... do you want this? Or do you WANT this? Rather than make excuses, get your work done. Because seriously there are PLENTY of jobless teachers out there willing to jump through ANY hoop, just to have a J-O-B. You may not like me any more than your By the Book BTSA Observer. But, that is life. And there are 50 teachers ready, willing, and able to do your job and meet the BTSA requirements. Just saying.:eek:
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2010

    Teacher_Man having posted this almost two years ago, it's plausible to assume that he's either learned his lesson in the meantime or moved on.
     
  4. ChicagoTeach

    ChicagoTeach Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2010

    Hope so.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 17, 2010

    I was hoping with the economy doing poorly and what not, that they would just do away with BTSA...Or change it, so it's not such a headache...
     
  6. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Mar 17, 2010

    Tami J, you have expressed my thoughts exactly! Everything is being cut, yet BTSA and the threat of losing your credential if you don't find employment in CA within the specified time frame remains...chalk it up to one more thing that just isn't right.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 17, 2010

    No kidding! CA is not really giving people an incentive to go into teaching, and with all of its requirments and hoops you have to jump through, it's just crazy. I don't mind having to show that I am highly qualified and going through all the essentials, but I think they have gone overboard.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  9. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Mar 18, 2010

    Actually last school year BTSA was changed. It used to be 2 years and it's now just 1. I had friends who did the first year then the new BTSA one year also. There were new teachers along with them doing just the one year. My friends were jealous. I was finished, so I didn't care!
     
  10. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Mar 18, 2010

    I was just thinking about this thread yesterday, and here it's popped up again! I remember reading it before I started BTSA and thinking "oh, no!" But, it really depends on your director and your support provider and other teachers in the program. I am really enjoying my program. The director (or whatever her title is) is so interesting that the 2 hour monthly meetings fly by. I walk away from the meetings with lots of free things for my classroom. And I like meeting with other teachers in my grade level from other school sites and districts that I otherwise would have not met. My support provider at my site is great. She helps me with everything and makes it all easy for me to do. Im looking forward to taking 2 days to observe other teachers and get ideas, and have a $300 to spend on my classroom each of the two years. It IS still 2 years, btw, but it's possible to make it one year. Anyway, all BTSA programs are not horrible. Mine has been helpful!
     
  11. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2010

    This is so strange...

    I'm the original person who started this thread two years ago. I don't know why, but just recently I've been getting all the updates, so I've been catching up with the topic. For those interested, I actually have already finished BTSA and now have my California clear credential. Rereading my original post where I said I might not finish in time made me chuckle.

    Anyway, for those still doing BTSA, good luck to all of you. I feel that as time has passed and I can now reflect on the program as a whole, I truly believe that BTSA did help. If noting else, it provided a nice opportunity to vent frustrations and get questions answered by people all in the same boat as you.

    I still think putting together the big folder at the end of the program was nothing but busy work, but the weekly meeting were beneficial. Also, the exit interview at the end was a bit stressful, but ultimately harmless. I also liked how I got to bond with my fellow first-year teachers through the program. Towards the end, we all felt like we had really gone through something together, like soldiers coming back from war, so to speak.

    Reflecting back, I feel much of my frustration came from simply being a first-year teacher trying to juggle so many things at once. I suppose anyone would be scared and frustrated under those circumstances, and I certainly was. The bottom line is, if you feel stressed by BTSA now, just hang in there, take things one step at a time, and you should be fine. I know there was a time in the past when I thought it was all hopeless and I'd never be done with BTSA, but now that it's done, I feel relieved and happy that I went through it. I'm not happy so much because it was fun, but I'm happy in knowing that I accomplished something that at one time I didn't think I could.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 19, 2010

    Thanks for posting this, Teacher_Man! And welcome back.
     
  13. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2010

    Thanks for the welcome back... It's odd rereading ideas you had two years ago, but it's been enlightening nonetheless. I guess that's what they mean by professional reflection. Anyway, I'm glad this thread had some legs, and provided some people with not just an opportunity to vent, but also share experiences and ask questions.
     
  14. Teacher_Man

    Teacher_Man Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2010

    It's ironic that you mentioned jobless teachers, because two years after starting this post, I am one. Well, sort of...

    At the end of the last school year, I was RIFed (Reduction in force) by LAUSD, which basically means I got a pink slip. That means I lost my permanent 5th grade position. Also, all the people that finished BTSA with me that year were also RIFed. The bright side is that we finished our second BTSA year, so we all received clear credentials. Most RIFed teachers in LAUSD were converted to substitutes, so I never lost a job completely, which is better than others out there. However, I am beginning to look for work outside LAUSD now, as the prospect of getting rehired back in a permanent position seems unlikely, considering that more budget cuts will happen at the end of this year.
     
  15. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Mar 20, 2010

    Do you know how one could complete BTSA in one year?
     
  16. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Mar 23, 2010

    I asked my support person and she said she would have to put in a request and then work with you to get it all done in a year. But she advised against it. But I know it is possible.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Apr 4, 2010

    BTSA in one year? Who'd really want to do that? Pssshhh...I felt pressed for time just trying to get it all done in TWO years!
     
  18. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Apr 18, 2010

    I agree! Why rush? Take the program for the full two years. It's always nice to have a support system.:)
     
  19. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Apr 18, 2010

    In Riverside, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties (RIMS) it's not a choice. BTSA is a year now.
     
  20. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Apr 18, 2010

    One year of BTSA sounds heavenly....especially since I have already done one year :lol:
     
  21. Cat3

    Cat3 New Member

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    Apr 22, 2010

    OMG! I hate BTSA. I hate looking at that big binder, which just reminds me of my own procrastination. I will have to get an extension and I am soooooooooo behind. I am a first year teacher also and I am always so busy with the everyday lessons.
     
  22. Ampage

    Ampage Rookie

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    May 3, 2010

    95% waste of time. I have learned nothing that wasn’t covered in my credentialing classes.

    Weekly meetings with support provider was the only part worthwhile, I have not filled out one piece of paper in that giant binder that has been useful so far (and I still have next year to look forward to)
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 3, 2010

    I posted here a couple of times 2 yrs ago & I honestly haven't been trying to get a teaching job. I've gotten into SLP (speech-language pathology) hoping to start grd school & get a job in that field, so I can forget this BTSA madness! However, I sure don't want to lose what I worked so hard for to earn the 2 credentials that I have.

    I NEVER heard of the new 1 yr BTSA req, but since I did my yr in 2006-07, this new req doesn't pertain to me does it? I assume it's for those who earned their prelim credential in a certain yr, am I right?
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 3, 2010

    Mrs. I, if you don't get your Clear Credential during the 5 year time frame that you're allowed, your credentials will expire unless you apply for an extension!!!
     
  25. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 3, 2010

    YoungTeacherGuy, I actually talked to a credential person in my area & she said to NOT apply for an ext if you don't think you'll have a teaching job for the expiring year of the credential. She said to just wait until you get another job & can apply AFTER the exp date w/o anything happening. I know her name & have her contact info for my references.

    Others of you may want to call & confirm this w/ your credential person at your local location.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 3, 2010

    I see. That makes sense!
     
  27. MikeM

    MikeM New Member

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    May 15, 2011

    Can't stand this idiocy. Had to pass the new mandatory program for my preliminary credential, and BTSA is an easier version of what I just did for my preliminary. Meaning it's a massive time sink.

    My mentor is a joke - literally slept through one of my observations: students were laughing at her snores. The district BTSA staff are more invested in throwing a cutesy end of the year party than doing anything useful - and micromanage to the point of agony. As in refuse to give out the continually changing WiFi password before meetings because they are afraid we will get online and ignore them. So if we show up early, we can't access online grading, district mail, or anything else.

    My mentor is clearly more interested in the paycheck, has never come to my class unless for an observation, and began by telling me the goal is to be off school grounds by 3pm, never take anything home. We meet for about ten minutes a month - she makes me drive to her school and often tries to get me to come during her last period (her school gets out after mine) and talks to me briefly while her class is still in there. I'd report her in a heartbeat, but given the BS at the district office, they'd probably make me retake the year of BTSA to make up for her never doing anything. I really can't put into words the ineptness that is the District BTSA office. My only joy is that their BTSA "lessons" are such prime examples of how not to teach (reading ppt slides to us, no initial diagnostics to see what we already know, sending us word document forms to fill out that are formatted so no one but the original author can fill them out, etc.) that its a little fun to snark on them.

    Can I mention once again that not a single thing I did this year is something I didn't do a more in-depth version of 18 months ago for my credential program?

    I'm actually kinda glad I've been pink slipped: It is giving me an excuse to relocate as far as possible from this toxic BTSA program. My wife went through one in another district and had a reasonably positive experience with it.

    An now: back to rewording what I've said twenty time already in this BTSA for a "final" reflection. That is sure to come back because I mentioned a form I filled out and scanned three sections ago wasn't rescanned and reattached to this section as well at the previous one.

    For a program designed to help teacher retention rates, it sure is the worst thing about my first full year of teaching.
     
  28. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    May 15, 2011

    I'm sorry you had such a miserable experience. BTSA sucks, but at least it was just the overwhelming paperwork for me. My mentor was great. Did you have to fill out an evaluation on your mentor? We did, and the BTSA people won't allow mentors who get bad scores to be mentors again. You should also be able to talk to your BTSA director about your mentor - they have to hold whatever you tell them in confidence (or so ours always told us).

    I just finished year 2, and I'm so glad to be done! :)
     
  29. MikeM

    MikeM New Member

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    May 15, 2011

    We had a brief online mentor evaluation form (rate 1-5 in these categories), but so far that has been it.

    The bigger issue is that I simply don't trust the main BTSA office people to not void the work I've done if I inform them how inept my mentor is.

    I'll probably just keep their email and send them something next year, once I'm free of their office.
     
  30. tonysmile1

    tonysmile1 New Member

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    Dec 2, 2012

    BTSA

    I am currently in the BTSA program right now and it is a waste of time a long with unnecessary busy work. I am actually already falling behind on BTSA and can care less about it. I have so many other important things that comes first. I would actually pay you to do BTSA for me if you'd like.
     
  31. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Dec 2, 2012

    I'm so glad this thread was resurrected....BTSA is such a thorn in my side right now. Heart4Drama, it is MUCH worse than the TPAs! It's the most frustrating program- I feel like it is just a rehashing of what we already did a million times in the credential program, except now I'm teaching in my own classroom and have way more responsibilities, making BTSA just one more thing that adds to my stress. It feels condescending to me. Apparently California thinks its new teachers are so inept that we need to rehash all this again. Anyway, it's just a bunch more hoops to jump through, ultimately. After this Friday I am 1/4 done at least. I'm trying to focus on that instead of on my frustration.
     
  32. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2014

    Indeed this program is awful. I am currently finishing it at a private school and I have to pay for it myself! It is just another educational hoop that we need to jump through. :(
     
  33. ExtraSpecialEd

    ExtraSpecialEd Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2014

    Is it weird I am reading this thread rather than doing my BTSA work, that is staring me in the face? I am lucky, I have a super cool support provider. And at the BTSA seminars, the food is really good. But wow, the work is tedious and totally useless. Just pure busywork. They even realize how boring it is, as they force us all to put our laptops down at seminars.
     
  34. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Nov 27, 2014

    I don't think it's weird at all, since I'm doing the same thing. We have these CSTP forms that we have to fill out and identify a growth action step. I'm completely stumped on how to do this without repeating the same evidence. The instructions allow for internet searches, but I don't want to do that for four different CSTPs, and I really don't have the money to go out and buy books on the topics to read.

    To make it more frustrating, it's due soon, and part of what it allows you to use for evidence relates to things that haven't happened yet. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to turn in evidence to acknowledge future events.

    Honestly, all I can think of is that people actually spend their time creating these forms and thinking up these requirements. Overall, sure, reflecting on practice is a great thing. It's the methods of analysis that I'm questioning.
     
  35. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Nov 28, 2014

    I spent the majority of yesterday (Thanksgiving) working on my fall lesson series for BTSA. Twenty five - I'm not kidding - twenty five forms to fill out for a series of lessons that took less than two hours of class time to teach. I'm still not clear on the purpose of the forms.

    Our district program managers are interesting. One of the other teachers I'm doing this with described them as "aggressive." Every meeting is filled with threats of having to pay out of pocket and repeat and extend if you don't do everything correct and on time. No pressure there....:dizzy:

    Hard to believe there's another whole year of this after this one.
     
  36. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 14, 2015

    BTSA UGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    They won't let me go without a fight!

    I am supposed to be done right now via Early Completion -- meaning, for my *three* years of private school experience, I get to finish BTSA *one semester* early. OK, I'll take it. I worked hard, got all my docs in on time, and my portfolio reader said my work met all the standards and that I was good to go.

    BUT NO. The "District Coordinator" just re-graded my portfolio, saying that two of my docs do NOT meet the standard because I put Not Applicable in two places on my docs, because the sections were in fact Not Applicable. One was for Common Core standards which did not apply to my beginning-level world language lesson, and the other was for "Evidence Collected Beyond the Observation" which my mentor teacher left blank because she did not actually collect any evidence beyond the observation. Everything that she observed, she observed. So we put "N/A" there, thinking that was logical.

    NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    What is the point of having a portfolio reader if the "Coordinator" is going to re-read it anyway?

    So, for anyone working out there working on your docs, remember to fill out all the little boxes like a good little minion, because the ability to make up BS and fill out forms is clearly the best sign of a quality educator.

    ARRRGGG OK rant over! At least I'm almost really done!
     
  37. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Jan 14, 2015

    I went through a similar program in a different state, and it was a whole lot of what you just described. I feel your pain--I really do. All I can say is, do what I did and pop the champagne once that **** thing is in the rear view mirror.
     
  38. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 14, 2015

    AMEN!!
     
  39. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jan 16, 2015

    Got another email from the BTSA coordinator today....

    I am officially DONE!!! with BTSA!!!!!

    Gonna pop some bottles tonight!!!!!!!
     
  40. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Jan 16, 2015

    Niiiiiice. Enjoy the feeling! Your job will now seem so much easier!:thumb:
     
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