BTSA - tell me about it

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2013

    So I'm starting my BTSA in the fall. First of all I'm very happy, because obviously it means that I get to clear my credential, and it's just in time, as it expires in 2016.

    I've heard a lot of conflicting information, but not a lot of details. A lot of people say it's a lot of extra work, and / or it's very hard. Some people say it's not.
    Other than that I have no idea what it will be like. Is it similar to being in school, in the credential program? Do I have to write plans, meet with people regularly? Am I going to be observed? Is it doable for a first year teacher? (and I just found out it's 2 years! I thought it was only 1)

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I believe it depends on the district you do it with. Some have better support than others. In my district, we each get personal BTSA Coordinators who basically sit with us and work us through the entire process so I took very little extra work home with me.

    For me the experience was not bad at all. I finished one year so far and I'm clearing my credential next year. The type of writing you're expected to do seems fairly similar to the TPA but less rigorous, and less of it. My coach helped me write a lot of it too so I had immediate feedback. I felt my BTSA experience this year was very valuable.

    You will be observed at least 2 times, probably more. If you have a good coach it really isn't that stressful. She just pops in, and write a bit about it to you. And yes, it's two years. It's actually best to get it out of the way as quickly as you can, so doing it your first year is a good thing. If you happen to not get hired back the next year for whatever reason, at least you have a year of BTSA under your belt and it's transferable to other schools or districts.

    Good luck with it. It probably depends on district and coach again, but I didn't think it was that bad. The TPA during my credential was MUCH MUCH worse, and much less useful. (For BTSA you have to pick a strategy to do research on and test its usefulness so it was pretty good information for me to use in my teaching).
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I believe it depends on the district you do it with. Some have better support than others. In my district, we each get personal BTSA Coordinators who basically sit with us and work us through the entire process so I took very little extra work home with me.

    For me the experience was not bad at all. I finished one year so far and I'm clearing my credential next year. The type of writing you're expected to do seems fairly similar to the TPA but less rigorous, and less of it. My coach helped me write a lot of it too so I had immediate feedback. I felt my BTSA experience this year was very valuable.

    You will be observed at least 2 times, probably more. If you have a good coach it really isn't that stressful. She just pops in, and write a bit about it to you. And yes, it's two years. It's actually best to get it out of the way as quickly as you can, so doing it your first year is a good thing. If you happen to not get hired back the next year for whatever reason, at least you have a year of BTSA under your belt and it's transferable to other schools or districts.

    Good luck with it. It probably depends on district and coach again, but I didn't think it was that bad. The TPA during my credential was MUCH MUCH worse, and much less useful. (For BTSA you have to pick a strategy to do research on and test its usefulness so it was pretty good information for me to use in my teaching).
     
  5. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jun 12, 2013

    It does change based on your districts program. My district was a lot of busy work - basically the TPA report all over again, plus additional documentation. I didn't find it particularly helpful and it sucked up a lot of my free time. I had to meet weekly, with other "bonus" meetings bi-yearly.

    In my current district, I've heard that they have monthly meetings, and only have to put together a power point at the end of both years presentation to pass.
     
  6. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Ok, so I'm lost. What is a TPA and a BTSA?
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    They are some of the hoops California has set up to jump through in the process of obtaining a teaching career.

    TPA= Teaching Performance Assessment - 4 "tasks" that must be completed and passed before a credential can be earned.

    BTSA= Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment - a 2 year beginning teacher induction program that CA teachers must complete before earning their "clear" credential.

    Peregrin, you are LUCKY!

    Linguist, I really REALLY can't stand BTSA. Honestly, it's a lot of busy work. It is not hard in the least. The thing that is hard about it is that it is a bunch of busy work on top of an already very full schedule of being a full time classroom teacher. My BTSA experience is bad because my mentor....let's just say we are not a good fit. I am pretty much on my own. Thankfully, I've bonded with another new teacher at my school and we help each other. (She's not a good fit with our mentor either...HMMM... :rolleyes:)

    I will say that my BTSA observations are not stressful. The observations my principal does to evaluate me are much more stressful to me! And I agree that BTSA is probably more useful than the TPAs...or at least, it could be if I had a good mentor.

    Honestly, my bad attitude is all because of my mentor. It also has something to do with the district I have to do the program through, but I'd rather not get into details about that on here.

    Hopefully your experience will be better than mine is! Definitely get it over with ASAP!!
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It truly depends on your district.

    I am a BTSA Support Provider and I feel so awful for my BTSA Participating Teachers because the amount of work that's required is far too detailed and lengthy. Honestly, most of it is busy work. I try to help them get though as many assignments as I can, but a lot of it is things they have to do on their own.

    Hopefully, your district has a better system in place!

    ETA: I'm sure I sound like a Negative Nelly about BTSA. I've voiced my concerns to my district and they've yet to make any changes. I truly believe that we need to set our new teachers up for success, and this program gets them bogged down with paperwork. :(
     
  9. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Can you come to southern California and be my mentor?!?! :lol: Really though, it would be nice to have someone who understands!
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 13, 2013

    Also if your credential expires in 2016, it's probably best to finish it up as soon as you can.
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    BTSA is not a ton of extra work but it is a massive waste of time. Just get it over with.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 18, 2013

    As far as evaluations... I just hope the person evaluating me will know and understand the population we're dealing with. It is not going to be the same quiet, students working eagerly every minute, collaborating type of environment, as it is in a lot of other places.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I have 2 credentials (multiple subjects & mild/moderate disasbilities). The last time I did BTSA was for a year in 2006-07, then I switched gears to SLP (speech-language pathology) & hoped to never have to teach special ed ever again OR start general ed teaching.

    Now, there's an opportunity to possibly use my special ed credential again, which my new P suggested to me. I'd have to take my 2nd year of BTSA coursework...whatever they do these days, which I have no idea PLUS oher coursework since things have changed since the last time I did the last BTSA stuff...no surprise since things are continuously changing in the teaching field. I'd have to do the formative assessments piece & work with a support provider again if I choose to do this.

    I'm already in grad school for communication disorders & sciences. I don't want to do squat with any of my previous credentials.
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    If you need a job, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I had a friend credentialed in more than one area, and once she knew she wanted to stay in one of the areas, she let the other credential lapse so she was not eligible to teach it.
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Missy, I agree. My mom always told me to NEVER let ANYTHING I earn to go because it's a lot of hard work to earn & you don't know what you'll have to end up doing in life. I have my notary public license too, but I know I won't ever do that...never started doing any kind of work with it. These docs take money to keep renewing. But I know, paying money is sometimes a small price to pay. I still won't go back to special ed teaching. I have something else to do.
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2013

    I started BTSA and so far I have only good things to say. They paired me with a support provider who works in alt. ed, she actually has taught at my school, so she knows exactly what I'm dealing with. What a relief!

    And I may be able to do my BTSA in 1 year, instead of 2, it's called the Early Completion Option. The requirements are: having previously taught, not as a daily sub, but a LTS for a year or more will count. I had a 9 month LTS assignment, I did everything, I wasn't even filling in for anyone. It was actually called a short term contract teacher position. The trainer said they could count that, although I have no written evaluations from that period. I was evaluated several times, but have not received a form.
    The other thing is that the current P has to sign off, and say this teacher is good enough to do this in 1 year, they don't need more support, they need less. I asked my P and she said she would totally support me with this.

    So if it goes through, I will earn 6 credit by May. I also enrolled in the Fred Jones training, it's twice / month for 1 hour, and will earn 2 credits (I'll just have to pay $150 for the credit part). That makes it 8, and I'll just need get 1 more somehow, and it will bump my pay up to the next column. That's about $1000 / year.

    It will be twice the work in 1 year, but I'm hoping it gets approved. Fingers crossed.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sounds good, Linguist!
     
  18. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Sep 15, 2013

    I am also doing BTSA starting this year. I am 6 weeks into the school year and I've only been assigned my department head as my BTSA mentor. Does it normally take this long to get started?

    Also how easy is it to continue BTSA if I switch district? I am very likely going to be leaving this district after this year. Who is it exactly that tracks your progress so that if you switch districts your new district can check your progress?
     
  19. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2013

    Joe, I switched districts after one year of BTSA completion. What happened is the BTSA coordinator for my current district has to contact the BTSA coordinator from my previous district to verify information. It also helped that I kept EVERYTHING from BTSA Y1. Don't throw ANYTHING away! Not until you have your clear credential in hand! ...And even then, I don't think I could let go of the docs until quite a few years have passed by.
     
  20. Ms. I

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    Glad you're liking it so far!
     

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