Tuesday, February 07, 2006

But I'm Not Bitter or Anything

Teaching is one of the few professions where you are guilty until proven innocent again and again and again. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot simply jump through the hoops of getting certified and then be done. No, in fact, the job of certification is never truly over for those of us under the age of about forty. For those of us who became teachers in the last seven years, the job is especially arduous. Even though we have passed all the criminal checks, psychological profiles, course work, internships, student teaching, and provisional teaching, we are still considered "suspect" by the state. Thus, we must participate in Professional Certification courses or lose our right to teach. The courses are a series of classes that are supposed to help make us better teachers by identifying our "deficiencies" and assigning courses to "correct" them. I know, this sounds like a probation plan for people who can't cut the mustard, but no, they require it for everybody. I am nearing the end of this insulting, expensive charade and I cannot wait for it to be over. Last night was the first class of my final course. For three hours (after a full workday by the way) we sit and listen to the lady read our handouts out loud to us. We then go away and collect some important "evidence" about our school (such as the number of kids we have) and present that to our peers in the class. Perhaps this is meant to improve our patience with trivial things, but otherwise I can't see any real benefit to our skills as a teacher.

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