Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Well, I'll Think About It

This evening I attended an informational session down near Pittsburgh to learn about a fast-track program for teacher certification here in Pennsylvania.

It's sponsored by a legitimate organization, started a few years back in conjunction with the US Department of Education. Their program is recognized here in the Commonwealth and, so far, in eight other American states. In lieu of two years of college it offers one year (or less, if you work faster) of on-line training, with more rigorous-than-usual tests at the end of it to guarantee the quality of the graduates (the presenter said that countrywide, the pass rate was only 50%). After initial certification, a stint of mentored classroom teaching is required, then the same graduate hours required of graduates of traditional programs, to gain one's Level I and Level II state certifications.

The initial cost isn't too awful: $825 for the training and testing if one signs up before the end of this month, or $975 thereafter. There's the cost of the grad level tuition and fees after that, but presumably one would be working when it came time to do that.

The thing is, do I want to do this? Would this be a departure for me, a resignation of my architectural and pastoral dreams? Or in regard to the ministry end of things, would having a teaching certificate allow me to take on a tent-making position at a church?

But that's not really it. The question really is, do I want to teach in a public school? Things are so messed up today; I can't see how I could do it without putting my foot in things politically. And I'm not just talking national politics, either.

Though I suppose a certificate would make me more attractive to a private or a Christian/parochial school . . .

I don't know. I'm not worried about passing the tests at the end of the course, no. It's just, I don't know, is this something I want to make a commitment to at this time of my life? Or is $825 a "small" enough amount for me to take this on as a What the heck, why not?

I'll have to think about it.

And pray about it. Yes, definitely, pray.

No comments: