Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Certificate to License

One thing I have always been known for is covering all my bases, I don't like surprises or life blips. Frequently, I am very happy that I am sometimes overtly conscientious in my work habits and my professional development practices. It is paying off now, as I recertify my teaching credentials.

In 2003, this state changed its laws covering the certification of teachers to teach. Now we become licensed instead of certified. It is probably more than a matter of semantics, but the result is the same. If you have a teacher's license, you can teach in this state. Since I am renewing my certificate, I will now receive a teacher's license.

To renew a teaching certificate in this state, you must have acquired some new knowledge or training in your field, this is also true in other fields such as nursing. There are two ways to document this training or learning in our teaching field, to say that we have received appropriate professional development to help us keep up-to-date in technology, pedagogy, or content knowledge.

The two ways to prove appropriate learning are through college course credits or professional development credits. College credits are pretty straightforward, you must take upper level or graduate classes that are related to your field of expertise or in teaching. The professional development credits are more precisely related to education and knowledge enrichment. These are received through very specialized training in your area of expertise, technology, or specific professional development needs required by the district where you teach. Often, the professional development credits are received through more rigorous, specialized education than you get in a college class.

Since I love to teach and learn, I really enjoy taking college classes and gaining professional development credits. Both require much effort and time to successfully complete, but I have always believed it is worth the effort. It always benefits my students and my work in the classroom. I believe that my mind must be pushed to achieve throughout my lifetime, so I can maintain an interest and excitement in my career.

I took 6 hours of graduate course work 2003, and I completed 255 hours of professional development credits in the urban school district where I taught within the time frame of 2002 to 2004. Every 20 hours of professional development is equal to 1 credit hour of college credit, so I completed the equivalent of 12.5 hours of college credit within a 2 year period. This included many Saturdays, summers, and after school sessions, spent learning and increasing my knowledge base in Technology, Science and Math, I loved every minute of it, and my students received the benefit right away.

With more than 3 times the number of official credits needed to recertify, I will be completing my licensure process tomorrow. I look forward to continuing work in my chosen career.

No comments: