Ever feel like pulling your hair out?
Ever feel like screaming out of frustration at the top of your lungs?
Yep, that's how I am feeling right now. And I am not even in the classroom today.
Here is my frustration, which I believe many of you also have, people who have no idea about education telling me what I need to do to be an effective teacher.
This includes renewing my license. Now stay with me, especially those of you not in education and tell me this is not crazy.
Every 5 years teachers have to renew their teaching certificate. I have no problem here.
To renew your certificate you have to have 6 semester credit hours of a college class OR the equivalent in professional development hours. To see the specifics visit the site: http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/certification/fl-educator-certification-renewal-requ.stml
Again I have no problem with professional development or continuing education. My goodness I'm in school right now deciding between the added endorsement or the doctoral degree.
Here is my problem. New rules as of July 2014 a new requirement was put into place. One of my 6 credit hours needs to be in Special Education. Again, I think this is great.
I already have a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Special Education. I attend numerous conferences and ongoing education. I spent what the equivalent of 1 graduate class was last summer learning Orton-Gillingham, a method of teaching that was originally designed for students who were learning disabled and has been proven to be effective for all. Well, guess what? None of the above satisfies the 1 hour class requirement I need to re-certify next year. WHY? Well, the OG training was to help all students. Are you serious? I can't use what I learned to help all because it was for all not just one population? Mind you my certificates are in Special Education K-12 and Regular Education Pre-K-3rd. And I am now working on my Reading Endorsement certificate.
BUT not good enough. So what do I need to do to satisfy this 1 hour credit class… the state is offering Foundations of Exceptional Education. Yes,! The intro class to Special Education I took in 1990. Now if you are a doctor you're not having to go back and take Intro to Bio. If you are a lawyer you are not having to go back and take an Intro to Courts class. My accountant friends are not taking Macro or Microeconomics again.
I understand that the state was trying to get all teachers to have a background in special education because chances are you will have a student with special needs in your class. You need to be prepared to teach and identify this student. BUT why in the world are we requiring the special education teachers to have to have this 1 credit hour. The regular classroom teachers are not taking Intro to Education.
I taught Special Education students for years. I continuously identify and work with students with special needs within my own "regular" classroom.
Now, I don't have to take Foundations of Exceptional Education. I could find another class to take that meets the Special Ed requirement. Fantastic, please provide me with options then and don't penalize me for taking course work that not only helps regular students but helps all students. I have searched and searched and honestly, I am not interested in any of these intro classes for identifying certain disabilities. If I am going to sit through a PD or a college class I better be learning something new that I CAN ACTUALLY USE!
Blowing steam on the blog today!
Wife, Mom, Educator and Lifelong Learner