What does it take to become a teacher? Or, to be more specific to my situation, what does it take to become a teacher in the state of Texas? First, it takes a Bachelor’s degree then a passion for kids. One without the other and you might as well go get a job, any job, because if you lack a passion for helping kids, there are much easier ways to earn a paycheck. I know, I have done most of them!
If you are just beginning college and you want to be a teacher, then the plan is pretty simple. Part of the Bachelor’s degree in your content area will be your education and pedagogy classes and your last semester as a college student will be a semester of student teaching. Along with your final exams you will schedule to take the Texas Content Knowledge Exam for your area of expertise and the Texas PPR. (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility Exam) By the time you cross the stage in a black dress you will be able to call yourself a “Teacher.”
Or, as is my way of doing things, you can do it the hard way. Drop out of college, work all over North America for thirty years or so, watch the working world become so complex and computerized and finally realize, I NEED a college degree. Then return to college in an online format and fall in love with education all over again. Once the Bachelors degree was out of the way I began the search for an “Alternative Certification” route into the classroom, since I missed out on that semester of student teaching in my senior year.
There are many programs trying to get people to become teachers because the need is so great. Many certification programs are just that, a “certification” program that has coursework that does not provide college credit hours, only the path to certification and the PPR. But I decided if I was going to spend my time and money on classes I might as well be spending it on college classes. I enrolled at Texas A&M, Commerce in an Alternative Certification Program that allowed me to earn graduate school credits for my certification classes, well since I was already earning graduate school credits, I might as well get a Masters degree as well, right? Even with a Masters degree in the works at the end of the Alternative Certification Program there is still a Content Knowledge Exam and the PPR. (Artifacts EDCI 515)
Let’s take a look at the PPR:
Domain I- Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning
Domain II- Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment
Domain III- Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment
Domain IV- Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities