I have wanted to be a teacher as long as I can remember. When I was in the second grade, I was having difficulties staying up with the rest of my class with reading, and my teacher was beyond kind to me, taking the extra time that I needed to ensure that I was able to keep afloat. She worked with me after school, two days a week, going through story after story with me until I could read just as well as the best student in our class. Elementary school is a difficult calling for a teacher. In my opinion, it takes a patience with children who are at all points on the learning curve, and who are stll figuring out just who they are (instead of expressing who they are at every turn, like secondary students seem more prone to do). I have considered teaching in private schools, as I would be more likely to have students who were prepared to learn on a daily basis, but I grew up in the public school system myself. There are a lot of teachers who have lost their passion for the job, because of a number of factors ranging from poor administrative support to dissatisfaction with their salary. I would like to enter the public school system, and I plan to take the test in Colorado, and then transfer to Missouri to begin my career as an elementary school teacher.
In order to gain an Initial Teacher License in the State of Colorado, it is a requirement that I hold at least a bachelor's degree from an “accepted, regionally accredited institution of higher education” (Colorado Department of Education, 2012). In addition, it is also required that I have completed an “approved teacher preparation program at an accepted institute of higher education.” I would have to turn in a verification form about the approved program, to turn in a complete licensure application (including payment of fees as well as official transcripts and other document). Finally, I would have had to complete 24 semester hours in the area I want to teach – or take the state test for that area of endorsement in which I would like to teach. I have not yet taken the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content assessment for my areas (English and Reading). As an elementary teacher, all I needed to take was the more general elementary education content examination. Here is the link to the requirements for Colorado.
In order to transfer to Missouri and teach there, I would need to show proof that I had been certified in Colorado; all it takes is a copy of my valid teaching certificate. In most cases, the license from the initial state is honored, and the state of Missouri confers a license. Here is a link for the requirements for transferring into Missouri from another state to teach.
Student teaching is a central part of any learning experience as we move from childhood to adulthood, finding ourselves in a quandary about the best way to teach all that information to them, or about how to teach lessons about immoral decisions that can roil an entire community. That sort of teaching is important, and many of these alternative certification programs are sparse when it comes to instructional depth. The only antidote to this is to spend time running a classroom with kids in it. That will give a much truer sense of the job than one can get in a college classroom. The one-semester requirement that universities have of their graduates to teach in a public school classroom is a definite lifesaver when it comes to preparing teachers for the real world in their classrooms.
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