This spring news outlets reported that due to an increased need for teachers, many school districts were hiring teachers without education degrees or teacher certification. Alarmed and confused, many parents spent the summer barbecuing and googling homeschooling with the attitude of, if “unqualified teachers” can teach my child, so can I.
By July, those same parents realized those uncertified teachers were employed under the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program; allowing teachers to transfer relevant degree credits and/or professional experience into a required extended certification program that would run parallel to their employment. Sure, if non teachers can manage 20 plus children and a full timetable, you certainly can. Right? Well, yes, maybe - with similar professional resources and support.
Imagine an aspiring teacher and committed school district so motivated to provide the best education to their students, they teach with active and continuous professional development and support. This is actually a great thing. More schools should adopt a rigorous PD program.
Most essential to teaching is passion, enthusiasm and a commitment to lifelong learning. That means you too. School teachers and homeschoolers need to bring creativity, communication, collaboration and organization as well as knowledge to their program. So as you set up your homeschool or mock cram school (at home juku style tutoring a la Tiger Mom), create a foundation of support and learning leading you on your own pathway to home teaching.
Photo credit © JCrew 2007