Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Certification and Aspiring Leaders

My Standard Professional Certificate I expires in June of 2009.

According to all the confusing websites I've been reading, and according to what I understand of it all, I have to take a Reading course sometime before 90 days past that date to get a new certificate.

However, a letter sent from the certification office to a colleague has gotten my hopes up. See, while I haven't taken any Reading classes in the last five years, I've taken lots of classes - including getting my MAT in Secondary Education at Towson University this past May. According to my colleague's letter, she needs four things to get her Advanced Professional Certificate - a conferred Master's Degree (check), a Professional Development Plan (a rubber stamp check), Verification of 3 years of satisfactory school related experience (check), and a letter requesting advancement to the next certificate (check). No mention of a reading course.

I'm really hopeful that I won't have to spend time this fall taking a silly Reading class, which, by all accounts, are kind of jokes. I've had several colleagues take them, and everyone's attitude is that they're jokes, including the professors. I'm sure I gained more about teaching reading in just a week of the Teaching Shakespeare Institute as I will from these reading classes.

My other current dilemma is whether to get involved in the Aspiring Leaders Program through Hopkins. In this program, BCPSS will pay half of your tuition to JHU to get an administration certificate. I have no interest in being a principal or assistant principal, but perhaps would like the chance to be a department head or curriculum leader of some sort sometime. It's a three-semester program of 18 credits. Would probably be tough and I probably deserve a year just to work on my teaching after five years with a second job and three years working on an MAT, but I'm still tempted...

Anyhow, some of the decision hinges on whether I have to take this Reading class this year, and hopefully that question will be answered in the email to the Certification office I sent this evening. I wonder what the chances are that the email will be answered? I'll keep you updated. The folks at North Avenue are not known for replying to requests for help. I've had horrible experiences with the Certification folks at North Avenue, and was pleasantly surprised to be emailing a different name this time - the other lady must have left.


smoneil said...

Mark, you might have already taken your reading class if you got your MAT at Towson. I did my undergrad there, and the reading classes were built into the program (and there were a large number of MAT folks in the two reading classes). It's worth checking out either way, as those classes are indeed worthless.


Anonymous said...

There is no way around taking 6 credits of reading for secondary teachers. Elem. teachers can test out of their 4 required courses, but not secondary. So if you had 6 credits in your degree at Towson (and they match up to state required courses), you should be fine. If you only had 3 credits, you will have to take another 3 credits.

My fellow with his doctorate in education from JHU, 15 years teaching experience, and his admin credential was told he had to take a reading course to renew his certificate. He took an online one at CCBC last Spring - even if one is biased against online, it really is the way to go to just get the requirement out of the way.