Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School

Wow...this summer has flown by. Sadly I didn't accomplish a lot of what I had hoped I would, but that's the way life goes.

I'm not terribly excited for another semester of school. After ~13+ years of college, I am sooo ready to be done. You'd think I'd have a doctorate by now, but alas, I'm still plodding along towards my Bachelors.

I have one class this fall (an advanced study into American literature focusing on Jazz Age America) and then I need one more class in the spring and I can finally get that English Degree to hang on my wall.

In order to take that degree and go teach with it, I either need another ~year+ of classes (probably more like 2 years with my current schedule) plus student teaching...or I find a school/district that does an "alternative licensure program" wherein I get hired for the job and then take a few specific classes (as dictated by the school/district) to fulfill my license requirements in the first year or two after I'm hired. Right now the plan is to look for the second option since I'm not relishing the idea of another 2 years of child psych classes followed by a full year of quitting my day job to go student teach to finish the licensing that way.

Still, I'm excited to get back to school and read through the variety of books from the 20s-30s, many of which I've never read or even heard of and then having in-depth discussions about them and writing various papers dissecting them. Ah, the joys to come.

Wish me luck. :)


Josh Moore said...

I am so impressed you've been so diligent and we'll be having a graduation party in May. Can you do the additional teaching classes later without repercussion?

Okie said...

you're too kind...and yes, we'll definitely have a party next Spring.

As to doing the classes after the fact, I think it depends on how I do them.

As I understand it, if I get hired on by a district that does "alternative licensure", then they (along with district/state approval) dictate what classes I should take and give me a deadline. Once those classes are done, I get a certificate.

If I try to just go back to school and add on a teaching degree, I'm not sure how that works. I suspect it would be treated like I was going either for a Masters or for another Bachelors. Some of my previous coursework might count, but then again it may not...depends on the school and the department advisor.

Another option is to go to "alternative schools" for jobs...charter schools, private schools, etc. Depending on the school, that could be better or worse than doing the standard method, but generally their "license" requirements are different.

So my plan is to shoot for the first method (alternative licensure) and see where that gets me. If it doesn't get me where I need, then I re-evaluate and either start looking towards a Masters or private schools.

Either way, it's probably at least a year after graduation before I start scoping we can use my higher paying job to pay down bills, student loans, house, etc. Going from IT to Teaching is at least a 50-60% pay cut depending on the district.