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  #1  
Old 02-20-2009 Friday, 12:45 PM
kimmyg kimmyg is offline
 
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Cool DISD teacher training?

Got an e-mail today through Careerbuilder regarding some teacher training DISD is going to be doing this summer. It looks very exciting and enticing (I have actually been toying w/going into teaching for a while now). However I know this district has been going through some financial woes over the last year.

Other than that... I guess I'll get to my point now b/c I do have a few questions to ask...

Has anyone gone through this program? It's for those who don't currently qualify to teach but have college degrees (like myself and my husband). If you have done this or know someone who has, how is it? How's the teaching life out there?

TIA for your feedback!
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 07:12 PM
MommaDuex MommaDuex is offline
 
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I have never worked for DISD nor do I work for them now. However, knowing their recent reputation, I'm not sure that I'd be attending anything that they'd organize. To answer your exact question: No, I have not gone through this program.

There are a lot of great alt. certification programs out there to choose from.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 07:22 PM
hollyfred2002 hollyfred2002 is offline
 
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Are you wanting to go into teaching specifically or did they haphazardly send you this? Just wondering. I am in the middle of a career switch as well...but out of teaching and into financial planning. Career Builder keeps sending me teaching jobs though because my resume has so many teaching references on it I guess. I would be picky about where I taught at this point if I went back, but because I have experience, I have the luxury of doing that. When I was a new teacher, I had to take what people were willing to give me...and many times those positions aren't as "cush" as some of the others. If you want to teach for the long haul, then I think I would be willing to jump in where someone would let me...then if it's terrible, switch districts/schools later on. If it's just something you want to do for the short term, figure out if it's worth it to you. Teaching in those first couple of years is HARD no matter what type of certification you have. I had more training than most people when I went into teaching, but it's a different world once you are responsible for a group of students and you are basically on your own.
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Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 07:28 PM
meg2girls meg2girls is offline
 
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I worked for DISD for 8 years and had a GREAT experience with the district. The reasons I left the district in June were: we bought a house in Plano AND the drive was going to be brutal AND I found a job at a great school in RISD.
I do not know much about the alt. cert. program but it might be worth checking out.
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Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 08:01 PM
abbie'smommy abbie'smommy is offline
 
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If it is an alt certification program they are offering (which it seems it is), they can be very beneficial. But I will tell you... If you truly truly want to teach, I'd go back and get a degree in the field. yes, alt. certifications benefit the constant demand for teachers without making districts wait for future teachers to get their degrees. BUT on the flip side, the teaching field is not NEAR as empty as it was even a few years ago (a lot of this is BECAUSE of the growing # of alt. cert. programs) and now districts want teachers who are specialized. Let's put it this way- I am getting ready to graduate with my BA in Early Childhood Education next year. I was told, more or less, that a Generalist degree would not cut it and I needed to specialize in something (Special Ed, ESL, Science or Bilingual specializations are the top 4). So if teaching is something you really really want to do and be dedicated to, I'd look into going for your BA. Also, depending on what your degree was in originally, a lot of your classes could very well cross over!
As far as DISD goes, I'd be weary of any district that laid off as many teachers as they did this year and then turned right around and started hiring teachers by the masses.

FTR- I realize that most of what I just said seems like there is no hope in sight for you, and that's not how I wanted it to come across. If alt certification is your best bet, then go for it! Most teachers have to start out at positions that are not their "dream job" anyway, no matter what degree you have. I did not want to make it sound like you could not make a career out of teaching without a 4 year degree! If it's what you want to do, do it whatever way works for you! Good luck!
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Last edited by abbie'smommy; 02-21-2009 Saturday at 08:04 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 08:10 PM
aprilb86
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you have to have a degree...a certain number of hours in whatever you want to teach...traditional programs are not better than alt. programs. I am doing an alt program this summer. I have heard terrible things about dallas, however there are several programs, i can name three for you off the top of my head, region 10, texas teaching fellows, and ecap. There are more some school districts provide links on their websites. Any specific questions you have can be answered usually on the website but if not they often have informational meetings that you can attend to find out.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 08:36 PM
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Cagirlintexas Cagirlintexas is offline
 
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I haven't done that particular program but went through an internship program in California. The advantage of those type of programs is they really help you get through fast. It is defiantly something I would consider if you are looking into teaching. Personally I would recommend the profession to any mom. Although I am not currently in the classroom I plan on going back when my son is older.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 08:41 PM
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CraftyMama CraftyMama is offline
 
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Let's not get into a debate of whether or not alt. cert is better than traditional, please. That would be something to debate in the podium. There are many people who will get offended, so it should be a subject to be sensitive about.

To answer the OP specific question - no I have not heard of it, but it sounds like an alt. cert. program. And I would be willing to bet that you'd be required to teach in DISD if you went through their program. It could be a good way to get into teaching if you're wanting to do that. I will say that you couldn't pay me enough to teach high school in DISD (what I teach)... but I have heard good things about several DISD elementary schools. Good luck to you
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Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 08:50 PM
abbie'smommy abbie'smommy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bree View Post
Let's not get into a debate of whether or not alt. cert is better than traditional, please. That would be something to debate in the podium. There are many people who will get offended, so it should be a subject to be sensitive about.

To answer the OP specific question - no I have not heard of it, but it sounds like an alt. cert. program. And I would be willing to bet that you'd be required to teach in DISD if you went through their program. It could be a good way to get into teaching if you're wanting to do that. I will say that you couldn't pay me enough to teach high school in DISD (what I teach)... but I have heard good things about several DISD elementary schools. Good luck to you
Agreed; I was not trying to suggest that alt. certifications are not as good as traditional degrees, and I know it came out that way. I was just trying to point out that I am worried about the job market and I figured that alt. cert. graduates would have the same worries. I was trying to show the good and bad sides to the teaching job market right now to someone who has not yet experienced that job market, but I realize it came out as a promotion for a traditional degree.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 09:04 PM
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CraftyMama CraftyMama is offline
 
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No, it's ok! No worries!! We've just been down that road before and I was trying to ward off hurt feelings before it was too late!

And you're right, more and more people are entering teaching, and it is very important to be prepared, because it is not an easy job!
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Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 09:31 PM
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Giovanna Giovanna is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marykaymom View Post
Let's put it this way- I am getting ready to graduate with my BA in Early Childhood Education next year. I was told, more or less, that a Generalist degree would not cut it and I needed to specialize in something (Special Ed, ESL, Science or Bilingual specializations are the top 4).

...

As far as DISD goes, I'd be weary of any district that laid off as many teachers as they did this year and then turned right around and started hiring teachers by the masses.
Though I do agree with this to a point, it is important to look at which teachers are being laid off. For the most part, when school districts are trying to trim the fat off the budget, the teachers who are the most vulnerable are elective teachers (art, music, computers, etc.), classroom aides, and probationary teachers (those who are in an alt. cert. programs and not fully certified). Core subject teachers who hold standard certificates usually don't have to worry about their jobs. Especially if you teach a TAKS tested subject. (Though, of course, nothing is ever 100%).

And I am guessing the reason you were told your EC-4 Generalist certificate won't cut it is because there are a ton a teacher who hold that certificate. Those can be some of the toughest jobs to get because so many people want them. The ability to land a teaching job is all about what you are certified in. If you've got, for instance, an 8-12 Physical Science certifiate, you can write your own ticket.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2009 Saturday, 10:05 PM
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Jenn Jenn is offline
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Originally Posted by Bree View Post
No, it's ok! No worries!! We've just been down that road before and I was trying to ward off hurt feelings before it was too late!

And you're right, more and more people are entering teaching, and it is very important to be prepared, because it is not an easy job!
Good call, Bree...

For some history, alt vs. traditional cert can be very sensitive and controversial around here. However, I do remember that it was how Bree and I got to know each other and was super glad to find someone that is so much like me.

As for my experience, I am alt. certified and have taught for 6 years and am well qualified. OP, If you are interested in alt cert, I'd def suggest looking into it. However, the DISD program I think does bind you to that district. I had a decent experience with the Region X (Ten) Program.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2009 Sunday, 08:26 AM
kimmyg kimmyg is offline
 
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First off, I want to give a big, huge to all you ladies for your feedback. No hard feelings or misinterpretation here.

OOPS! Guess I forgot to mention, I do have a BA.

It seems like the alt cert programs require a BA. *BUT* the BA I have may point me toward a generalist position, and that is what I am trying to avoid... However I do have hours in Spanish and Science (but probably not enough on their own to make a certification- I'd probably have to do some skills-testing or even some coursework, which I am open to.). My current Spanish skill set is probably more suited for early-level Spanish, though (libro de texto )

I will definitely look at those other alt cert programs named as well.

Again, thanks ladies!
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2009 Sunday, 01:28 PM
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CraftyMama CraftyMama is offline
 
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By the way kimmyg, you only have to have 24 hours to be considered "highly qualified" -

And I'll tell you a secret. I got certified in K-12 music, and then taught for 5 years. I had a minor in Biology, and I recently took the 4-8 AND 8-12 composite science tests, and I am now certified to teach 4-12 grades in Science. And I only had 21 hours of science at the time of my cert, but because I could pass the test and was already certified, I could do that. But that is because I STUDIED MY BUTT OFF for those tests. And I now have the hours to back it up, so it doesn't matter. But I didn't at the beginning of last summer when I took the test.

And I would not currently advise anyone to have me teach physics. Just sayin. Or astronomy.

Either Spanish OR Science would be a highly needed field, and if you did EC-4 bilingual, you'd be in high demand, IIRC.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-22-2009 Sunday, 02:06 PM
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I agree with Bree, on passing one cert, then expanding. I have traditional cert, but my degrees are in Political Science. About half of those classes cross-list with history classes and I also have a fair number of hours (though years ago) in geography. I'm taking an economics class or two as a refresher to be able change my certification to secondary social studies. Of course, this depends on if I renew my certification, I teach private which doesn't require me to keep it active.

I'd be wary of alt certs that tie you to a district, especially if it is one you don't want to teach at. When I was finishing my degrees, a guy in my classes was already teaching in Dallas and completing his alt cert. It sounded intriguing, but he told me point-blank that he wouldn't have recommended it in DISD, especially for a young female (I believe his phrase was that he would never want his wife to do it). At that time (around 1999-2000), alt-certs were essentially forced into the worst DISD schools, with the worst ratings, least motivated families and often in questionable neighborhoods. It was sufficient enough to scare me into finishing traditional certification.
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