Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Soul Searching

I am really frustrated.

I went to college wanting to be a doctor {insert laughter}.  After being thrown in to both chemistry and biology classes my first semester of freshman year, I quickly realized how much I did not like science and how much science did not like me!

I did a quick soul search {quick because deep down I think I secretly knew what I loved already} and determined that I would change my major to history as quickly as I could.

But, what did I want to do with my history degree?? Teach, of course.  So, I decided to get a degree in history with a teaching license.

I had successfully completed my first teaching class in the fall of sophomore year and was looking forward to becoming immersed in teaching classes and history classes for the remainder of my college career.

Fast forward to the second semester of sophomore year.  I came down with mono and ended up missing most of the second semester.  I felt like I didn't have anyone at school to turn to to tell me what to do.  In hindsight, I should have medically withdrawn for the semester, gotten better, and taken summer classes to get back on track.  I tried to tough it out, but the teaching classes were far too demanding to do from home via the internet, so I ended up dropping them.  At that point, I was a junior in college and too far behind to continue with my teaching license attached to my history degree.  So, I dropped it.

I graduated this past May with a degree in History and a minor in English Literature.

Here comes the frustration...

I still want to teach.

I still feel like I have no one to ask "HOW DO I BECOME A LICENSED TEACHER??"

I don't have the ability to quit my job and go back to school full-time...I have these things called student loans that need to be paid back!

All I want to do is teach.  I want to help kids become as excited about history as I was...and still am.

There has got to be a way to teach.

Is there anyone out there that has gone through something like this?  Are there any resources that you can refer me to?  I have tried checking out the state of Virginia website, but all it does it send me to some law mumbo-jumbo that I don't understand.

I really just want a straight answer...what are my options to becoming a licensed public school teacher? I know there are tons of schools that need teachers and I truly want to be one.



Jacki said...

I feel your pain! I graduated with a BA in English Literature and a minor in history and I am currently a certified English teacher. You will have to find out exactly what you need to do for your state, but in Florida all I had to do was take a series of tests (Subject Area test, General Knowledge test and a Professional Educator test) and then find a teaching job. Go on your local school district's website and get in contact with the certification office. They should be able to give you a check list and tell you exactly what you need to do in order to become certified. Hope this helps!

meghan said...

Look at It's a consulting firm that places teachers into private schools. You don't have to be a certified teacher to teach private school. I was a history major and African Studies minor and I teach at a private school.

Jess - PrettyPhysicist said...

It depends on your state (I just found your blog bc someone tweeted it), but a lot of colleges in PA have masters programs for teacher certification or just the teaching certification. They're part-time, and either at night or online, so you can still work full time.

Meg O. said...

In TX we have what's called "Alternative Certification" where you have to have a bachelor's degree in order to enroll - and you take the certification classes and then pass the tests. I have been teaching for 5 years now and I am alternatively certified. I wonder if VA has something like that. Celia tweeted your link so that's why I'm here! Hope that helps.

Katherine @ The Bailey Daily said...

Amen, Courtney! I have always wanted to be a teacher but let people talk me into pursuing a business degree. Midway through my sophomore year I tried to switch majors but was so far behind that I would need at least an additional year of school (which would not be covered by my scholarships). It just was not financially feasible at the time. I graduated last May with a Management degree and am currently working as a receptionist (and hating every minute of it). All of that to say, you are not alone! I'm in the exact same boat and those certification websites are for sure not the easiest to navigate. Best of luck on your journey! If I find any helpful resources, I will certainly pass them along.

Anonymous said...

I don't know many teachers that ended up there straight from a teaching program in college. Most go the round-a-bout way like you :)

Check with your state's Department of Ed. Like these other ladies have said you may just need to take a couple tests. In California you need tests and then apply. The Dept of Ed will review your app and let you know if you'll need any additional classes.

As far as the extra credential classes, it's possible to do them while working! I did that. It'll give you more loans, but I don't know anyone without them at this point.

Good luck girlie!! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

Katie said...

My uncle went back to school in an accelerated course to become a teacher. Maybe there are some accelerated programs near you? You generally do one class at a time, one night a week and finish in 2-3 years.

Kathleen said...

I know in Texas you can become a teacher through the Alternative Certification program. Maybe there is something similar in your state! A friend of my got certified to teach journalism that way! I would google Alternative Teaching Certification programs and then your state. I hope that helps!

Kimberly said...

I think the advice above has been quite good. I taught for a year in NC with an "emergency 1 year license". To continue the state required me to go back to school (even though I passed the Praxis & just completed a year of teaching & already have 2 degrees). So I had to take a pass. But...I think if you go back to school you can get an additional deferment on your student loans (if that helps.)

Shelli said...

Jared is almost finished with his MBA and goes in the evenings to High Point and has really loved it. He goes 1 night a week for each class. He could teach if he wanted to but that's not what he wants to do. I don't know much about it but he was saying if you got your Master's you could teach.

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