Tuesday, May 19, 2009

From Boston... (Part One)

A teacher formerly of Massachusetts, now of California, tells her story...

Although I was a psychology major, I had no interest in becoming a psychologist. During my junior year at BU, I began considering what steps I needed to take to become a teacher instead. I knew I wasn't interested in elementary school and was leaning more toward middle/high schools, thus I perused the Massachusetts Certification requirements for teaching psychology and the social sciences as a whole. You could not enroll in a teacher certification program teaching psychology, but you could for sociology. I had enough room in my schedule to double major, so I decided I'd do that. (In addition to passing a subject matter proficiency test, Massachusetts also requires that you either major or take at least ten classes in the subject you plan on teaching.)

Fall of senior year rolls around, and Massachusetts makes a decision to no longer offer certification in sociology. Unable to find a job, I end up going to graduate school in education policy to buy some time to decide what to do next. Although I wanted to teach in the inner-city, I could not do so because I was not certified and I lacked experience. Thus after my masters, I end up going to a parochial school out in the affluent Wellesley suburb of Boston. After two years there, I figure I have enough experience to attempt a position at a charter school, which I ended up doing, becoming a math teacher at a Boston Charter School. While there, I take and pass all the necessary proficiency tests to teach under a provisional license, one that expires after 5 years if I don't work my way to a professional license (which is contingent on passing at least ten classes in the subject matter.)

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