On of the lingering frustrations of my own certification saga has been the fall out of my decision not to student teach. Having been hired to teach private school at age 22, without formal certification, I simply started teaching.
This was all well and good, until I decided to switch over to the public system. At this point, there was a problem. Most Masters programs in teaching involve student teaching, which I didn't need. The good news is that New York State does allow waivers to student teaching. The not so good news is that if one does not student teach with a Masters program, the State of New York insists on evaluating your case individually, rather than simply allowing your graduate program to approve it. This may sound like a minor detail, but it amounts to a major roadblock: an individual transcript evaluation takes something on the order of 16-19 weeks, while a graduate approved one takes 3 weeks or so. This, it seems, was my reward for opting to switch into the system as a certified teacher - 16 weeks more wait time and no assistance from my graduate institution in applying for certification.