The Value of Your Certification Program (Part Two)
Our last post explained why it’s important to consider value, not just time and cost, when investing in a certification program. Here are two other factors that contribute to a program’s value:
Support in the Classroom
Research indicates that having professional mentorship and support can make a significant impact on how new teachers feel about their new career (Sleppin, 2009).
Unfortunately, graduates of traditional university-based teacher preparation programs do not necessarily have formal support from their alma maters once they begin working as teachers.
Additionally, not all mentorship is equally helpful. Learning from an experienced educator who is familiar with the local dynamics of your school can be more relevant, and therefore helpful, than generic professional development activities.
For these reasons, when you enter into the classroom and need help the most, iteach exceeds the state minimum number of visits from a field supervisor, providing as many visits as any program in the state. Additionally, our field supervisors have a wealth of experience that they bring with them to every visit—all to support you. Collectively, our field supervisors have more than 4,000 years of classroom experience.
Active Involvement in Education
We believe teachers learn best from other teachers, which is why iteachTEXAS’ management team is committed to teacher preparation.
All directors with iteachTEXAS hold their Texas Teacher and/or Principal Standard Certificates. Our leadership team includes:
- the Treasurer of the National Association for Alternative Certification (NAAC),
- past President and current advisor of the Texas Alternative Certification Association (TACA),
- past executive board member and Treasure of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education (CSOTTE),
- current board member of the Educator Preparation Advisory Council (EPAC),
- current board member of the Texas Preparation Collaborative with Educate Texas,
- past board member of the Council of Chief School Officers Teacher Preparation Task Force, and
- a past member of the Title II Negotiating Rule Making Committee.
iteachTEXAS is also actively involved in several professional educator organizations:
- the Texas Association of Certification Officers (TACO),
- Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA),
- Texas Charter Schools, and
- the Council for Effective Educator Preparation (CEEP).
As you look at becoming a teacher, ask programs about what you will be learning through the coursework, how often will you be observed in the classroom, what are the credentials of the leadership team. You owe it to yourself and your future students to move beyond the speed and cost of a program and determine the value you will receive from your preparation, in the form of support, mentorship, training, and expertise.