A Teachable Moment

I’ve decided to get my teaching certificate reinstated. You knew I was once a teacher, right? Back in the day I was the master of a classroom full of youngsters with disabilities, ranging from the not-too-bright to the profoundly impaired. I gave it all up to be the master of the home and run my own children’s lives. I intended with sincere intentions to keep my certificate current so I could jump back into the fray should the mood ever strike me, but of course I let it lapse, lo those many years ago. Every 18 months or so, I decide to jump through the hoops to get it back. But of course I never have.

Several questions must be answered.

1. Even if I successfully navigated the hoop-jumping exercises, could I really get a teaching job? I mean, it has been a looong time, and ed budgets are down and teachers get laid off and so on. Well, I specialized in the education of kids with severe and profound disabilities, and friends, that is not a popular job. I might very well be able to secure one of those jobs in spite of my advanced age and years out of the biz. And in any case, I could almost certainly work as a substitute.

2. Why in god’s name would anyone want to work as a substitute teacher? Isn’t that the 12th circle of hell or something? I don’t have a good answer for this, except that it might nicely supplement my writing and editing work, since the quantity and availability of that work is highly inconsistent, and I like earning money.

3. Would I be a good teacher? Well, I  wasn’t a bad teacher before, but I was terribly young. I would be a much better teacher now, I believe, because raising your own kids is a mega-educational experience. There are things I now understand about kids, parents, and families that totally eluded me back when I was a hotshot with a fresh master’s degree. They would be lucky to get me, check.

4. What’s the next step? I have to earn some credits, which means signing up to take something or other at some college somewhere. That could even be fun, so I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet about it.

And if I take classes in marketing, it will benefit my freelance business as well as pull in credits towards re-certification. Win. Spring quarter starts in April, I believe.


11 thoughts on “A Teachable Moment

  1. I think I’d rather jam tender body parts into dangerous rotating machinery than be a substitute teacher, but OTOH I can see how subbing might be a kick, too. For someone else! Whichever way you go, I hope it’s a rewarding adventure for you.

  2. Subbing can’t hurt. I like the idea of doing something as iterative as that to supplement both your other paid work and to get you in the rhythm of regularity. Well, having structure helps me do pretty much everything better, so I’m projecting. Why *wouldn’t* you be a good teacher? You sound like you have a good philosophy about children and education. You’re smart. I’ve met too many teachers who are not smart or who are idealistic or dreamy in the least practical of ways. Follow your dreams, even incrementally

  3. Do you need a teaching certificate to sub in your state? I know a degree was enough for my MIL in Hillsborough county, Florida. She subbed in special needs classes occasionally, but I’m not sure the same rules apply to self-contained classrooms and the like. Anyway, she seemed to enjoy it for the first few years. Things have gone south and many teachers are now looking to flee the district, but I assume that is a localized phenomenon.

  4. I know that feelings, teaching certification lapsed a few years ago and a part of me longs to have that opportunity again.  It is a much changed environment these days, and the hoops are always ridiculous.  Amazing special education teachers are always needed.  Can you do any of the credits online, that might make it easier and lower a hoop. 

  5. @HappierHeathen – Oh my. Luckily there are no dangerous rotating machines in the classroom.@BoureeMusique – Well, it’s not so much a dream as a fall-back position.@turningreen – Yeah, little kids at least have cuteness going for them even when they’re being uncooperative.@distractedbyzombies – Yes, subs have to have valid certification. There are always teachers fleeing districts everywhere. That’s what I did, after all.@ReadOurRainbowRants – I can do all the credits online, so there’s really no reason not to. What did you teach?

  6. I was certified to teach social studies 7-12, but was required to get a master’s degree and obtain a teaching position for 2 years within a 5 year period.  In my area at that time there were 400 applicants per teaching position (this was in 2004), and I subbed for a few years and went into a field working with adults of special needs in case management then administration.  🙂    

  7. subbing, well, I think about that a lot. On the one hand, you earn money. On the other hand, you earn very little money relative to the time you put in, and I personally find it to be a circle of Hell even at the elementary level. But then again, I normally do it for free. Maybe I would feel differently if I took my $100 at the end of the day. No, I don’t think I would. I think it would be even more a circle of Hell for me if I didn’t get the marginal psychological benefit of feeling like I was contributing something to the community. I say reinstate the certificate and get the full-time job. 

  8. Have a go, I’m sure some special kids could use you again. I admire the swim coaches and all those teachers that bring the autistic kiddos in every week to the pool. 

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