Tonight I attended my orientation for my Type 75 program. This January I will start an 18 month set of courses that will allow me to test for my administrative certificate.
The question is: why?
There are three answers:
1. Last year, I got nominated for a really highly prestigious honor that most teachers (like me) totally do not apply for. I asked a friend if this was crazy (I am not into teaching awards), but one thing very much stuck with me: you never know what the future will hold … an award like this might be important in saving your job one day (or words to this rough effect, I’m sure if I have taken them out of context, he will correct me). That still wasn’t a good enough reason to apply for the award, but it go me thinking.
2. (warning: naughty language ahead) Two years ago, another friend lost their job because an administrator pulled what I have seen to be a clearly (quoting another, but I agree with the sentiment) douchebag move. With the overall trend toward teachers having less and less job security, not to mention a number of trends looking forward that really doesn’t look good for the profession as a whole, I decided that I wanted to keep a few options open. I am being careful to not sound to doom and gloom, but I am starting to see a lot of my younger colleagues starting to make plans that don’t involve retiring from teaching.
3. In my entire district, I am one of the lowest paid teachers based on my years of experience, because I have been busy doing other things instead of taking as many courses as I could to move across the salary scale. Unlike some teachers who will take any class remotely linked to their jobs, I have been more selective. This has left me behind, and I began to realize that I wanted to start moving up the salary schedule a bit. A Type 75 certificate program seemed to be one of the faster ways to do this. I have also decided in talking to colleagues that this might have some potentially interesting things to learn.
I will take 8 courses, each lasting 8 weeks over the spring semester this year, the first part of the summer, and then both semesters next year. In addition, I have to serve a 240 hour internship at my school next year serving as an apprentice to an administrator, and actually coming up with a plan of some kind to do something, and actually implementing said plan at the school. I also need to serve a mini-internship at a middle or elementary school over the course of a week or so.
I have no intention to ever use this. I know that while I possess certain leadership skills, I would not in any way have the skills to lead a school or a department. I have seen enough poor leadership to know that there are some obviously bad decisions I would avoid, and some bad ones I would likely walk right into.