Advice about alternative teaching certification in Texas?
January 6, 2014 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Do you have advice about choosing an alternative teaching certification program in Texas?

I'm want to teach high school in Texas. I've taught at the college level but I want to switch. To do so I need to choose an alternative teaching certification program.

I think I understand pretty much how they work but I'd like to hear from people who've taken this route (or if you work with people who have). What do you wish you knew about doing this when you did it? Is it like defensive driving of the olden days, something to endure, or do you get something out of it?

I'm looking at ACT in Houston. They seemed ok. It seems to me a better idea to do a course in person rather than online. Thoughts? Any other general advice welcome. Thanks.
posted by vincele to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I did one offered by Texas Woman's University, so I got a masters degree out of it. Yes, classes were online and varied significantly according to professor. Half of the credit hours earned were by teaching full time. You wouldn't have to do any substantive masters courses bc I assume you already have, unless you are switching subjects. I remember some people driving in from other parts of Texas so it might be something worth looking into for you (TWU is cheap!).

I applied to the Dallas ISD alt cert program and that was a disorganized mess that I do NOT recommend.
posted by Neekee at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2014

I spent today researching Western Governors University for my boss and it sounds amazing, actually. Plus it does exactly what you want for bachelors and graduate studies in many disciplines of high school teaching.

This article was good too on it. They have a Texas chapter not that I think it matters.

I should add that while you're perhaps more advanced than some, they allow for testing out of competencies (basically, classes). Every class is capable of that. So you could easily jump far ahead.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:37 PM on January 6, 2014

I got teaching certificates in Florida and taught and completed the extra coursework simultaneously. Pick the one that's the cheapest! My coursework was in ESL and it was VERY useful, weirdly enough in my regular classroom.

What I wish I knew about teaching high school: Once kids are in high school, they are the students that they are. You can have a positive impact, for sure, but it's not about presenting amazing lectures, it's about classroom management.

I am serious. 75% of the job is managing 36 teenagers, full of hormones and fully convinced that what you are teaching is 100% useless to them.

I burned out after two years. I could not handle how disrespectful they were. I would develop AMAZING lesson plans, and they'd act bored and disinterested. I could have stood on my head and spit quarters at them and they would have continued to chew gum (pick your battles, gum was the LEAST of it), braid hair and whinge about how boring it was in my class.

I suspect that you will get a TON out of the classes. In Florida, there were no formal courses for actual classroom teaching, so there I was with my Masters degree, and no other tools.

If you can, do student teaching in an actual high school. Do it early, see if you can deal with it. I still like teenagers, but any more than 5 of them and I start to sweat.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:48 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

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