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Thursday, April 05, 2007

I shouldn't doubt my life decisions, but...

When I hear people talk about how they are doing Teach for America next year, I begin to regret my decision to stay in the education program at my school. After all, they're going to get certified too, and they're going to begin teaching sooner, and they don't have to jump through the sometimes frustrating hoops to certify through the college.

When I think about it, I sometimes feel foolish or selfish for doing the program through my college. After all, I'm not "going where I'm needed most," or whatever TFA's motto is. I'm getting certified in a state I don't actually want to live in, so I'm going to need to transfer the certification to a different state upon completion. I have to stay here (in the town where my school is) an extra semester after I graduate to finish the student teaching.

Would it have been easier to just apply for an alternative certification program? Would it have made more sense? Are all the classes I have taken here worth it all? If I hadn't taken all the education classes I did, I could have taken other classes, that I never got the chance to take. I see people who I know, who began college planning to join the certification program, but who now have plans to teach, or are already teaching. They didn't take the classes at my college, but they're going to be out there, teaching for real before I am.

I know there are values to getting certified through a college, for learning before you're thrown into the real world of teaching all day every day. I know I gained so, so much by taking all the education classes I have taken. I know these things and I believe them too, usually.

Sometimes though, I wonder. Would it have made more sense to do it differently? Would it have been easier to join TFA or a similar alternative certification program? Should I have just gotten a masters in education, instead of certifying during my undergraduate life?

Really, none of this pondering matters. I signed my life away to my college the other day - promising to student teach, and promising to pay the college a lot of money if I don't fulfill my end of the contract (I need to teach, full time, within the next few years. Otherwise, I owe the school a semester's tuition.) I should stop second guessing myself. I have greatly valued, if not always enjoyed, all except for one (physical education methods...) of my methods courses. I will be certified too. I am doing it differently than the majority of my peers, but like them, I will teach.


Blogger Amber said...

Hey there, I stumbled onto your blog while just doing some google searching. I'm actually a junior in college and finally realized that I want to teach. So, in the Fall I'll be starting education classes. Looks like I've added another year to my anticipated graduation but that's okay with me because I'll be doing something I love. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know I've added you to my links list. :)

2:03 PM  
Blogger Ms. Sigh Ants said...

I understand where you are coming from 100%. I know TFA teachers who survived and TFA teachers who are no longer teachers. I, myself, was rejected by TFA and found myself earning a masters and my license, in a state that I didn't want to teach in. I'm now in a different state, working with an urban population and I love it.

I can't tell you if TFA is right for you or not but from my experience I feel incredibly prepared and ready to handle everything due to my preparation at the school I attended.

I'm not sure why I shared other than to tell you I know where you're coming from. Hang in there and put on a smile. :)

6:08 PM  

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