Archive for the ‘Dr. Tony Bennet’ Category

Dr. Bennett writes the right Rx

In Dr. Tony Bennet, Dr. Tony Bennett, Education, Public Schools on January 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Much to the chagrin of many Indiana Public teachers, the rules are about to change.

And it’s about time.

The State board in charge of teacher licensing and preparation voted to approve the proposed rules by Indiana Schools Superintendent, Dr. Tony Bennett. Over the past year, many groups growled at the idea of ‘change’ , however Dr. Bennett had the insight to know sorely needed. Beginning in July, “teachers will be experts in the subjects they teach and allow adults from other careers to more easily enter the teaching profession”.

I have long suspected a ‘racket’ in the idea of higher education and being ‘allowed’ to teach in public schools. I think it has done a disservice to our students. I think it can be one reasonable explanation as to why our high school students do so poorly on required exams. Perhaps, now, that Pyrex ceiling of ’22-year-olds can only be beginning teachers’ can now be officially shattered. (More on the details, later.)

Here’s why I care:

Many moons ago, I received my second degree–an Indiana Teaching Degree (B.S.). This was after my first degree in Engineering. Upon completion I stayed home to care for my newborn and decided not to apply for that piece of paper from the DOE that said I could teach–after all, I would have to take classes again to maintain a license and I knew I needed to devote all my attention to my children. Subsequently, I had four more children who are better off for the time I was home with them until they entered school full time.

Then, I became divorced. I had to support myself and my children. Well, I had a back-up plan. Afterall, I went to college for 7 years for Something, right? No more volunteering at ‘Mommy Mornings’ at their schools, and hosting cocoa sledding parties after-school.  I would have to start my teaching career.

Then came the grand news. My Alma Matar said I would have to pretty much start over because the rules changes. 3 more years of full time? I was already $50K in the hole. Sounded like a racket. I went to work for minimum wage, went on food-stamps and Medicaid. Child support didn’t even put me ineligible.

I went to my other Alma Matar, and they said they wouldn’t recognize any other college’s Education program, even though they are accredited through the same body. Hmm.. Sounded like a racket. How could this be? This was a State School.

So I worked two minimum wage jobs, stayed on welfare roles, and struggled.

I eventually went to work at a private school with no benefits, no vacation, and still on the welfare roles. They didn’t need the State’s ok, I was cleared through my education and experience. That was ok, but it really didn’t pay well-enough to drive the 100 mile commute.

Eventually, I decided going to school for another identical degree just wasn’t going to happen. I dabbled in the idea of Law School and worked for just over minimum wage in a law office. I finally pursued a career at the college level and landed where I am, now.

I still don’t have any paid vacation, benefits, or insurance..but at least I am teaching. Just recently, in October, I finally went off part of the welfare-listees and I made enough to not be on Food Stamps (ok, just $50 too much, but that’s another story). I had to give up my home and cut back, still, but at least it is a step forward.

Will I ever seek that magic paper that says I can teach where my children go to school? I don’t know yet. The rational side of me says “Yes, you want to retire, right?”…and other parts of me wonder if I want to be part of that Sorority, now, afterall.

One things is certain–Indiana is on the right track. There neede to be more of it done–rebuilding Education. They are opening up the possibility for great people to teach.Perhaps, one day I shall be one of them.