I have to admit. These past few days, I've been a little bitter – a little bitter towards my college alma mater and a little bitter towards my state Department of Education. It's a little silly because they technically didn't do anything wrong and haven't technically wronged me, but, man, I am a little bitter.
Let me explain. The past year and a half, I've been in the process of making a major career change. I used to be a graphic designer. I worked for a major newspaper in the Valley of the Sun and everything was dandy. Well, then I decided to become a teacher for a number of different reasons, but the point is I enrolled in an accelerated (18-month) alternative dual certification program.
We were told from the very beginning that the first year of the program, we would student teach (3-5 days a week) and attend classes the rest of the time. We were also told that the second year of the program, there was an opportunity for the school district we were placed in to hire us so instead of continuing to student teach and take classes, we would suddenly become the teacher of record while still taking the same classes. As a result, we would have to get special permissions from all sorts of groups including the state education department and then our program would be extended to last two full years rather than just one and a half. No big deal, right?
I agree. It's really no big deal especially since as the teacher of record, I'm getting paid and I don't actually have any classes I have to take next semester; my students and I just have to survive a couple of extra walk throughs and observations. No big deal.
It's just that the rest of my cohort just graduated and while they were walking across the stage wearing their turquoise hoods, I was cleaning up the aftermath of an out-of-character bathroom accident. Do not get me wrong – I would rather be in the classroom any day than sitting in a boring commencement ceremony listening to 2,000 names being called up to stage.
It just sucks that everyone else is now skipping down to the state education department (perhaps an exaggeration) to get his or her real certificate, but I won't be a "real teacher" for another five months all because of one silly little credit. But, trust me, this is no pity post. I'm thankful for my grad program, my school, my school district, and the fact that I have a job... so very, very, thankful for these things. And now that all that is off my chest ... I can't wait until Jan. 9, 2012... the first day back from two weeks of unstructured playtime.