Scott Walker be Like, Whuuuut?

As I try to work my way back into education, I want to make sure that I am valuable to the new school I choose.  I need to know more, but the route for me to do this seems to be more complicated than Scott Walker promised (in changing state teacher licensure). I will try to find out how it might work for me so that other folks looking to do the same have an idea of the challenges:

I recently applied to one English position and one technology position. While I did not get either of those jobs, I did realize that something other than English is a possibility for me. In fact, the tech job seemed more natural to my skills, in some ways. The next time I looked on WECAN, there was only the Southern-Milwaukee suburban school long-term English assignment for $40 a day less than the one I missed out on and another middle school English at $70 a day less. That one specified that December graduates were welcome to apply. Apparently, there must still be enough English teachers graduating college in order to fill such lousy positions.

The silver lining, I thought, was the French positions I saw suddenly available. Three of them. One paid as low as the low English one, but it would be a chance to get into a district in a new position: one that requires fewer papers to grade and long books to read. However, I am still not licensed to teach French. I have a minor in it, but I was told when I got my English teaching certification that I would have needed to fulfill some kind of study abroad requirement. That was just kind of silly for someone who had an English major, French minor, Urban Planning certificate, and a teaching certification as part of a MAT program (and who had gone through a French immersion school). Another several months paying a college to go live in a hotel or someone’s house in Quebec? I could not do it then and certainly could not now. But Scott Walker saved the day for folks like me, right? I can get a certification to teach without all the red tape of college, right?

I emailed DPI to find out. Here’s the response I received after two days:

Brian,

The only way to add on a French license is to complete an approved program.  You can find the list of approved programs on this page:

http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/epp/approved-educator-preparation-programs

 

I think this is implying that a licensed teacher needs to add French to the license, whereas someone else could take the alternative track. The answer was not very complete, and it did not really address whether or not there is an alternative to adding on a French license. When I emailed those who are gatekeepers of the alternative track, here was my response:

Hello Brian,

In order to teach any foreign language, including French, you must have a bachelor's in that area.  

 

Well, that’s quite interesting. I guess they’re saying a native speaker in French who happens to have a psychology degree is less qualified than a French major with a C-average in college who has been working as an insurance underwriter for two decades. I myself have had more years of french than most French teachers in our state, since I went through Milwaukee's French Immersion program. It’s also saying that a “teachable minor” for a teacher is still worthless unless you get the teaching certification immediately.  But if I took welding in high school and never went to college, I could teach tech ed? Anyhow, I thought that all the new rules were meant to make it possible for qualified people to get into the classroom, so I have to wonder why there are three open French positions and a qualified individual stuck with no way to teach them.

Advice: if you are in college right now, go ahead and get the French as a double major and skip education. Finish in a year less. Try to get an international business job when you’re young. You can always fall into teaching after you prove you can’t do anything else. It’s better than being stuck with an education degree and everyone assuming you can’t do anything but teach.

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