Teaching Certification

I don’t know ’bout ya’ll but this is a long story for me. And most of it isn’t very uplifting. Let me start out by saying I moved states to find a job in this career. I am originally from Washington state and held a teaching certificate that was given to me for graduating.

During those college years I was asked to pass a test to enter the education program. It was basic knowledge test, similar to like ACT’s or SAT’s, whatever. I passed, except in one section, Writing, by 7 points. 7 POINTS! I was livid. I couldn’t believe that the most “biased” part of the assessment I didn’t pass by 7 points! I was disappointed in myself. Then having to pay another $75+ dollars to take that section of the test again? Ugh. Well, folks, I did. And this time when I took it I was sick. Like, gross gunk in your nose and can’t stop coughing up phlegm, that kind of sick. I definitely remember the proctor in the room bringing me tissues nonchalantly over to the desk I was skulked over and looking up at her like she was an angel. She even brought the garbage next to me so I could throw away the tissues. And of course those tests are like pin drop quite so I was literally the elephant in the room. Okay, well I passed this time and all was well in the world.

Now, in order to receive my certificate I just needed to graduate from my university with my transcripts and final project etc. IF I wanted to have my “emphasis” on my certificate, which made you basically look more professional and was normal essentially. Like, that was just that path you took. Most people took this assessment earlier in the year. People who had money at the time basically. I was one of those poor college students. So I planned on working a little bit and then taking the test. Well, this is where it takes a turn for the worse people. I am either a terrible test taker, or a victim of memory loss. Ugh. I took this test twice and failed it both times. Now, the first time I took it, once again, did not pass by minimal points. Which with my track record made me feel only kind of dumb and not all the way dumb. Kidding #noselfshaminghere But really, now I had to practice harder and take it again.

So here I am the night before my test and I fall asleep after studying early in the evening like from 5-7pm. Sometimes after I nap I feel a little nauseous and then it just goes away. And this was happening. Well, it didn’t stop, and eventually I did vomit. Many times. #goodbyenachos. However, it stopped being funny after I realized I had nothing in my system anymore and my body was still trying to expel whatever demon was inside me. I couldn’t hold down water, I couldn’t hold down any food, and it ran me like clockwork every hour, and all night. I still had to go to this test though. It would cost me to not go and then cost me more to try and sign up again. So, I have my boyfriend take me to the testing center and the ladies that check me in look at me like “good grief”. I tell them my situation and they tell me that if I need to rush to the restroom they will check me out of my test as soon as possible and help whatever way they can. I wasn’t vomiting as much that morning so it wasn’t too concerning but I definitely wasn’t 100%. I just kept thinking to myself (after already applying to 180 jobs)  this was going to help my career search and that my certificate will “look more appealing” because I’m “proficient”. But ladies and gentlemen, I found myself in the bathroom floor calling my mother, yes my mom, to come get me.

She took me straight to the hospital to get fluids and checked out. She was overly concerned about me and all I could think about was how defeated I was. How I have to do this all over again. These things were nobody’s fault by my own. So I was left with a “Reciprocal Certificate” in the state of Washington as I moved down to Arizona before I could take the test again.

Fast forward to moving to Arizona. When applying for this state’s certification it was fairly easy and mostly transferable, thank goodness for taking a U.S. Constitution class as an elective during college. However, I was still deficient in a couple areas. I needed to certified in SEI (Secondary English Immersion), Take a class in AZ Constitution and pass another proficiency exam. Well, they gave me a year to get this all completed and I already started having anxiety about the exam. “Am I going to pass? Am I competent enough” Some real self-hurt right now. THEN, they extended it to three years. I began my procrastination immediately. Once again, fast forwarding to now almost my end date on my reciprocal certificate I just took my exam on July 6th and still awaiting results. But this time, I was a lot more self-aware, I was confident in my choices (most of them) and I did my best. So I’m almost there guys. But STILL waiting on the results. They mention that it takes 4 weeks to see the proficiency exam scores.

So, as I sit here now on my couch thinking about what I have done to try and get this certificate. Well, I can tell you one thing I didn’t do, get that SEI certification. One, it costs an extra $60 on top of the $60 being paid for the Elementary Teaching Certificate (I only have so much money during the summer ya’ll) and Two, they no longer require you to have it (UNLESS you have ELL students in your class). So, overall I’m very impatiently waiting on my results so I can then EAGERLY pay money to get my certificate with everything else I need to bring with me.

Overall, (SHE’S FINALLY ALMOST DONE!), There are a lot of hoops to jump through and little things necessary for teachers to be qualified. However, I know that these things are necessary in order for me to show that I am what I am. I get it. When completing these tasks I remember getting so frustrated that our Governor had passed the bill stating that non-educators can teach in classrooms, with limitations of course. More on that later.

I guess, I’m just trying to say that this process was lengthy, difficult, and overwhelming. This makes education non-transferable among states. I understand that there is National Board Certifications that allow you to hold a certificate in any state. HOWEVER, that also costs a lot of money to do to take classes, tests, and certify. Then on top of that, not every state has to recognize it and still require you to do the same process EVEN with the National Cert. (going to do a little more research on this to make sure it’s accurate).

Be strong my brave teachers! Our new year is about to begin and I can’t let this overwhelm me, I have fourth graders expecting an amazing lady to teach them cool things this year.

Bossy Boles


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