*In other words, one who does not hold a Florida certificate qualifying them to teach.
From the Florida Phoenix , tagline Quality Journalism for Critical Times, comes a report that a bill sits on the desk of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, that would authorize districts to issue their own certificates to persons who have not passed the qualifying tests, such as the General Knowledge exam, as long as they hold knowledge in the content area.
This was supposed to be a screed against the idea of allowing districts to certify unqualified teachers because they needed to fill positions. When it comes to secondary school, content knowledge is essential, but a teacher with no training in pedagogy is a train wreck waiting to happen. All anyone can do is stand out of the way and watch.
And let’s get the disclosure out of the way. Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) went the alternate certification route. Teaching is a second career. And yet, GOT came to the classroom with advantages. As a seminary-trained graduate, he had studied Piaget et al. for child development. He took courses in education and studied the work of Vygotsky among others. Kohlberg and Erikson were familiar to him before he stepped into his first classroom.
Even with that advantage, a master’s degree and superior content knowledge, GOT has to admit he was not ready.
Fortunately, he had great administrators, Pamela Bradley-Pierce and Shilene Singleton, who believed in him and got him through the worst bumps in the first two years. Plus, he had the support of a retired principal from the grant program he had joined who visited his classroom and directed him through the first year of figuring out how to make it work.
Even now, sometimes a teacher who went through a traditional teaching program will mention something that makes GOT think he has missed out and is less than perfectly prepared.
GOT makes this disclosure so you, the reader, will realize that content knowledge is not enough.
Too bad no Florida legislator will ever read this post.
So let me shout it out: CONTENT KNOWLEDGE IS NOT ENOUGH!
But it seems no one is listening. Like a Hydra, the mythical Greek monster, TFA rears its ugly head every time you think it’s done. Lop one off and two more grow back.
Thus we get notice of this: TFA is back and wanting $14,000 per teacher, (unqualified, cough, cough,) it will supply. Thanks to Chris Guerriri, who is tireless in his efforts to be a watchdog on the district.
But the district no longer needs TFA to qualify unqualified people. Let’s cut out the middleman. The district can recruit directly from colleges and hand them certification.
The adjunct teacher. Just don’t talk to an adjunct professor at a college who has no job security, no pension, no healthcare, no whatever that ordinary workers look for when they accept a job offer.
But if we have to do TFA, GOT has a counteroffer. They want $14,000? I will do it for $10,000 a teacher. I will find them and supply them.
What say you, Duval County?