I have wanted to upgrade my teaching credentials for some time now. I just haven’t been able to afford to. I still have a large amount of student debt and until that is paid off, I don’t think I should be incurring more. Thankfully, my school had some money available this year to anyone who decided to take a course. I jumped on the opportunity and was happy to see that not all of the staff did. As such, my tuition was entirely paid for.
I wasn’t off the hook for all the costs though. I had to pay for and order a transcript to get enrolled. I also had to buy the textbook which cost $125 after all was said and done. And not only that, I had to use paper and ink to print off journal articles and other required reading material.
All in all, this course cost close to $1000.00. Yet, I know some teachers who take a course or two every single year. I don’t know of another profession where people actually continue to upgrade their skills at their own costs. It seems ridiculous to me.
I am dedicated to improving my teaching. I regularly reflect on what has and has not worked in my classroom. I regularly do professional reading and am constantly looking for things that will help improve my instruction. I go to staff meetings and workshops and am often pleased at what I take away from these things.
Yet, I want to upgrade my skills. There are a handful of courses that I know would benefit me professionally. I want to take Special Education so I can help my students who struggle. I love teaching music and am very knowledgeable about it but it would be nice to be a more effective teacher with it as well. I can think of a few other courses that I think would be worthwhile but I simply cannot afford to take them.
I am glad that my school had this money available. I feel like I have learned a lot. I know that I will be applying this knowledge in my classroom next year.
I think the schools we teach for should be as interested in our professional learning as we are. They should offer to help us out financially every year. If this were the case, my credential might actually match my experience and I know that I would be a much better teacher because of it. And of course, that is all I want.