I renewed my teaching credential online last night and it is a far cry from…well, he whole darn world is a far cry from the ’70’s is all I can say.
In the olden days, I filled out a huge renewal form, sent of my money and waited (six weeks in the ’70s……eight months in the 90’s). Last night, I logged on, filled in the form, sent the money via Pay-pal and voila! I have the confirmation number in my in box.
I have several life-time credentials (they don’t even issue them any more) and this one I renew every five years. It costs me 32 cents a day to keep that credential current, just on the off hand that that is the one I need to use to keep my job. It is, of course, the one that is the most far-reaching and covers the absolute most classroom scenarios. My single subject math? Not so useful. Spanish? Who wants to learn Spanish is prison? Business? That is only useful in that I can do paperwork, of which there is a LOT. (I got a degree in accounting and I think everyone should take book keeping, typing in high school and and personal finance in college. NOT business. You need to know how to organize the business of being alive and how to read a spreadsheet so no one can cheat you.
My bread and butter is my multiple subject credential which allows me to teach pre-school thru college. I can teach anything (okay, within reason) because I’m a TEACHER. I know how to TEACH. Which is dandy, because that is what I do.
We were talking about lay-offs at work—and keep in mind, I work in a 33 system “district” that hires sporadically after huge freezes. We have teachers who have worked system-wide less than 2 years and less than 5 years. Then there is a huge spread because ten and seventeen years ago, there were also mass hirings. The interesting thing about the vetern teachers (more PC than calling us old) is that when the new contract came out last year, we got credit for previous teaching experience and education. When I was hired, I got credit for my BA and 5 years experience.
This new contract moved me over to a totally different area on the salary schedule. I got credit for all of my education (a.lot. ) which moved me over to…well, there was nothing on the scale, so they moved me down until I hit money. My education turned into years of service.
Which has nothing to do with seniority, which has everything to do with layoffs which we aren;t even talking about right now because we are going dark (without pay) throughout the state on the first and third Friday of every month.
And that’s okay with me. I’d rather take a pay cut. If God can run His kingdom on the 10% I tithe and I have been saving 10% my entire life already, I guess I can manage another 10%. Well, I know I can. I squander that 10%.
I have enough yarn. I have knitting needles. I have a garden. I can sew. There’s a library in town.