I'm going back to school. Going for my teaching certification in Reading. My aim is to, one day, be a Reading Specialist in a local school.
Didn't see that coming, did you? Hmmmm... well I'm not entirely sure that I did either. Although, in hind sight, I suppose I really should have.
I've been tutoring reading (and writing, comprehension and study skills/test prep) for 15 years now (off and on). I've been tutoring Reading on-line for a couple months now at Brainfuse.com. And now, under the No Child Left Behind act, I'll be tutoring Reading for area elementary school students. It's work I'm familiar with and work that I really love. I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I hardly even consider it work. It's simply something I'm capable of doing, that I love doing, and something that gives me a real sense of accomplishment and pride when a student I'm working with turns a corner, sees a lesson(s) in a new light, and can confidently go on with their studies, working off the stepping stones I've laid down for them along their way.
Plus - I've recently said to a "new" old friend (someone I reacquainted with via Facebook) that I wished I could tutor professionally.
Then I realized - hmmmm maybe, in a way, I could.
Reading Specialists, as much as I'm aware, work one-on-one (or possibly in small groups) with children to improve their reading skills when they're not quite up to snuff with where they should be academically. They tend to work mostly with special needs students, but typical students can sometimes use the extra reading assistance as well.
Wow. Sounds like just the right job for me.
(I also have seen quite a few help wanted ads, over the months, recruiting Reading Specialists. I've always been so interested in those listing, yet knew I didn't hold the proper certification to even apply).
And - you know - I didn't exactly take the Praxis II exam for my health. Despite more or less knowing that I didn't want to be a classroom teacher - still - I feel that in some way, shape or form, the educational system, in general, is where I'd like to be.
After all, I did, once upon a time, take a semester's worth of education courses back in college. Looking back, I kind of remember that the main reason I got away from that tract is because I transferred colleges and, at the time, was more concerned with properly transferring credits and graduating as close to on time as possible than anything else.
I also felt, at the time, that I was entirely too shy to be a classroom teacher. So - no classroom teaching = no need for a teaching certificate. Back to the B.A. in English, only.
Now - jumping back to the present - I only wish I could, in turn, wind back the hands of time so that I could have gotten my certification in the first place. Oh, if only we could start off with the forethought and experience needed to successfully make important decisions when doing so would be most advantageous!
(Not that Reading Specialists - or, for that matter, Reading Education Certification - were even a thing to consider 10+ years ago. I don't know. Maybe they were. They just weren't something I was ever aware of until recently.)
So, yeah. I'm going to do it. Last week I emailed my state Dept. of Education, asking what more I need to do, beyond passing the Praxis II, to apply for/earn my certification. The woman there informed me that I had to complete the abcte courses and exam. She pointed me to the appropriate website. And there you go. An intensive, competitive course load of on-line classes. Lots of work, no extra travel. Reading Certificate - I'm on my way!
As far as I understand, in my state and for this certification, the tutoring work I've done and am currently doing suffices for the student teaching needed to gain certification. I'll still have to apply for certification once I've passed the course. And who knows exactly what is involved for completing that step. But I know I'll get there. With Hubby's 100% support, with Sweetie's understanding, and the help and support of my extended family and friends - I know I can do it.
As we enter 2009, we can all feel the winds of change coming - politically, economically, personally. For me, things are definitely going to change for the better. "It's gonna be the perfect year for Amy!" That's what Hubby wrote on our kitchen chalkboard. Let it be so.
And for all of you as well. Let it be the best year ever for us all.