I started teaching right after Seminary. For a hand full of good Jewish girls this is what we do. My year in Israel, I elected to take the teaching course and received a certificate in Judaic Studies Education. When I came home that summer I got engaged to my High School sweetheart. I had originally wanted to go to art school in NY, but chose to move to LA instead. You can read all about that in a previous post here. For the first two years of my marriage I went to design school at night and worked as a teachers' assistant by day.
After Baby #1 working by day and learning at night became too hard so I stopped going to school (giving up my dream of art) and began teaching full time. Being a Judaic Studies teacher, it wasn't necessary for me to hold a degree, my certification was all I needed - Unless, I wanted more money. So back to school I went to earn a degree in education. This time I studied online, learning around my kids and teaching schedule. The only catch was that NO ONE - NOT ONE SCHOOL would accept my credits from UCLA. Apparently because they were night classes AKA Extension classes - they had no credit value and therefor no school would take them. So I lost 2 years of schooling credits.
Over the past 10 years I have been going to school online. Taking one step back with every baby, and taking one step forward as they grow up. I am now 1 credit shy of getting my degree; so i guess you can say that my entire teaching career was done without holding a Bachelor's Degree.
The funny thing is that I have taught almost every grade and subject out there. From Preschool to 8th grade English and Math, I have taught it AND I always get the Special Ed kids. They are my specialty. Perhaps it's my "out of the box" way of thinking or the fact that I hate working within the perimeters of what's "normal", I pride myself on giving each of my students a unique experience tailored made for them. I have learned EVERYTHING on the job, researching on my own what I needed to know.
I have always been embarrassed that I don't hold a degree. I can't believe I'm even admitting it now, but why should I be embarrassed? I'm a REALLY good teacher! Do you know how many teachers I have seen that hold fancy college diplomas be fired within the first couple of weeks because they couldn't hack it? I honestly can say after going into debt for a degree that I still don't have that the only class that perhaps helped me at all was my Children's Lit class? Everything else was a serious waste of time.
I am writing this post, because I wonder does it really matter that a teacher hold a degree? As a mom my first impulse is to say "YES! Of course!" But as a teacher knowing the behind the scenes of the daily grind, I would say "NO. I don't think so."
I really want to hear what you all have to say about this topic. Please comment.