Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Many people have asked me about when I made the decision to return to teaching. I cannot give you the exact time or day, but I can tell you it was made some time during the holiday crush when I had been working for nine days straight and was seriously contemplating skipping putting up the Christmas tree, again. The previous year we skipped the tree because I was nine months pregnant and tired. Last year I had an 11 month old and was even more tired.

It also had to do with California easing restrictions on teachers with out of state licenses. When we first moved to California five years ago, the state was suspicious of anyone who had not been trained or taught in their state. Suspicious to the oint of, "Hey, we have to indoctrinate you, so go back to school to take coursework on the history of California and using computers in the classroom." Plus, you had to take the CBEST, some sort of basic education test to make sure that teachers entering schools kood write reel good. And I was told that it was on an eighth grade level. Seriously, eighth grade level? So are you saying that you only want teachers who are as smart as an eighth grader? Because of all the grades I am willing to teach, there is not enough money in the world to get me to teach an eighth grade boy. I don’t need to be privy to the knowledge an eighth grade boy possesses about Carmen Electra and farts. And hello, I just paid off my very expensive, private label, liberal arts Master’s Degree from THE top ranked school of education in the country, and I wasn’t about to go back to school. I rarely pull that out, because I am not an elitist snob, but when I have to impress elitist snobs…

So, in January, I compiled my packet to send off to the state to see if I qualified for a credential. Transcripts, fingerprints, letters from my previous district all got packaged up and sent to Sacramento. In May, I got a letter from the state denying my credential because the letter stating my employment in Nashville did not state I was a full time employee. I am not kidding. Denied because the letter stated I worked for four years, but not full time for years, or even part time for that matter. I don’t know of a teacher who works part-time, do you? Another round of phone calls and another letter was sent out and two weeks later, nearly six months after I mailed off the initial packet, I received, via email, a letter stating that I was issued a credential. Hallelujah. I would like to mention that in the interim, I did interview for and was offered a job, and I was fingerprinted an additional three times because no one shares information on applicants. That, people, is your tax dollars at work.

I do realize that the Dear LORD has had his hand in this process, because I applied for three other positions and never heard a word from any of them. If the state is going to run out of money, receive a bailout, or go bankrupt, I am very thankful I scooted in the door before it is shut for long time. God is watching out for me, but he is most definitely watching out for my little one, because this mama gets her nights, weekends and holidays back. This Christmas is going to be awesome.

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