Too much support

Posthipchick, who’s nine months pregnant, is dreading two more years of support when she gets her California teaching credential.

I have been teaching for three years now- one as a “supported” Pre-Intern, two as a “supported” Intern, and overlap two of those years as being “supported” by Teach For America, and another two as “supported” by my credentialing program. I cannot even begin to add up the countless hours of the last three years I have spent in conferences, meetings, classes, observations, etc., about my teaching. Perhaps the first 50 of those hours was helpful, but now? Not. Helpful. Anymore.

. . . How many more classes can I go to where we fucking ‘Think, Pair, Share’ or ‘Carousel Walk’? HOW MANY?

Support programs are supposed to make teaching easier for novices, not drive them crazy. But read the comments to see that other teachers feel Chick’s pain.

About Joanne


  1. “What other profession has this sort of oversight?” In aviation, there is a lot of oversight: all pilots, private or professional, must have periodic flight reviews. But it soulds like what posthipchick has experienced is a lot more intrusive–kind of like an instructor who *never* gets out of the right seat and lets you fly it yourself.

  2. So why again does everyone wonder about the proliferation of emergency credentials? Who on earth would go through this process unless they couldn’t find anything better to do?

  3. Ah, teaching seminars! I have plenty about my experiences with those, here, here, here, and here. Just in case you wonder why I firmly believe every education school should be abolished.

  4. I went through it, Cal, because I wanted a job where I’d have the opportunity to spend significant time with my son, who was a year old when I started teaching on an emergency credential. We’re both off this next week and will have plenty of dad/son time; no Harry Chapin for me.

    It may surprise you, Cal, to learn that some of us who teach do so as a choice, not because we’re incompetent. It may also surprise you to learn that not all of us were near the bottom of our class in college, and not all of us are idiots.

    You, however—well, you paint with a very broad brush.

    I taught my first year on an emergency credential, and my next two years as an intern teacher while getting my credential through an alternative credentialing program called Project Pipeline. My first year, help was invaluable, but I was fortunate enough with quality people who helped when I asked them to. That first year was really the only time I needed official “support”. I told the Pipeline people that they could come and observe and do what they needed to do, but their time would be better spent helping the rookies of our cohort. After talking to my principal, they agreed.

    I can’t imagine having to go through years of hoop-jumping. Portfolios, anyone?

  5. In my one year of high school teaching, I found the program for mentoring to be nothing but an extra burden. The real challenge for me was managing student behavior within the constraints under which public schools operate. The person who should have been mentoring me was the assistant principal, the guy who handled discipline issues. I felt that he was constantly undermining my efforts to achieve control in the classroom.