Mature professionals are using alternative certification to get into teaching, reports the New York Times. Twenty percent of new teachers now come through alternative routes.
The story looks at Wylie and Katie Schwieder, 50something parents of four children, who’d worked as a consultant and a corporate trainer and business writing coach. They signed up with Career Switchers, which “requires applicants to pass an Educational Testing Service exam in the subject matter they want to teach, take an online course and attend a series of meetings to learn classroom teaching skills.”
Armed with a provisional one-year license, the new teacher spends a year of monitored classroom instruction before earning a renewable five-year state teaching license.
Wylie Schwieder is now a math teacher; his wife teaches English.
While the placement rate has fallen from 80 percent to 42 percent, math and science specialists are finding jobs. Many see teaching as secure ” because of its relative security and good benefits.” An awful lot of teachers will be retiring in the next few years.
The story also features the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, which offers a $975 online program accepted by nine states.
Among them is Ron Halverson, 52, who worked for two decades at Hewlett-Packard in engineering and finance. After taking early retirement two years ago, he became certified and is in his second year of teaching special education at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho.
Pursuing a traditional teaching degree would have been too long and costly, he said.
In Missouri, Bill DeLoach, 59, had a career in business sales and management. He left an executive position in a regional mutual fund company and completed the American Board program in science. He is now teaching physics at a high school in suburban St. Louis.
One fifth of ABCTE participants are 50 and older.