This approach makes sense, especially when there aren't sufficient certificated teachers to fill available positions.
But, this approach to open teaching positions isn't news, as other states have been experimenting with the idea since at least the late-1980s, some calling the approach "alternative routes to certification." Generally speaking, the evidence gained from these states indicates that the majority of those who take an alternative route to teacher certification don't remain on the job very long, anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
So, besides not being news, this approach really isn't a solution.
The simple fact is that the majority of teachers following a traditional or alternate route to certification leave teaching within 5 years. Somewhere along the line, they discover they don't like teaching, can't work with young people, are stifled by the bureaucracy, etc., and get out.
Yes, teaching is more difficult than it appears and earning or not earning a degree in education doesn't make the difference.
What seems to make a difference is when a principal understands that teachers "learn to teach" as they teach. There are certain, predictable learnings evidencing an "expert" teacher. Neophytes must acquire, build upon, and then these learnings integrate into a repertoir of dependable skills. Oftentimes, neophytes muddle through learning these skills and develop expertise on their own. Yet, research evidence indicates that principals who have expert teachers "coach" and "mentor" their nonexpert colleagues assists in helping them to develop the skills they need to become experts. Or, alternatively, to recognize early on that they just don't have what it takes.
The "take away"? Realize that teachers "learn to teach" as they teach. They don't learn how to teach in undergraduate education programs. So, get rid of those undergraduate departments, schools, and colleges of education that allegedly "prepare" teachers for classrooms. Replace them with in-school or within-district programs aimed directly at assisting neophytes to become more accomplished teachers.
Then, armed with some on-the-job experience, send those accomplished teachers to graduate departments, schools, and colleges of education. There, provide them the opportunity to integrate theory and practice so they can become and earn the title/degree "Master of Education" and continue their goal of developing into expert teachers.
This, too, isn't news. But, it is a solution that's been tried and worked in public and private schools.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Kansas First News article, click on the following link:
"Licensing More People to Teach."