Friday, April 23, 2010

Need a little help

I recieved this letter from a close friend from college. Take time to read it and realize that my teaching certificate is in the same pickle. Let me explain a little bit. I majored in Early hildhood/Special Education and BYU-Idaho. Upon completing my upper level classes and several practicum experiences, I took TWO Praxis exams. These are standarized exams that are required by the state of Idaho, along with an institutional recommendation from the university I graduated from, and transcripts proving my completion of my degree,to recieve a teachinglicense in the state of Idaho. My two exams were for Special education preschool/early childhood and Education of young children. After completing all of this many graduates before and after me have been told that we were certified to teach Special Education and/or regular education up through 3rd grade. Idaho is not saying we have to get a THIRD credetial by taking and THIRD Praxis exam to teach above kinderg. Something they never imformed us about. Shouldn't our degrees and passing scores on the licensure exams count as highly qualified according to the regulations in palce at the time we took them count as highly qualified? Read Rebecca's letter below for an even better explination and a way to help.

April 23, 2010

To whom it may concern:

I am a graduate of BYU-Idaho. I went to this school by choice and was very proud of the degree and the credentials I earned. I currently teach Kindergarten for District 91 at Longfellow school. It came to my attention a couple of months ago that there would be an opening 2nd grade position here at Longfellow. After discussing personal reasons to move classes with my husband, I decided that 2nd grade would give me a better opportunity to expand my teaching and grow as a professional. The teachers and community were notified just last Friday that I was to move to this position.

As it seems with every mountain we climb, there is always some kind of small trial to overcome. This is the reason I am writing to you. I was notified on Wednesday, April 21st that the State would be requiring me to take another Praxis so I could become “Highly Qualified” to teach in my second grade position.

This was very confusing to me and after talking to the State myself, I found that I would need to add a third certification to my degree. This was instituted without any written notification or warning. I believe in my degree and the Idaho Education Credential I have. I believed the University when I took the two Praxis exams (in my field of choice) that passing those would allow me to fully be qualified to teach K through 3rd grade.

I understand the need to be highly qualified. The objective of this letter is to express the concern I have that I was told “if I did not pass this summer- then I would not be able to teach Second grade.” This gives no regards to my field of degree or the two praxis assessments I have already taken and passed. I hold an Idaho endorsement that says I can teach K-3. If I had known to take a different certification for 1-3rd I would have done so. I received no notification by the State.

It is my intent to take this test and pass with flying colors. However, I feel that my Idaho Education Credentials are being taken as not. My certificate clearly states: Birth- Third Grade. I graduated just a year and a half ago and took two praxis assessments that certified me to teach K-3rd by the State of Idaho. If I had applied for 2nd grade last year, I don’t think I would have been told I couldn’t teach it- because of my certification. To make a comparison, if a Doctor receives his certification and new changes are instituted, they give him the opportunity to continue his schooling- but they don’t take away his certification. Or if my students all pass the IRI and then the assessment changes- they still get to move forward to the 1st grade.

My only desire is to receive some kind of “grace period” that still justifies my certification. The piece of paper that I worked hard to receive; a certification that gives me the opportunity to teach 2nd grade as I was promised. I understand the accountability of every teacher and I value this as a professional.

But I still have faith in the system that gave me an education for my credentials and for the kind of teacher I am. All I ask for is an appropriate kind of grace period ensured by state of Idaho. At least a year or until my Idaho credential expires in which I could continue my 2nd grade teaching position that my and earn yet another credential. This would validate my State Credential for which I have earned.

As a professional I believe in the educational system. I believe in constant nourishment of knowledge. Even though I have no desire to teach up to 8th grade- I understand the worth it brings as an educator. I value the opportunity to succeed as I am currently taking the Math Initiative Class. I am also perusing my Masters and have high hopes of receiving a Doctorate as well. I celebrate the need for better equipped and responsible teachers. But I also am an advocate for the training and certification I have already received and from a University that I have great respect for.

I have entrusted in you my schooling and certificates and would request your help with this following matter.

I ask you to please help assist me in seeing that my profession and the time spent at BYUI is not disregarded. Please help me find validation with the State and providing an ethical decision for the teachers of my field.

You may call:

Christina Linder
Director of Certification/
Professional Standards
(208) 332-6886


Katie Rhodenbaugh
Professional Standards Coordinator
(208) 332-6885

Or D91 (208) 525-7500


Rebecca Robison

An Early Childhood Educator

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blogging award

My sister nominated me with the Beautiful Blogger Award, and then stole all the people I would nominate by recieving this award. But, none the less, I'll give it a try.

Brittani is my beautiful sister that nominated me for the award. Brittani was born second in my family of eight children, and I was born seventh. While I was only eight when she left for college, a mission, and eventually marriage, I have never felt like she was a stranger. Brittani has more patience and kindness in her little fingernail than I can ever hope to possess. I remember when I was going through a heart break with a silly boy, Brittani realized how much I needed a friend and would call me each day to check up on me and be a listening ear. When you have Brittani by your side, you don't need much else. I am lucky to have such a great cheerleader, confidant, and friend as my sister.

The next part of the award consists of me sharing seven interesting facts about myself and then nominate seven other beautiful bloggers.

1. I like graveyards. It all started when mom and dad took us to an old cemetary in Alabama with gorgeous spanish moss and magnolia trees. In high school my friends and I would frequent cemetaries when we had nothing better to do. Just today Nathan and I drove through the cemetary near my apartment and looked at different style headstones. A litte wierd I know, but a peaceful place.

2. I miss/love teaching. I didn't realize this until I stopped teaching. When I watch others teach I crave to be up front doing what they are doing. I don't feel like I am particularly good at it, but I love teaching.

3. I am grateful I was born with confidence. I did not realize this was something I had until my college years. I am who I am and that is that. I still have my moments of insecurity, but I have never really struggled with not having confidence in myself. It really is a hard trait to gain, and I somehow was born with it.

4. I'm a sucker for love songs. Yep. I can't get enough of a good love song. I am also a sucker for a good heart break song. I guess that is why I like country.

5. One of my biggest regrets in life is giving up dancing. I was obsessed with it. Life just didn't have it in my deck of cards for it to last longer than a few years. I often wonder how different life might have been if I continued with dance. I'd probably be rich and famous. Ok, probably not, but at least I'd probably be skinny.

6. I am addicted to sunlight. Somehow I find myself living in frozen wastelands. Hmmm... This sucks. Time for a tanning package!

7. I love love love movie theatre popcorn. I know everything about it fake and it will probably give me cancer. It is jsut so delicious! Especially the day after...

Now I am supposed to nominate 7 people but I will save that for later. Beware!!!