You remember when you were a kid and you heard someone say something bad about an adult you loved and your throat burned with like, throw up but it was really tight? You kind of wanted to cry and yell at the same time. And then you didn’t know why…
Today I was denied all of my Texas certifications except for PK-3rd. And I am certified in three high need areas. You better believe I fought. No matter. I need to take four more tests and go back to school to have the same certifications. Experience or no…sorry!
I felt like this guy spit on the Alamo.
And there is no Bilingual Endorsement in my new home state. I am no longer certified ESL, Middle School, 4/5, Math, Science (I’m dying) or Bilingual.
You know why this is personal. Teaching is part of who I am. Science, ESL, bilingual, math…this is who I am as an educator. As a person. This is my calling. God gave me the gift of speaking Spanish. I picked it up just by listening and speaking. I have always known it was his hand that made me pass that stupid LPT anyway…there is no other way to explain it when I left crying and cussing in the middle of the dang thing! I tried for four weeks to cancel the results and could never get anyone in Austin. I seriously called them again when I got my results and passed because I thought my tape got mixed up. I guess since I cried and cussed in Spanish I was good?
I am supposed to be a Bilingual/ESL teacher. I went back to school when I was pregnant and working sixty hours. I gave up a high paying job…so I could be a Bilingual teacher. When I started, I was one of TWO in my district. I advocated, collaborated, learned, worked–all those things educators do–with my fellow bilingual educators. Even when in a monolingual classroom, my certification was part of me–I am a certified bilingual educator, a math and science intermediate teacher. I can help you with all of those hard questions and I can translate that conference for you…
And now I am in a new state with a different philosophy on bilingual education. One that I am pretty sure that I do not agree with. But the more that I research what the state believes and I am in the schools, the more that I see there’s more to wonder about. Especially coming from a state that values bilingual education and stresses culturally inclusive classrooms. There’s kind of a lot I question. The scope of this is bigger than me. It is even bigger than the kids that I come into contact within our district. Because from what I see this is not my district (which, by the way, is pretty darn good).
I worry that if were to go back into the classroom I wouldn’t be doing enough.
I believe at this time, even without my Bilingual/ESL certification (tear!) I can do something still very important. I already love my side-show role as a sub. Now instead of thinking about my classroom or school, the certification and mobility really kind of free me up to see things quite a bit bigger. Being in the classrooms of my fellow educators I see their hearts and dedication, and I also see the extra responsibilities they take on. Being an “outsider” in a school looking through the lens of a coach and a fellow teacher is invaluable. And being new to the state allows me to genuinely wonder and question.
What if I could take this knowledge and questioning and advocate for the kids, teachers, and parents? What if I could help SpEd families and ESL (sorry, ESOL!) families by using what I know or have researched to help them better understand services? What if I could make the jobs of teachers a little easier–more than just making copies for them after my sub job ends? On one hand I think, I am not qualified. But on the other I think, if not me–who? How else do you get qualified, really, that we as educators haven’t already done? There is some advocate training avaliable, I know…I got that scheduled. But, I mean, I think I could do it. I think I could help a lot.
If God had a plan when I passed that stupid test by cussing and crying before, I’m pretty sure he has one now. I already did the crying, so I guess I’ll get to the cussing and watch the miracles start happening! Nah…
Things have not been easy here, but I know we are here on purpose. Whatever comes I will be waiting. And, really, growing braver! I don’t know how that happened, but that has lately, too…weird. Especially for someone with social anxiety who hates any kind of confrontation. It’s hard to pull a rug out from under me because I am the rug everyone stands on, but hey! not lately! I am pretty proud of that…
Honestly, I can’t wait to see what he has next for me and my new certification.
(God…you know my heart…remember, I hate boogers, and I don’t tie shoes. We can talk about this later…)