This quarter I will be starting my secondary education certification program, which, since I’m doing it simultaneously with my degree and my endorsement, should probably take at least two and a half more years of school. (That’s the best-case scenario, haha.) At my school, secondary education isn’t a major; it’s a separate program that you can either do simultaneously with your degree (like I am), or you can get your degree first and then go through the program (post-baccalaureate). [Side note: I spelled that correctly on the first try. I’m so proud of myself.] So, my major is Social Studies with an emphasis in history (or History/Social Studies), and I’m about to start working through the Secondary Education program. With my degree I’ll be able to teach Social Studies, but I’m also planning to take a few extra classes so I can teach Humanities in middle schools.
I started the application process last fall. In November, I took the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B), which tested my competence in reading, writing, and math. (Ironically, my highest score was in math. Totally wasn’t expecting that, haha.) In February, I went to former professors and asked them to write letters of recommendation for me. I spent my spring break in March writing the three essays that formed the bulk of my application (on my experiences with adolescents, experiences with diversity, and why my subject is important to teach). About a month after I submitted my application, I heard back and found out that I had gotten into the program…so I had to sign about fifty million affidavits, gather a list of character references, and get fingerprinted. I also had to complete an online class about sexual harassment – recognizing and handling it in a school setting.
This quarter I’m taking a few psychology classes, and I also have to spend 15 hours in a classroom. There’s a lot expected with me over the next couple years – classes to take, practica and internships to complete, and so on. But I guess the key is to take it one step at a time.