A short while ago, I shared that I had passed my Praxis PLT test. This was a wonderful day for me. I had passed, on the first try, a test I had heard horror stories about. A test that requires all teachers to show knowledge about the theorists we learn about in college. Yet this test is not required to be taken until one’s third year of teaching. To me, this implies that we would teach in such a way that we would try all of these theories on our unsuspecting students. We all know this is so not the case.
Despite passing this test, my journey towards a Level 2 license was not complete. I had to a form signed by my principal that stated I had passed the test, completed a new background (which came back faster than the score for the test), and numerous other requirements. I then had to send it off to our HR department so they could verify the information and recommend me for Level 2 certification.
So, it took care of the paperwork and sent it off through district mail. And waited. And waited. And waited. And began to get slightly frustrated not because I had to wait, but because no one even verified they got the document. Admittedly, I had had things lost through district mail so maybe my view was colored but I thought it would be at least courtesy to send an email saying they got it. Wouldn’t you? It seemed it was easier to prove a bank or credit union had received my mortgage papers than it was to get a district to even acknowledge anything had come in.
I will admit, I only waited a little less than two weeks. I was a bit impatient. I just wanted to know if they got it. So, I sent off the email. I requested the receipt of the document.
I guess I waited just long enough…I got a return email! And…it said all of the information had been verified so I could now follow the link provided and pay $55 more to upgrade my license.
I did it! I paid that rotten fee and I got my new license! I even saved a copy on my computer just in case. Good for five years. YAHOO!
But the whole process has left me questioning why teachers have to pay so much to relicense or upgrade their license when 1) the whole process is required by state law, 2) teachers aren’t really paid all that well, and 3) whether other organizations make them pay for their licensing or recertification. I mean, I know most officers don’t have to. Their departments usually cover all costs. I only know this because of knowing someone who is an officer. But, I don’t even know if the costs are equivalent. I just know that I paid $150 for the test, $60 for the background (less by $20 because I was an employee), $55 for the upgrade and could have paid for testing supplies and/or classes to help me prepare for the test. Which, of course, is less than I paid when I was going for my teaching license the first time around. And that doesn’t even cover the time it took to take classes required for the upgrade that thankfully didn’t cost money, just several hours of time each.
At least I can say…I made it. I got to the Level 2 club of teaching. I can get back to working with students!