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Texas schools are always in need of qualified teachers. As an alternative to a traditional teaching degree, more and more would-be educators are looking into alternative certification. But are these teachers ready for the classroom?
Some future teachers who didn't get their teaching certificate along with their degree, are choosing a different route. They're enrolling in alternative teaching certification programs. But are these programs preparing new teachers for the challenges they'll face in the classroom?
"We have several months of training that helps them prepare not only for the content that they're teaching, but also in the classroom management. Also being able to control the students, what to teach and how to teach it, so I feel like they're very prepared," said Joe Martin.
Martin is a certification program coordinator for Region six in Huntsville. The center provides teachers for 15 different counties. Martin says participants in the alternative certification program range from recent college grads to retired professionals.
Two years ago alternative certification programs produced more new teachers than traditional programs and that trend is continuing to grow state-wide.
Alternative certification has helped many school districts with teacher shortages including Hunstville ISD. John DeBrock is the Assistant Superintendent.
"We always try to hire certified teachers first, but it's become very tough to teach in today's society. Alternative certification has helped a lot," said DeBrock.
Whatever route you take to become a teacher, you may face challenges in the beginning.
"Sometimes until you're in the classroom faced with a group of teenagers challenging you to do something for them, it takes just a little while to get through that. Very often that's the case with any first year teacher," said DeBrock.