As many have learned, one of the best ways of becoming a Texas Teacher is by being accepted to an Alternative Certification Programs approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and passing the appropriate TExES exam or exams. If one has completed an accepted bachelor’s degree and has other qualifications, it is possible to become a teacher by being accepted by one of these programs and then passing a TExES exam.There are many of these programs, and the initial costs are often very reasonable, particularly when compared to regular university tuition and room and board. Also if you know what you are doing you can be learning how to teach practically as a substitute teacher as you study for your ETS TExES test. The real incentive of being a substitute teacher is learning to be with children which if you like them it is just great.
A successful alternative approach gives you the added advantage of not having invested much if you decide to do something else. Entrance fees for these courses generally cost well under $500. Our experiment with alternative qualification cost $300 tuition and with that, it was possible to qualify for three levels, and more qualifications in other subjects could have been taken if desired The Alternative Certification compares with a university cost of thousands of dollars for formal tuition plus the added cost of living. Some colleges offer a Master’s level course to achieve certification that requires at least 18 months. While a Master’s degree is useful, in that same period, you could have passed your qualification and been teaching for several months. Unless you feel the need to have a master’s degree it is better just to go straight for your teaching qualifications. When one becomes a teacher, then you can worry about your masters they have many advantages to getting a Masters degree, support by the school, the summer vacation, and most importantly the finances to do so if you are working as a qualified teacher.
Once having passed the qualification exam and hired by a school district, a proportion of teacher salary (Approximately $300/month for one school year)goes to paying off the full cost of the certification program costs (about $3,000). A certification program is an excellent way for Africans and others with a degree that is accepted in the US to become a professional in less than a year. However, prospective teachers need to assess which certification programs are best for them and determine which TExES qualifying exam is most suitable given their education. For those that have a degree and do not know whether it is accepted in the US, the POA can recommend legitimate degree assessment services that are accepted by schools and universities. Some of these evaluation companies are scams, so beware, their evaluations will not be excepted.
Our education expert took three TExES exams in seven month period, qualifying in three subjects: Elementary School K-6-All Subjects, Middle School 4-8 All Subjects, and Social Studies 7-12; all with higher than 90 percentile. POA is capable of providing an orientation providing its experience on test preparation, study materials, practice test websites, and other resources as well as recommendations as to Certification Programs and the appropriate TExES exam for you. If needed, it will tutor an accepted student in those subjects needed to pass.
Many people fail these exams not because they cannot learn the material but simply do not know how to prepare and which materials are the best. There are cultural differences in testing that Africans need to be aware. Many qualified applicants for nursing schools are turned away simply because they do not know how to take a timed US exam.
Much of the material sold in the market is junk and will not help you much in preparation. we spent about $1000 in preparation materials and know what will work and has seen the disappointments in the forums when their materials were not enough. Some tests are hard because they focus on pedagogy and you will need to learn how educators think about how children should be taught the basics. There areas particularly tricky such as the elements of learning to read which is much harder than learning how to teach science in middle school.
There are many types of material available, but many are simply not sufficient. POA has bought learning materials from most of the companies; books, practice tests, flashcards, forums, etc. and knows which can work best based on the applicant’s previous history of education and various strengths. Some support materials and tests are available free but for those that need serious study, they will not be enough. At $131 each, the TExES tests are not cheap. There is also the opportunity cost of loss of time of days of wasted study. If one does not know how to prepare well, one loses these but as important, if an applicant becomes discouraged, they may give up even though they have advantages in the field of education. Among these is the diversity that they bring to the schools and information from the world that they have come. The latter adds much to history, geography, and culturally oriented
While the Alternative Certification courses are inexpensive, they often do not do much to help pass their students except to refer them to a forum. POA studied these forums and with not much US university experience they can cause some confusion. What may seem simple, for instance, the level of content in elementary school, however, the pedagogy in teaching language is very hard, particularly as evaluated by a standardized test. Many applicants in this subject have had to take the test several times. In some subjects, the average score is failing. In other topics, the study requirements are less.It is a complicated world out there without some guidance. POA can assist you.
Most of these alternative approaches do not assist much in your study. If you are interested in pursuing alternative teacher certification but think you may need help contact POA. Based on an initial discussion, an orientation can be provided to address your particular needs. Its rates are much lower that the testing preparation services of companies like Kaplan, Princeton Review, Testmasters, and others and most importantly you will get personal support and contact.
Contact Princes of Africa on its drop down menu if you are interested.