January 26, 2011

Teaching College Courses

Yesterday, I wrote that I had found my passion, the one thing that I felt was "IT" for me.  Today, I am going to blog about teaching college courses.  The two really do go together, because you rarely get to be a Literary Critic without having some teaching experience.

After my blog post, I spent some time considering how I might enter into teaching college WITHOUT preparation.  In most Masters of Education programs, the students will have at least one semester of teaching experience.  Usually, this comes at the very end of their coursework, right before they graduate.  In Masters of Art programs, often the students work as Teaching Assistants for one or more semesters.  This gives the student time to spend in the classroom, work alongside a seasoned teacher, and observe their routine and teaching skills.  Since my program is online, I am not able to work as an assistant, and my program doesn't offer any teaching as part of the required curriculum.

When I was considering the University of Texas for my next level of schooling, their emphasis on teaching was a big factor for me.  First of all, it was required of all PhD students.  Secondly, their entire structure was on producing college teachers.  I liked that this was the focus, and that from beginning to end, the student would have ample opportunity to teach college courses.  However, now that I am leaning towards an online program, I am once again faced with the problem of how to gain experience teaching.

In Arizona, colleges require teachers to have a Masters of Art or Education degree.  In many other states, teachers only need a Bachelors degree.  It is a bit of the "chicken and egg" riddle -- what comes first?  You need both a MA or M.Ed AND experience to get a teaching position in Arizona.  I will have the MA, but not the experience.  I cannot get the experience without completing the MA.  I need both, and will have my MA next May.  So how can I get a teaching job now, so that I have classroom or online experience to further my study and career?

Well, I took the chance and applied for two teaching positions with The Anthem Group.  This is another paid-for-type school that offers college programs (usually technical or medical).  I applied for positions teaching College Success Courses and Computer Applications.  I can do both, and they only ask for a BA degree.  I also applied for the position of a technical writer.  They are in need of someone to develop a technical writing course, and I think this is something I can do.  Will they consider me as qualified?  I don't know.  I did change my resume per the technical recruiter's suggestions (less words, more bullet points).  I will have to trust the Lord on this one.  If nothing comes to pass, so be it.  If they call me for more information, then hooray!

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