In discussing the limited certification options for nontraditional teachers in his state, substitute teacher Mr. Chips suggests one requirement that makes sense to him.
One thing I'd like to add to that is that I think substituting for one (1) year should also be mandatory for all new teachers regardless of age. No, this is not my way of getting back at everyone because of my sometimes great disgust with subbing. It's because I know of too many people who walked out of college and immediately got a full-time position without having to sub one single day while the rest of us have been toiling at it for a while. Substituting is like the hazing process before getting into the fraternity. It keeps you on your toes, it shows you that not all classes are peaches and cream, that not all kids are the same, but also teaches you to adapt. Going from school to school and at the different levels (elementary, middle and high) gives one a well-rounded peek at the whole of the district and not just one sector.
While Mr. Chips isn’t likely to win any popularity contests among would-be teachers, the experience would certainly serve as a baptism by fire for many an unseasoned educator.
(From Get Lost, Mr. Chips).
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.