Eight years ago I began the journey to become a teacher. I remember calling my local Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to find out what I needed to do to become a teacher. How naive I was! I thought with all my prior work experience and an undergraduate degree I could begin teaching in a school right away. Little did I know that the path to teaching is a very rigorous process that takes lots of study, dedication and passion. Those that do get through the schooling, student teaching and then are lucky enough to find a job teaching are to be commended. Upon graduating from an accredited graduate teaching program it is almost automatic that you get an Initial Certification to teach from New York State Education Department. After teaching full time for three years in a private or public school and meeting several other requirements you may qualify for a Professional Certification. A Professional Certification is a permanent teaching license which permits a person to teach in the state of New York.
At the end of 2014 I was granted Professional Certifications in Early Childhood (birth - grade 2), Childhood (grades 1 -6) and Visual Arts K - 12. Having my Professional Certifications is something I am very proud of attaining. It is a significant achievement that took a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. Holding the actual certificates for the first time I felt like Rocky when he ran to the top of the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and pumped his arms in the air in triumph.