Late last year the Indiana State Board of Education approved changes to teacher licensure requirements that allow candidates with bachelor’s degrees and good grades to become educators. But Carmen McCollum for The Times of Northwest Indiana reports districts aren’t rushing out to hire adjunct permit holders:
Valparaiso Community Schools Superintendent Mike Berta said a person can possess a high level of knowledge about a subject and that knowledge can serve that person well. However, for that knowledge to benefit others through teaching and learning, one must possess certain skills and talents, he said.
“These skills and talents include but are not limited to empathy, developing relationships, identifying learning needs to differentiate instruction and student guidance,” Berta said. “Absent these skills and talents in the teacher, the probability is low that a successful teaching and learning experience will happen.”“I am concerned with political actions that may minimize the importance of the (teacher-student) relationship in the future,” he said.
MSD of Boone Township Superintendent George Letz said he would not hire anyone without all the formal education and training he deems necessary to be an effective teacher.
“There are opportunities to observe and teach in a classroom before a student gets the degree,” he said. “The content knowledge is very important, but you have to be able to differentiate the instruction based on the child’s ability.”
The changes to teacher licensure requirement — known as “REPA II” — passed in December under the guidance of former state superintendent Tony Bennett over the objections of Glenda Ritz. Ritz remained critical of the new rules when she took office in January.
We’ve written before about alternative paths into the classroom and the value of an education degree. We’ve also looked at the training adjunct permit holders still need before they can teach in Indiana.