It's a time when we need forward thinking in education. There's so much to do, so many challenges... especially in the institutions of public education.
Today, my path was delivered some tough medicine.. and so was the path of others in similar shoes in Vermont.
I was informed the Vermont Agency of Education now gives no credit for years of experience to people who taught in independent, private or international schools who are now applying for VT State teaching licensure.
So... teach abroad for 20 years and apply for licensure in Vermont... you'll be listed as a teacher with "zero" years experience.
You guessed it... according to the AOE I now have "zero" years teaching experience. For nine years I taught at a premier Independent school in Vermont. The programs we built there helped inform the Winooski iLab, Mt Abraham Horizons programs, Vermont Act 77 (personalized learning plans) and also numerous other visitors to the lab. I managed over 100 independent student projects per semester... over nine years. I can't imagine, in this context, that all that work now carries absolutely no benefit to me as I seek a Vermont Teachers License.
I'm currently taking licensure classes to get certified as a career tech ed director and a principal... the latter, of course, requires teaching experience. In order to get a 'Principal's License' now, I'd have to leave my current position, teach for three years and then go through the teacher peer review program, finish my school leadership courses, and then apply / seek out my 'School Leadership' license via another provisional license or peer review program.
It means... I won't be pursuing a principal license in Vermont. I'm not sure if it makes sense for me to continue on this path I'm on for licensure in Career and Technical Education either. I'll have to give that a great deal of thought over the coming months.
Vermont is progressive educationally in so many ways. I feel this is a major step backward. Imagine the lost opportunities to hire incredible teachers with international teaching experience. At a time when Vermont could and should be recruiting these people... I'm heartbroken. Imagine the folks who are teaching at private and independent schools across the world who now won't venture into Vermont public education.
It's likely that this would take years to of lobbying to remedy this impulsive and ill-informed decision.
I'm ready for a vacation. I'll hopefully have some time to reflect and do some future thinking.