This is a guest post by Edward Kim from The Certification Map Team.
Joel, thanks for letting us write a guest post on your blog. This site is a great source for educators who want meaningful information with a down-to-earth touch.
For Joel’s regular readers, thanks for taking your time time to read this post. I want to start out by asking you a simple question: Do you know your state’s teacher certification requirements? How many of you have experienced or heard horror stories about people trying to navigate through your state’s Department of Education website trying to figure out the certification process (not to mention long phone conversations with the DOE that lead nowhere). It can be a tedious and frustrating process. Coupled with rapidly changing requirements which vary from state to state, it’s no wonder so many inspired people end up somewhere other than our classrooms.
Our team spent the past year building the MAT@USC. To do so, we needed to figure out how to help teachers become certified in all states and realized (pretty quickly), that there are no simple, comprehensive sources for certification information on the web. So what did we do? Research. And lots of it. No, it wasn’t fun, but at the end we had developed a huge amount of information on how to become a certified teacher across the country.
While our original intent was to use this to help students interested in the MAT@USC, we also realized quickly that the program was highly selective, and therefore the majority of people wouldn’t be able to access this valuable information…..and great people, who should be teachers, would never see a classroom.
Well, it seemed both unfair and wasteful to go through all of the work to unravel the teacher certification process only to restrict who could benefit from the information, so we decided to use the data to launch Certification Map with the goal of helping future great teachers across the country break down and understand the certification process.
Please check out the site and let us know what you think. We are open to positive feedback as well as constructive criticism on how we could make it better. It is still a work in progress, after all, but we are committed to making it a great resource that is easy to use, informative, and up to date with the most recent state requirements.