For my fellow teachers out there, you know exactly what I’m talking about and I’m sure can sympathize (more like empathize). For my non-teachers, BTSA stands for Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment. It’s a program designed to assist beginning teachers and get them to be reflective about their teaching. It’s 2 years long and involves researching about your school, students, and community, tracking student performance, and reflecting on your methods and setting goals for improvement. Completing BTSA means that your preliminary credential, the one you get after finishing a university credential program, becomes a professional clear credential. You have 5 yeas from the time you get your preliminary to get your clear.
In theory, it’s a good idea. In practice, however, it’s rather challenging. When you’re a new teacher, you’re already super busy trying to figure out your lessons, write your lessons, keep control of your class, etc etc. So while it’s vey good to be forced to be reflective, it really just creates additional work and therefore additional stress.
And, since the economy (particularly in California) is less than stellar, teachers often have to pay for BTSA, after having already paid for their credential at a university. It cost me $3000 between last year and this year.
But, I now have 16 days left until I’m done. Then I’ll have my clear credential. I have to turn in one more big packet of stuff this Friday, turn in answers to 4 final reflective questions, and make my display board for my exit interview on May 24th.
One of many countdowns I have going right now: 16 days of BTSA, 26 school days (not counting weekends), 52 day until our wedding 🙂