Certification - My Turn

Subject: Certification - My Turn
From: "Larry Kunz ((919) 254-6395)" <ldkunz -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 19:01:07 EST

After someone had mentioned teaching as an example of a
profession that has certification, Tim Altom wrote:

> Again, public perception of teachers was WORSE a hundred years
> ago, when anybody who could read a little could pass herself off
> as a teacher. We're still living with that perception, despite
> its being nearly a century out of date.

I disagree. My father recently retired after 40 years of
high-school teaching. His primary reason for throwing in the towel,
he told me, was the erosion of trust and respect for teachers. He
said he was tired of parents *and administrators* constantly siding
with students, of hearing parents say "Oh, little Johnny couldn't
possibly have done what you say he did" while the principal nodded
sympathetically.

I think Tim was trying to say that certification has helped teachers
gain prestige, albeit slowly. I'd suggest that it *hasn't*. But we
should remember, as someone else said, that the it's dangerous to
compare the kind of certification teachers get with the kind of
certification we'd get.

BTW, in addition to teaching I saw medicine, law, accounting,
plumbing, nursing, programming, and auto repair mentioned as
examples of professions that have certification. We could add other
fields, more closely akin to ours, like public-relations, medical
writing, and biology editing. Many different fields -- many
different kinds of certification. As we decide whether certification
is right for us, we also need to figure out what *kind* of certification
is right for us.

Larry Kunz
STC Assistant to the President for Professional Development
ldkunz -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com


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