As a relatively new teacher I have become trapped by the legislative process and hoops that are required to become a teacher in Minnesota today. I am prevented from getting my initial teaching license in special education because I cannot pass the basic skills MTLE math test. I have taken the test a total of 18 times. I have taught in 4 different schools because each district needed to let me go because my “limited license” was due to expire because I could not pass the test. My overall performance as a teacher was recognized positively by my administration and often they were sad to see me go, as were parents and students.
This journey I have been on for the past four years had been a tiring and difficult one. There are times where I ask myself, is it worth all of this stress to continue to teach? Maybe I should do something else, there are plenty of jobs out there. But something keeps calling me back to this profession, a profession that doesn’t equate to how much money you earn, but how large of an impact you make on students academic and social life. Your million-dollar pay day comes when a parent or students says to you, “My son (or daughter) couldn’t have made it through school without your help, or we appreciate everything you do.”
I will end my story with this: At the end of the day, real lives are affected by the policies and legislative actions that are made by our leaders. People lose jobs, lose their homes, and their families are impacted long-term. I encourage us all to seek and understand the true impact of our state’s political decisions.
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