Young teacher, trapped by legislative policies and hoops to be jumped

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.

MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor. The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Emily Sojourn on 05/29/2015 - 04:02 pm.

    No, Mr. Perry, you are not trapped by the legislative process.

    Mr. Perry, I am a teacher. I had to take the math test. So did everyone else. You are not trapped by the legislative process and hoops. You have failed to meet the standards Minnesota parents set for the men and women who are in charge of their children’s education.

    If you haven’t passed basic math after 18 tries and the best you can say for your performance review is that you were “recognized positively” I would say that you’re not a match for the teaching profession.

    Please own up to this and stop whining (because, yes– that is what you’re doing) to the press. You sound very much like a spoiled child.

    Teaching is a brutal (albeit infinitely rewarding) career. It should NOT be given to people who think that if they stamp their feel and holler “Unfair!” enough they’ll get their way.

  2. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 06/01/2015 - 11:18 pm.

    I just did a few problems on the practice test

    There’s nothing on there that wasn’t covered in tenth grade or before, and I was able to do all of the 10 sample problems, although I had to wrack my brain to remember how to set up some of them.

    To have failed the test 18 times indicates either a math learning disability or a lack of studying in between attempts. I was never good at math in high school, but it was much easier in later years after I learned *how* to study math.

    You may need a tutor or at least a concerted effort to work through the practice books that are available in every large bookstore.

Leave a Reply