What might teachers without traditional training bring to the profession?

Gov. Dayton has reached an agreement with Republicans on legislation that will create new ways for people to become teachers. The "alternative licensure" measure targets people who want to teach, but didn't get a traditional education degree. We asked you on Facebook and MPRnews.org to answer the question, What might teachers without traditional training bring to the profession?


  1. I don't get this hatred of teachers. They are trained to do the job yet politicians tend to treat them like a grocery store bagger: no respect for their training and knowledge and interchangeable with the next person standing by.
  2. What might they bring? Inexperience,lack of classroom management skills,child psychology,the alphabet soup of learning disabilities and how to reach each type of child that has each type of condition, and all the other little things one learns in a traditional 4 year Education degree program to TEACH children! Being highly trained in a field does not mean you can teach it, especially to young people! Technical colleges can sometimes get away with highly skilled instructors because they are mainly resource people but K-12 children? It just doesn't work very well.
  3. They also bring a fresh view of education, not one that was forced into a mold by traditional teacher-training courses. I know, because my daughter graduated from the U of MN with a degree in child psychology and youth studies, joined the Teach for America Corps in NYC, got a M.S. in Early Childhood General and Special Education as part of her licensing requirement there, and after teaching in the Bronx for 2 years now teaches a class of 5 & 6 year olds with autism in New Haven, CT. She's a fabulous teacher and does everything she can to make her classroom a great learning environment for kids.
  4. I agree that teaching young children is different than teaching young adults, but I have 15 years of college teaching experience in history, English and French, and it would take over $4000 and another 1.5 years of classwork, plus 6 mos. of student teaching to get in front of a high school class. There are French teachers in the schools right now who have education degrees and two years of college French. Wouldn't having a fluent, travelled, experienced university-level teacher serve the students just as well?
  5. Let teachers come from all walks of life and with a varying credentials and then give individual schools the authority to keep the effective ones and dismiss those that aren’t in the right field. The system will smooth out quite rapidly and produce a set of teachers that are for the most part excellent and are able to shepherd new teachers regardless of their background. This type of system has been working for private and parochial schools for ever and I don’t need to remind anyone where they stack up against public schools.
  6. Self-importance, arrogance, complacency, lack of empathy, disprespect for a district's designed curriculum, an inability to pick up on the symptoms of possible problems at home... The usual stuff we all saw in adjunct professors in undergrand and graduate school. Teaching is a vocation. It is a profession in itself. I oppose this alternative licensure nonsense with every ounce of my being
  7. I would much rather have my young student learn from someone who has had a successful private sector career and decides to retire early and teach things with some real world experience than learn from some young person who has spent their entire life in the classroom.
  8. High turnover. Many of these people are going to find our that teaching is not as easy they think. I did. After law school I decided to substitute teach while looking for work. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to impart some of my expensive and hard earned knowledge and experience. How hard could it be? If I could walk into a court room and convince a jury that up is down and black is white, surely I could teach a class room of children. What I didn't realize is that in order to teach something to someone they have to be listening to you. How do you get classroom of hyper active children hopped up on corn syrup, who don't want to be there and would rather be doing something else... to simply listen? It was an extremely frustrating experience to want to teach but not be heard. Teaching is the art of getting kids to listen.