Lourdes Viloria: Certification Challenges and the Data Portal

Texas is a very regimented state in terms of its certification exams. It really breaks my heart that they have to take, I think, six exams before they actually can be completely certified and go on to, you know, to a teaching job. And so where we train really to do is is inform them every step of the way the data portal that we have now trying to get up off the ground. And I think we’re in a good space. The data portal will be used where the students can actually check for themselves, whether where they’re at in their journey. You know, look at, yes, you know, you want to be a teacher and being a teacher is kind of like romanticized in a way. But, you know, unfortunately, you have to go through all these steps before you can actually say you have been completely certified. And that is kind of like the mystery that we won’t. We’re wanting to unpack for students and build that knowledge and help them, you know, every step of the way. Now the the data portal, the idea is know it’s through at PHI and we have the power by, you know, it’s just a lot of acronyms. But the bottom line is that a transparency not only with a student, the teacher can be able to see for themselves where they are at in their journey, but also the faculty member, and also that the faculty can also act as a mentor and work with them if they’re lacking in content or if they’re lucky and professional skills and dispositions. You know, we are going to build in the dispositions. We have a survey and it’s been it’s been completed so that this position survey is going to be administered three times that the at the beginning of the teacher candidate’s journey in 30 200 and then the midpoint, which is in one of their content courses. And at the end of their program, it’s basically another go to clinical teaching. And so that’s just the idea of, you know, unpacking the mystery behind certification because it is not an easy road to navigate. It’s very difficult. Again, you know, most of our teacher candidates have full time jobs or have full time jobs, and our parents have full time jobs or parents and taking care of elderly parents when they’re just have. This is not this is not unique to our community. This is something that nationwide is happening. You know, it’s a, you know, it’s the breaking down of our social system. It’s that good. There’s scarcities or like, you know, there’s people that are ill. There’s just a lot of things going on and on top of everything else that the students are dealing with. Then of course, you had everything that happened because of COVID, right? So we’re basically working and just unpacking, unpacking and, you know, eradicating the mystery of what it is to become a certified teacher in Texas. Now the the working with the faculty also like faculty, you already have the experience, you know, they either have been educators or maybe, you know, we do have the faculty members that are very much in tune with, you know that teaching from a deficit perspective so that it’s already in place, you know? Now we also have to work with faculty to get to know the community. So that’s where we’re also quite trying to get off the ground and making the connection with the school districts. We’re working with the radio Ice-T and they’re sharing with us. You know what would make in what is going to make? Laredo is the teacher already, right? And so that a lot of the conversations and how the dispositions came about happened through the work that we began the past this past summer, working with Laredo, Ice-T and then continuing on to to actually actually this fall in creating those dispositions, you know, and working with the district folks. So they they know that we want to reach out to the community, we want to work with them. And you know, how what how can we do it so that we can build those bridges and at the same time, make it more transparent? The system, the the process more transparent for the students?

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