That's the sound of the wind being let out of my sails....
Turns out I was sadly mistaken regarding my early childhood status. I feel like a moron. All this time, I've assumed that I needed an early childhood endorsement, when what I needed was an early childhood certificate. Two completely different animals, unfortunately for me. I actually called down to Springfield this morning and got a real person on the phone. She very sweetly explained to me that I needed a certificate, not an endorsement, and that I should talk to someone in the alternate certification department. I left a message for "Phyllis," but I never heard back from her.
Normally, I would have to take a whole 'program' of classes, then pass the state board test to get my certificate. I'm hoping I can just take a handful of classes, then take the test. I actually am going to ask if I can JUST take the test. I'm fairly confident that I can pass it. Even if I don't, I'll know what to expect the next time I take it. I don't know what it costs to take the test, but I think it's probably around $50-75, which isn't horrible. These are all questions Phyllis should be able to answer for me, if I ever get in touch with her. I'm still not giving up on trying to get a waiver somehow, though, so I can at least move to preschool while I pursue this certificate.
Even if it doesn't work out for this year, I may be able to get this all finished by next school year. I guess this was the kick in the pants I needed to finally get my early childhood certificate taken care of. New Principal and I pulled up at the same time this morning, and we were talking about this situation, and she asked me why I never got this certificate if preschool is where I really want to be. Good question, right?
Well, I explained to her that I already started pursuing another masters degree, and I couldn't do two programs at the same time, along with working 3 jobs and raising a child, so I had to put the EC certificate on the back burner. The first masters program I started, a million years ago, was actually Early Childhood Special Ed, which would have given me the certificate, along with the masters. Now I really wish I had found a way to finish it. This was back when CSJ and I first separated, and I was a bit overwhelmed with being a newly single parent, in a house we just bought, that I couldn't afford alone, plus Stud was just a baby then. My main focus was keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table.
But, our lives are much different now. It seems like a good time to do this. Well, except for having to pay tuition, that is. This is the biggest obstacle for me right now. I just finished paying off my first masters degree! Stud's tuition is as much as a mortgage payment, and now I have a new car to pay for. Egads! But, I'm just going to have to take out a loan or something. Actually, I wish I had done that for the masters I already have, instead of using my damn credit card. (But, I DID get a buttload of points!) I could have applied for a loan forgiveness program (I have no idea if this is just an Illinois thing) which would have reimbursed me for $5,000 of my tuition. I'm going to look into doing that this time. I certainly can't take on a 4th job! ;-)
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