On the topic of hiring unlicensed teachers, [Forefront, March 23], State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick touched on the key issues of local school officials still having full control over who they hire, with or without a teaching license. She also stated her confidence in Indiana’s school administrators to make decisions that are best for their schools.
I could not agree more. I offer just a few examples that support the spirit with which Superintendent McCormick speaks.
Eleven years ago we hired a young person out of IUPUI with a degree in physics but no teaching license. Over the past 11 years he has greatly expanded our physics offerings, quadrupled the enrollment in our physics classes and been recognized as Indiana’s Physics Teacher of the Year.
Our architectural design teacher oversees one of the state’s most prolific and successful four-year architecture programs. His students have won countless local, state and national awards for their work. His former students currently work at architecture and engineering firms around the state and country.
I could cite other examples during my 23 years as principal when our leadership team evaluated all of the candidates for a teaching position (licensed and unlicensed) and came to the conclusion that an unlicensed candidate was the best fit for our school and our needs.
Tony Lux, speaking against the idea, talks of “real danger for emotional, mental and even physical trauma for students at the hands of the unprepared.” No one is in favor of hiring unprepared people. I have interviewed countless licensed teachers who were woefully unprepared for a teaching career.
It is about trust. We should trust administrators that have been hired to make decisions that are best for their school and school community.
Roncalli High School principal