In this podcast episode, Amanda and co-host Trina discuss the challenges and expenses involved in becoming a teacher. Trina highlights the financial, time, and emotional investment required to become a teacher in the United States, particularly in California. They discuss the high cost of teacher preparation programs, the unpaid nature of student teaching, and the bureaucratic red tape that discourages new teachers. Both Amanda and Trina share their personal experiences with the financial burden of becoming a teacher and express frustration with the misconceptions about teaching and the heavy workload teachers face. Trina suggests that teacher preparatory programs should be free and streamlined to address income inequality and privilege in the profession.

About the Real Teachers Discussing The Teacher Shortage Crisis:

Trina English

Trina is a Bay Area public teacher, who has worked in multiple school districts and public schools. She has extensive experience in leading social justice-based reforms in education. She has implemented innovative programs, received recognition for her efforts, and is deeply involved in advocacy work related to gender equity. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and her masters in Educational Leadership from Cal State East Bay.  She is a staunch advocate for Title IX implementation and completed a multi-district confidential study on the lack of implementation of Title IX in Bay Area schools.  She is a vocal critic of the exclusionary equity work in K-12 education and has devised and led multiple equity-based pilot projects in her present and prior districts. She has prior experience running a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis hotline, and training domestic violence advocates on trauma response, crisis intervention, and harm reduction safety planning strategies. She has advised numerous feminist student unions over the years, and collaborated with Women’s March Oakland to organize her feminist student union’s involvement in the march—the first ever public school to do so. Read more about her in the blog entry entitled, “Out of the Darkness”.

Amanda has been a passionate full-time classroom teacher for 14 years. But, she’s also left the profession twice due to burnout and unforeseen family circumstances. She’s worked in a wide range of educational settings teaching students grades 3rd-8th. For the 2023-2024 school year she will be teaching 9th grade! No matter what type of school or grade she’s taught, engaging and empowering students has always been at the forefront of her work as an educator and teacher-author. Amanda understands that helping students find their voice is core to being an effective teacher and social justice advocate. Amanda shares insights about implementing equitable teaching practices on this website and podcast. She has her bachelor’s degree in English literature and Middle-Level Humanities. 

Teachers are NOT the Problem, They are Part of the Solution

We are losing qualified teachers at a staggering rate. But, to be clear, teachers should never be blamed for the teacher turnover problems our country is facing. The shortage of teachers in America and the decrease in college students seeking a teaching career is a multifaceted and complex problem. 

In this podcast series, we discuss exactly what got us to this crisis point in the U.S. education system. Click the links below to be directed to that part of the series. We recommend listening in order. 

Part 1: The oppressive and outdated teacher pay scale and how to fix it

Part 2: A conversation with a new teacher who left the profession

Part 3: The high cost of becoming a teacher

Part 4: Red tape of teacher induction programs are overburdening new teachers

Part 5: Outsourcing teacher expertise to canned curriculum

Part 6: An ESL teacher’s stand against canned curriculum and the shocking consequences

Part 7: True educational equity reforms are NOT happening and schools and repercussions are severe

In this series, Trina, along with myself, and many other educators from diverse backgrounds will explain the many layers of what is really going on. The shortage of special education teachers and math teachers is impacting schools (especially in low-income urban areas) tremendously. But, it’s important for teachers to understand the extent of this crisis. We are losing teachers in all subject areas. 

We want to give teachers an extensive look at this problem from teachers’ perspectives. This is so teachers listening can share this series with other teachers, school leadership, the media, and even the governor of their state. The need to examine the causes of the national teacher shortage has never been more important.

Full Transcript

Amanda – Welcome back, everyone. This is part two in a six-part series, all about the teacher shortage. We are learning in depth what is going on here from my amazing, wonderful, so intelligent, insightful friend, Trina. And in this episode we’re talking about teacher preparation programs and just the high cost of becoming a teacher and how that is part of the cause of the teacher shortage. Welcome to the Empower Students Now! Podcast, a podcast about equity, neurodiversity, mindfulness and student engagement. There’s a lot that needs to change in our education system. The good news is teachers have the power to make these changes now. Hi, Trina. Go ahead and get us started. What do you think teachers need to know and other stakeholders who might listen to this episode? What do we need to know about this? Take us to the the from the beginning to the end. And this is just a conversation. I’m not necessarily interviewing Trina. She’s sharing her knowledge and she has a lot of it with us, and we’re so grateful for that.

Trina (00:01:34) – Well, thank you for that. I, I think this is an important episode in understanding a big part of why we have the teacher shortage problem. It’s not commonly understood outside of our profession how much work it takes financial time, investment, investment, emotional investment outside of our profession. Like I’ve heard it, I’ve heard people say, Oh, you know, and in Sweden it takes five years to become a teacher. And they get all this wonderful training and support. And I’m thinking, Do you know what it takes to be a teacher in the United States? Because it’s longer than five years, right? Especially in California. And I don’t know exactly like I definitely have heard that in other states, it’s a lot easier to get your teaching credential and to earn your full salary moving like we talked about in the last episode. Moving through the steps and columns requires that you continue to go to school really for the whole your whole tenure as a teacher in order to get that full salary. Right. Um, but I think it’s important for teachers to hear all the stuff laid out and really dissected through the lens of like oppression and really the bureaucratic red tape that it takes to become a teacher.

Trina (00:02:56) – Because I’ve watched new teachers come up against this system and find it so onerous that they just leave. So I know for sure. It’s getting in the way of us recruiting and keeping good talent in our profession.

Amanda (00:03:11) – Um, I agree. And I actually, I got my credential in Washington, Washington state, so I have a different experience, but it’s very similar. And then transferring states, you know, if you move, there’s that too. And it’s a big, big ordeal to do that. So.

Trina (00:03:31) – Okay, So everybody knows the starting with the teacher preparation process that you need an undergraduate degree. Yeah. That we understand that’s that’s your first four years. Um, many students today cannot afford their undergraduate education. And a lot of, like the very typical people who go into our profession have burdens of undergraduate student debt. Right? So we talked about in the last episode that if you’re a person who is not benefited from white privilege or generational wealth, at that point, when you get out of your undergraduate degree, the teaching profession, you look at the long and expensive path just to being a fully credentialed teacher.

Trina (00:04:14) – It’s not attractive to you, right? You have big debt and big hopes are pinned on you to lift your entire family out of generational poverty. Right? So the idea of teacher salary intersecting with this problem, I mean, I’m going to continue to vacillate back and forth, but let’s say you’re a person for whatever reason. Either you don’t have undergraduate debt or you have the benefit of, you know, financial supports to become a teacher. You have people willing to subsidize you in this process or you’re just willing to take it all on, which was my story. I think in yours you embark on the teacher credential process right now. Traditional teaching credentials, at least in the state of California. And you can tell me if this was different in Washington. It’s really about a year and a half of full time classwork, right? So you go back to school full time at a graduate level, so you’re paying graduate level fees, but you’re not going to get a master’s degree in California. You can add that on.

Trina (00:05:21) – It only is an extra class or two. But you you know, you’re paying for master’s degree courses, but without getting the master’s degree. That’s the the teaching credential pathway. So you’re in class for a full year and then the first half of a second year and then the traditional pathway is that you then become a student student teacher, right? So in that first year and a half, you’re learning all a variety of classes on your mandatory, you know, your mandatory California ed code or whatever state code you have. You’re beholden to you’re learning the pedagogical approaches to your content area. For me, I got a multiple subject teaching credential, which I know you did. Two, you you have a single subject, one as well. And so I had to take coursework for every single subject, pedagogical approaches for all of that. I took two different courses just for ELA, English language Arts that were supposed to be designed to get me ready to take the Reka, which is a really, I feel important test that they’re trying to get rid of it.

Trina (00:06:31) – And I understand why the arguments against Rica do make sense to me, but we need something else in place. Um, the Rica test is the test that proves, you know, how to teach reading, right? We’ve talked about Rica before. Anyways, I took all of those classes and then the idea is for the second semester of the second year, you’re doing student teaching, right? We all know that pathway. The problem is, is that a lot of people, particularly the people we want to recruit, who are individuals who represent racial and ethnic minorities, cannot afford to student teach, right. Um, because when you student teach, as all of your listeners will remember, you don’t get paid. Right. You don’t get. Yeah, you don’t get paid and you don’t. Your schedule during student teaching is not one which allows you to earn actual living to provide for yourself. So you’re, you know, having to work for free under a mentor teacher and then you’re not given access to legitimate opportunities to provide for yourself or let’s even say for a family, which was my case, right? I was I already had a separate profession before this.

Trina (00:07:50) – There was no way my family could I needed to be able to provide a source of income for my family. I had a son and a husband that needed me to provide. So if you’re in that situation, as I was and a lot of people are, you can do the internship route. And to do the internship route, you start teaching really your second, the whole second year. And in a special course that allows you to take your classes at night and so that you’re able to teach earning a very, very low salary because they have special internship levels on the step and column salary schedule that are even lower than the first first column for interns. And then you go to class at night, right? The problem with that is you can already imagine you’re overworked and you have no time to grow your practice. You’re not given a mentor teacher in that scenario at all. You’re just sort of left to go start teaching. And then the other big thing which definitely impacted me is traditional teacher preparatory programs.

Trina (00:09:00) – And like regular state colleges or universities don’t support an internship model. They require that you have regular daytime traditional college student availability. So it’s not for like working adults or people that have children at home. Like I remember I wanted to go to Cal State East Bay for my teaching credential all those years ago, and I had to be able to give up an entire summer when I needed to be at home to take care of my son. Right. So if you want one of these non traditional teaching credential programs, you can you can do them, but they’re extremely expensive. I wound up with $50,000 in debt just for my credential and it didn’t even give me a master’s degree. What was yours like, Amanda? What was your experience with getting your credential?

Amanda (00:09:53) – Oh, I got sucked into joining up with the best teaching college in Washington and possibly the nation, you know, like reputation. Reputation. So. I to the Woodring College of Education. And it was supposed to be the best of the best.

Amanda (00:10:11) – And it took a long time. It was two full years. And there was the option to get my masters at the same time. Yeah. But I, I had to take the GRI and I did horribly on the SAT and, and so the GRI was anxiety provoking to see this. And I studied for, I don’t know, six months, did horribly and felt so defeated that I didn’t even apply to get my masters at the same time. And so I don’t have my masters and I never and later, later my advisor, my faculty advisor said, Oh my gosh, we don’t even look at the scores you should have applied anyways. And I was like, Why didn’t you tell me?

Trina (00:11:02) – No, I’m so sorry.

Amanda (00:11:03) – So and so. Yeah. And then. And then I, you know, I did the whole I did, I did my student teaching in a seventh grade classroom and yeah. Didn’t get paid. I mean, very, very similar to what you’re describing. I had to take the Praxis test, which was also so, so anxiety provoking.

Amanda (00:11:24) – I do horribly on these standardized tests. I just do. I get so nervous that I just I do horribly. It happens every time. And and then after I had my credential, I move to Salt Lake City. I had my single subject, English credential, and I moved to Salt Lake City because my husband, who is a chemist, an organic chemist, he wanted to get his PhD and so he was accepted at the University of Utah. And so we went to we moved to Salt Lake City so that he could get his PhD. And guess what? He was paid to get a PhD. He was also paid to get his masters because he’s a scientist and apparently that’s a privileged.

Trina (00:12:12) – Yeah. And I also want to talk about that because there’s this really bizarre practice, um, you know, in teacher pay schedules that has to do with the teacher preparatory program as well, in that once you’re fully credentialed and you’re expected to keep going to school for the duration of your tenure as a teacher, there’s this idea that some opportunities will be presented to you that are through a school district for what we call professional development units.

Trina (00:12:42) – Yeah, continuing education credits. And this this goes into what I’m going to be talking about next because we’re already at six years in and we’re not done. There’s there’s more preparatory post-graduate work that we have to do and I’ll get to that in a minute. But if you cannot afford to pay for the units out of your own pocket, Right. So think about income inequality again. In our profession, if you’re not married to someone really wealthy or you don’t have, you know, generational access to generational wealth and of course, access to those kinds of privileges are very like gender and race based, as we’ve been talking about. If you don’t have access to that and you cannot pay for those units, they’ll give you the education, but they don’t get those units. Don’t get added to your step and column.

Amanda (00:13:30) – Yeah.

Trina (00:13:31) – And that is such baloney because you’re just as qualified as the next teacher next to you who has access to the money to pay for the units. But and then they get they get basically paid more for having more money, not not being a better teacher, which is really messed up.

Amanda (00:13:51) – It’s so messed up. Yeah. And I did want to say I did go into debt and because I went to this prestigious teaching school, of course. What does that mean, more expensive? Yeah. And so I went into a lot of debt. It was like 40,000 or something total for just two years of a teaching program. Yeah. And yeah, I mean, it’s just crazy. And then guess what? My. So this is I moved to Salt Lake City. I applied. I only had my single subject credential, so I was trying to become an English high school English teacher. No jobs. No jobs. No. I applied to so many different districts. Nothing. But guess what? Guess who started calling me? So entry schools. That’s why I got my multiple subject, because elementary schools were desperate for teachers. And so then I agreed because there was no job for me in Salt Lake City and I needed a job to pay off my debt. And my husband was getting paid barely anything to get his PhD.

Amanda (00:15:03) – And so I agreed to teach fourth grade at an elementary school. But I had to. The stipulation was you have to go get your your multiple subject credential. And so I was teaching full time, getting my multiple subject credential, paying for it myself. Yeah, yeah. I mean, right, Yeah. And then also all of the stuff that I had to do to transfer to Salt Lake City pay more.

Trina (00:15:27) – Yeah, it’s really tricky. And like, we haven’t even talked about how we haven’t even talked about. And that doesn’t even begin to discuss the problem of years of service, which when I talk about this with non teachers, they just kind of learn chores, hit the floor and it’s like years of service, as you know, is it’s it’s recognized in step in column like the more years you’ve been teaching, the more you make. But if you try to leave districts, forget leaving state if you try to move to another district which you want to do as a teacher, like it’s really good to have lots of experiences with a very diverse group of kids.

Trina (00:16:10) – Like it’s good. It makes you a better teacher. I did it right, but if you want to do that, you have to take a pay cut. And not just because another district may have different stuff and column though they do. And it’s super bizarre, um, to see those differences because it’s not necessarily connected to cost of living like at all. It’s because you can’t take all your years of service with you. So if you are at, you know, year five. When you transfer to a district that only recognizes three years of service, you have to go all the way back to year three and that district step and columns, you have to take a pay cut, which is just bizarre. And it keeps you trapped in a district when you may need to leave for family reasons or because you can’t afford the high cost of living in your urban area. But if you’re like, for example, ten, 15 years and you’re trapped, you really cannot leave that district because if you do, you’re going to have to go back to earning only a fraction of a full salary again.

Trina (00:17:08) – Yeah. You know, back your five. I think some districts will go as high as seven. But that’s really unusual. And you’ve heard that that exists in other states, too, right, Amanda?

Amanda (00:17:18) – Yes, it does. It does for sure. I only taught at one district in Salt Lake City for five years. I taught at a Title one school, and then I moved to California. Taught at a charter school. Yeah. I’ve moved a lot because of my husband. And it was always hard. Yeah. Taking that pay cut for sure. How else do teacher preparation programs contribute to the teacher shortage? Trina Yeah.

Trina (00:17:44) – There’s a lot more to say. Yeah. I just want to say also too, that my my pathway was that I had been a stay at home mom after. Right? I quit my job running the domestic violence shelter rape crisis hotline to stay at home with my child because he was sick. He’s fine now. He has celiac disease. But I had to stay at home with him.

Trina (00:18:06) – There was no preschool that would take on a child because we don’t have public preschool. Would take um, we take him on. And so then we were really hit very badly by the Great Recession. And my husband in his income was cut drastically during that time. So we needed as soon as my son started first grade full time, we needed me back at work. And so my pathway looked like this. I started out as a paraprofessional. I was pushing into classrooms as a sped aide right when my son went back to school. And I had also I had also been working at a charter school that is no longer in business that had taken me in as a full time teacher without anything other than an emergency credential. So I was actually working on an emergency credential my whole first year in my teacher credential program. So I was going to school full time in the evening, right. This very expensive program that would let me do that. And then I was teaching self-contained sixth grade classroom during the day.

Trina (00:19:18) – And let me say this. I am good, but I’m not that good. Like I was brand new in the profession. Those poor kids had a teacher that was not only not prepared, but was busy and stressed out and had no time to really reflect on what I was doing. And and it’s unfair to put kids through that, you know, at all. But it’s those low income districts that get the big lion’s share of these very underprepared, very overworked and stressed out brand new teachers. Right. What happened was I went to another district, another urban, because my school got shut down a very urban district with a lot of a high concentration of poverty. And I went to basically apply as a SOB and they found out that I was already in a teacher credential program and that I had an emergency credential. So they immediately offered me a job teaching. So I again spent another my second year as an intern, right, teaching while I was going to school full time. And the problem here is with these teacher preparatory programs and how they really they concentrate under qualified teachers in very low income districts is that the kids I had right when I was teaching, like in Deep East Oakland, had just a parade of teachers who were all going through what I was going through, which is that you’re a full time student and a brand new teacher and you haven’t learned how to do teach your subject yet because these are the only types of people that will work in these schools.

Amanda (00:21:02) – Well, and that is my we had very similar experiences then because that’s what was happening with me too, in Salt Lake City. Except I didn’t have a kid yet. You did. And that’s I mean, not. Wow, That’s that’s that’s insane.

Trina (00:21:18) – It’s just really it’s really unfair because, like, if you’re a person who has access to enough wealth, you can go the traditional route. And it’s a more humanizing. It’s still a lot of work, but it’s much more sane endeavor to do the student teaching route. You’re in a more supportive environment, more sane, more mentor support. But if you yourself are economically disadvantaged, like I was right, you want and teaching in a situation with a bunch of disadvantaged students who need better teachers, not worse teachers. And when I was in my first year or two of teaching, I had no business teaching at that point. I really do believe that, like I was a very good teacher and I learned so much. But my my reflection when I moved on later to other educational environments was that I had kids who had nothing but a parade of brand new teachers who had not even passed their courses or exams yet year after year, and some less than that, they had only a bunch of subs without actually a teacher of record.

Trina (00:22:31) – So these teacher preparatory programs concentrate people who are least qualified and stressed out and taking on huge amounts of debt to do these bizarre nighttime teacher credentialing courses in school populations of kids who are already extremely disadvantaged. And that’s how we wind up with the reading opportunity gap that we have, which we’ll talk about when we do the curriculum episode. But I just want to touch bases on the fact that once you whatever your pathway is of getting your credential, whether it’s internship. Or traditional student teaching, you still have to do the Tas, right? The teacher performance assessments. And it is an expensive, onerous, very, very time consuming process of of writing up an entire approach to addressing an issue in learning that you’re seeing in the classroom that has to be written up in a very particular way and is all done through the CTC, just like your C best and C SAT scores. Nobody really understands the way these things are graded, so we haven’t even talked about that. There are hundreds of dollars just to get to this point, just in the tests that you have to take.

Trina (00:23:54) – For me, I had to take three C sets that tested me on all of the subject areas. I was teaching the C best, which gets your foot in the door. The rigor test, which is the test that proves you know how to teach reading in addition to all of these tpus just to get the preliminary credential. And there’s your giant portfolio project, right? Like there’s a lot of work you got to do just to get that far through. But then when you’re all done with all this and you have your credential, it’s preliminary and you got to clear it. And don’t we know about that?

Amanda (00:24:34) – Yeah.

Trina (00:24:35) – This idea of clearing your credential is has been an attempt at growing the bureaucracy of the CTC. I don’t know if they have induction programs in other states, but it’s two more years of post-graduate work. Some districts in California will pay for it and some won’t. I have a family member who teaches down in Southern California, and she had to take out more loans to do the clear credential program for her, what we call the induction program.

Trina (00:25:07) – I did not. My district paid for it, but since I could not pay for the units, they did not get added to my step and call them. Right.

Amanda (00:25:14) – Oh, my goodness.

Trina (00:25:15) – I know. So. Now we’re at eight years. We’re at eight years to get a full clear credential. And all of this time, if you’re teaching, you’re doing so and a lot of stress because you’re being evaluated every year. And you’re being evaluated twice a year. So you’re having to write up very special lesson plans. You’re being heavily scrutinized and you’re doing bits or you’re doing your internship or, you know, student teaching, but you get all the way to this eighth year, right, just to have a fully cleared credential, after which time you still need to be going to classes on a regular basis, continuing to move up that salary schedule so that you can get closer to earning a full salary. So all of these things require a lot of debt, a huge amount of time and investment.

Trina (00:26:07) – They are a huge burden on families. It’s very hard for women or any staff member for that matter, with a family to try to negotiate all these requirements. The idea that we have this cushy job and have the summers off is just completely ludicrous. We’re worked to the bone. Really?

Amanda (00:26:30) – Yeah. You’re giving me heart palpitations and just listening to you, and I just can’t believe that we went through all of that. Know, it’s. It’s appalling. I’m going to cry again.

Trina (00:26:44) – Demoralizing. It’s eight years, and then even after eight years, all that debt, all those tests, the rigor, the C sets, there’s three the C best, the Tas, the teacher portfolio portfolio, the induction exams. I mean, those bits of tests are a lot. After all that, you still have to go to school. Well.

Amanda (00:27:08) – And can I just can I just say my teacher preparation program I didn’t learn I want to cuss right now Bleep about how to support my special ed students. I didn’t I didn’t learn how to teach reading.

Amanda (00:27:25) – I didn’t learn. I didn’t learn any of that. I didn’t learn how to teach phonics. I didn’t learn.

Trina (00:27:33) – No, you have to learn on the job. And that’s a big problem.

Amanda (00:27:37) – What what do they even t I know.

Trina (00:27:40) – I know a.

Amanda (00:27:41) – Bunch of fluff.

Trina (00:27:42) – You need to learn on the job.

Amanda (00:27:44) – The best experience was the student teaching.

Trina (00:27:48) – Which I didn’t get.

Amanda (00:27:50) – Yeah, well, because you were already teaching.

Trina (00:27:52) – I was already teaching. Yeah. I didn’t get.

Amanda (00:27:54) – But that was when that really validated for me, like the student teaching experience that I was on the right path. But after, yeah, just being with students, you know, and I think every, every teacher that chooses this profession, I mean, just, just hearing you describe what we’ve gone through to be in this profession and then to think this.

Trina (00:28:17) – The issue we have here with how onerous it is to become a teacher and expensive and spiritually and emotionally and physically draining. And then the really low pay means if your content area is a competitive one, you’re not you’re even far less likely to wind up in teaching.

Trina (00:28:32) – So that’s why the quality of our science and mathematics and it’s so, you know, it’s so hard to hire math and science teachers at the secondary level like they are, you know, unicorns. They’re so yeah.

Amanda (00:28:47) – Too. And also like special day teachers. I always see those jobs and I see the I see what’s required. And I feel like because I’m the mother of a of a neurodivergent child, I am qualified to be a special ed teacher. I am. I know I am. But no, I don’t have the paperwork, so I can’t apply.

Trina (00:29:11) – So, so much of all this paperwork and requirements is just money grab from the CTC That’s like this poorly understood quasi governmental, bloated bureaucracy, which continues to add layers upon layers of difficulty to getting into our profession.

Amanda (00:29:28) – So what do we do?

Trina (00:29:30) – We needs humanizing practices that are I mean, to start with free. Like, why are we paying so much money as teachers to the CTC? Why, why, why, why? I don’t understand.

Trina (00:29:43) – Like, these are requirements for a profession. You were just saying you’re extremely well paid. Husband was paid for those like he didn’t have to pay for any of those requirements.

Amanda (00:29:55) – Yeah, well, and the CTC is we’re we’re in California and I don’t think we mentioned what the CTC was. We did a fornia teaching credentialing.

Trina (00:30:05) – Commission.

Amanda (00:30:05) – Commission. I always forget the last CE think we did in the last episode what we did in this one. That’s right. So anyone who’s not in California, that’s what it is. Yeah.

Trina (00:30:18) – Yeah. And it’s a it’s a very bloated, bureaucratic I mean, I understand governmental oversight. I completely agree that we definitely need to, in some capacity, prove. That we know what we’re doing, but there are so many hoops to jump through and they are so expensive. I’ve seen people just literally give up and walk away from this process because it takes forever.

Amanda (00:30:44) – Yeah, it’s. It’s depressing. So how do we wrap this up? Trina, what do you want to say? Any last words? Is there anything that you think?

Trina (00:30:55) – Yeah, I think to address the teacher preparatory program as like an oppressive system that’s keeping people out of the profession or causing people to quit before they get fully through it, like, obviously, you and I, this is not why we’re going to leave the profession if we do.

Trina (00:31:12) – We’re done. We’ve done all this stuff right, but I’ve seen good people not get through it right. I think the thing to do is to make it free because the exams are hundreds of dollars. I think another thing to do is to streamline it and to come up with a system that really recognizes that generational wealth is the way people are able to get through the teacher a student teacher year. And that if we start framing it through the lens of economic privilege and income inequality, we can really understand that the process we’ve set up, it requires that you have a spouse that is able to subsidize your income, that is sexist and it’s racist. So if we understand that student teaching is expensive and that this process of becoming a teacher is onerous and expensive, then you start to understand why we wind up with the people we do in the profession. Privileged white people. Right, Exactly. And that’s we need to change that. And we also lose good people, too. It keeps people out of our profession who have other options that are better.

Trina (00:32:24) – Right?

Amanda (00:32:26) – Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Thank you so much, Trina, for just shining a light on all of this. I really, really appreciate you. You don’t even know how much this means to me and to everyone listening. So thank you again.

Trina (00:32:43) – Thank you.

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