Certification Question

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Certification Question

Postby mbuchinger » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:18 am

I'm currently working on my administration certificate. I've taught in both rural and urban Alaska. The program that I'm currently enrolled in is Educational Leadership: American Indian Educational Leadership which involves taking two Native American Studies courses on education and law as well as completing my administration hours within a school that has a Title 7 program or a minimum of twenty five percent of the population is of Native descent.

Here is my question. Does this focus make me a more desirable applicant than an administrator with a typical certificate? OR does my experience teaching in a rich native culture play a larger determining factor than the type of administration program I completed?

Thanks for any feedback or opinions.

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Re: Certification Question

Postby Johncn » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:36 am


In general, any experience or training you have with non-traditional cultures, including Alaska Native and American Indian students and parents, would be a plus. Beyond that, it depends on what you are seeking, and what situation you are applying for. I see this as more a matter of opinion than fact. I think it depends on the district hiring you, the admin job you are applying for, and the strengths the recruiting team sees as most import for being a good fit for their leadership team.

If I were on the administrator recruiting team and were evaluating candidates, however, I would be looking more at your work experience, references and life experiences than specific courses dealing with teaching or school administration in an American Indian / Alaska Native context. I'd be looking for a good administrative candidate first and foremost. I'm not sure that two Native American Studies courses on education and law would be that important to me when compared to your total package as a potential principal or other administrative applicant. They wouldn't hurt, but not sure how much they would sway me one way or the other. The field experience in a school with American Indian or Alaska Native students and parents could play more of a factor, but it would depend on how that went, and what your responsibilities and experiences during that field placement actually were.

Good (or bad) references, or indications about how you adjusted to a cross culture setting during your previous rural Alaska experience would, in contrast, be pretty important to me. Your perceived personality traits and potential "fit" with the district leadership team would also be very important.

Again, just my opinion. Others here are likely to have different opinions about this question. That's what's nice about an "old fashioned" forum versus a social networking context where we all cheer each other on. ;-)


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