Very little that's supposed to do with beginning teacher support and assessment has anything to do with making good teachers. It shouldn't be lost on us that people from Teach for America have made excellent teachers and administrators without an extensive credentialing process that has little to do with creating competent teachers, but everything to do with creating dense educational bureaucracies that sap funds.
Anonymous Valley East:
"My experience with BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) was that it provided little to no useful training. The sessions I was required to attend were simplified introductions to concepts that I had already studied when getting my preliminary credential. How can a two hour introduction to kinesthetic learning help me when I had two weeks of one of my classes devoted to understanding that and then had it integrated into other courses as well?
As for the support portion of BTSA, it was almost non-existent. I was supposed to have a mentor teacher to guide me. I was assigned an English teacher with the same grade level students who was also a coach. Because of this teacher's coaching duties, I was able to meet with her only once the entire first year, but she was paid the additional stipend anyway.
For me, BTSA was just one more hoop I had to go through in order to become a tenured teacher. I learned nothing except how to keep my head low so as to not bring attention to myself and blend in with the school culture around me. The state continues to waste good money on this program giving more new teachers a workload that cannot be easily met. I would not be surprised if this additional requirement for getting a teaching credential was driving potentially great teachers out the door before they ever got a clear credential.
Lenny@perdaily.com adds: When I obtained my credential at CSULA, I had to fight hard not to be required to take a speech class, since I had been on the debate team in high school and trained in speaking while in law school. The insistence on taking speech as a credential requirement only became understandable, when I found out that the school had 53 sections of speech classes to fill that semester- it was clearly about jobs and not teacher competency.