Last week, I was talking to one of my friends about being a teacher. She asked me about the process of becoming a teacher. She doesn’t want to become a teacher, but she was curious because she used to think it was easy until she saw how much work I do. I tried to explain as best as I could.

First of all, teaching is the only profession that creates other professions. However, we have to jump through so many hoops just to receive our preliminary credential before clearing the damn thing.

With the passage of NCLB in 2001, there was a push for teachers to be “highly qualified.” To even start the process of getting a preliminary credential, one must possess a Bachelor’s degree and proof that they are knowledgeable in their content area. While NCLB did not specify what “knowledgeable” meant, the CTC (California Commission of Teacher Credentialing) says that candidates must satisfy the basic skills requirement (CBEST), complete a teacher preparation program, and verify subject-matter competency (CSET).

Let me break down everything that I did:

  1. Get my Bachelor’s Degree in English from Loyola Marymount University. [Cost: approximately $75k]
  2. Take the CBEST (covers reading, writing, and math). [Cost: $41]
  3. Get my Master’s Degree and credential from Loyola Marymount University. [Cost: $40k]
  4. Take the English CSET [Cost: $297 (I had to take subtest III three times and subtest IV twice) + additional $225 = 522]
    1. Subtest I: Reading Literature and Informational Texts
    2. Subtest II: Language, Linguistics, and Literacy
    3. Subtest III: Composition and Rhetoric
    4. Subtest IV: Communications: Speech, Media, and Creative Performance
  5. Complete student teaching. (August 2014 – January 2015) [Cost: included in grad school tuition]
  6. Pay for preliminary credential processing. [Cost: $75-150. (Mine was $75 since I had an emergency substitute credential)]

That was awesome! $115,638 just for a PRELIMINARY credential.



A preliminary credential only allows you to teach for five-years before you must clear it. To clear a preliminary credential, you must enroll in and complete an induction program sponsored by the employing district, college or university, or neighboring district. Another option is completing a general education clear credential program.

I am currently enrolled in an induction program through my job. The program at my job is $3000 and takes two years. (Once it’s completed, I’ll get reimbursed.) Last week, I am proud to say, I completed my first year!

For those who want to know, all $115,638 was a loan that I must pay back. Loan forgiveness will only remove $14k. Therefore, if anyone doubts my dedication to my profession, please ask yourself if you’re willing to take out a loan on one-third of a house if you weren’t fully invested.

For now, I celebrate finishing my first year of teacher induction!



Miss B.


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