Up until a few years ago, California teachers needed to document 150 hours of unpaid "professional development" in order to renew their credentials every 5 years. What's funny is that, as I read the rules, blogging about education-related matters would count towards 150 hours--but that has nothing to do with this post.
We were supposed to document this time, but come credential renewal time, we only had to certify that it was done. Yes, we could be audited, but how often did anyone get audited? I would venture to guess that few teachers kept meticulous records documenting their professional development.
I thought it would be fun to "do the right thing", so, in addition to blogging, I volunteered for a project at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. That project, and blogging, would put me well over 150 hrs in 5 years. Heck, either of those would put me over 150 hrs, but I wanted to show a "diversity" of development. So, without going into too much detail about the project I'm working on, let's just say that I'm helping check compliance with certain rules, procedures, and standards.
Did you notice that I used the present tense in that last sentence? Well, I did! The last time my "team" met was almost 2 years ago, and some new information recently came in. So after school today I rushed downtown to meet up with my partner--who flew in from Southern California--and we set to work again.
All told, this project has been ongoing for almost 4 years. I've been involved for just over 3 years. And it's nowhere near done.
The wheels are turning very slowly. Maybe someday the organization we're looking into will comply with all appropriate rules, procedures, and standards. By then, the rules, procedures, and standards will probably have changed--and some other team will have to start over.
Update, 1/27/09: Oh heck, I forgot to tell you the best part. A couple years ago the CTC eliminated the charade of 150 hours; now all that's needed to renew a credential is $70 (sure to go up in these times of budget cuts). Not needing the hours anymore, I still work on this project because that's what I committed to.
As for blogging, I still do it because I like it :-)