When it comes to preferences such as “Coke or Pepsi” or “French fries or onion rings”, you will find strong opinions and backers on both sides of the question. In Texas, you can even start a family feud at the local Tex-Mex joint over a “pinto or charro beans” debate.
Let’s face it, like pinto or charro beans, there often isn't a wrong choice. They are both great in their own way.
It’s a bit like that when it comes to getting your Texas Teacher Certification, as students have the distinct choice of online training vs in-person training. Each of these methods has their own merits and offers unique benefits.
The more traditional in-person training features a structured schedule and has the highlight of face-to-face interaction among both teachers and students, as well as facilitates social and professional contact among peers.
Online courses offer the ultimate in flexibility for those with schedules that do not allow them to meet during normal classroom times. This method is good for insomniacs or those working two jobs or those with families to tend to as you can log on at midnight or the wee hours of the morning.
The preference can sway generationally as millennials are much more likely to be comfortable with online learning than Baby Boomers who might still be clinging to their flip phones.
Online training vs. in-person training can come down to a matter of learning style, as some students prefer to go at their own pace and time from home while others need the familiarity and interpersonal boost and support of the classroom.
Are you the type that wants to take an apple into the classroom to thank your educational mentor or are you more comfortable at home in your yoga pants and on your Apple? Introvert or extravert, there is a method that will suit you.
Let’s take a closer look at the two methods of achieving your education for an alternative teacher certification in Texas.
WiFi is the Way: Online Training
Fire up the laptop at home or head to a nearby Starbucks and class is in session as you have complete flexibility and convenience of scheduling.
Not everybody learns at the same pace so when you are doing it online you set the pace and everything is tailored to your specific needs.
The ability to study any time or any place is not just about convenience, as it can be about necessity too, as you may have a toddler with a cough that prevents you from hitting a classroom on schedule. Also in the wide open spaces of Texas some of us live a long way from the nearest blacktop so remote learning is a must.
Online learning requires both self-motivation and self-discipline. This can be a con, but we also see this as a pro as any teacher will tell you that without self-motivation and self-discipline you will not succeed when you start your career in the classroom.
Ring my Bell: In-Classroom Training
Classroom training will provide you with “real” face-to-face time and prevents you from being isolated during the teacher training process.
There is a security in the classroom setting, even if you have been out of school for a long time. This method is how most of us navigated our way through the education system and the familiarity will be comforting.
You will get hands-on training from professionals who will be able to provide instant feedback and keep you on the proper learning track.
Networking among peers and educational administrators is a bonus. Many alternative certification students make lifelong professional and personal connections from their classroom time.
At ECAP, we have done a lot of thinking of the topicand we are not going to tell you one method is better than the other because we think the best alternative certification program provides a combination of in-person training, as well as the ability to learn online.
By utilizing both in-person and online training, ECAP is able to provide students with the best of both worlds. ECAP provides a well-rounded experience that provides futures teachers with the structure and social interaction of the classroom coupled, with the convenience and flexibility of online components.
So, to answer the question we first posed, we like to say “both” to the pinto vs. charro bean questions. But, we always answer the “Coke vs. Pepsi” question like a true Texan...by saying “Dr. Pepper”!
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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7166 Baker Blvd., Suite B · Richland Hills, Texas 76118 Phone 817-284-7731 | Fax 817-284-3396