Voices from Within: Alternative Certified Teachers' Perspective on Preparedness Working in High Needs Elementary Schools

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This study investigates the effectiveness of alternative routes to teacher certification in urban school districts within Texas. The need for teachers across the United States has increased because current teachers are leaving the profession at high rates. This research analyzes the programs regarding teacher preparation routes, teacher preparedness, and the effect teacher preparation programs have on teacher longevity. This study includes interview data from current teachers to evaluate the perceived preparation of alternative certified teachers based on their authentic voices. To examine the teacher’s perceptions of alternative certification routes and how well they feel prepared, interviews are conducted. The interviews use seven teachers who completed an alternative certification program and work in a high-needs elementary school. This study seeks to answer the following research questions: 1)How do alternative certified teachers perceive the usefulness of their preparatory program to their current career?, 2)How do alternative certified teachers perceive induction programs that include support through mentoring, professional development, and in-service opportunities?, 3) How do relationships with school staff, administration, parents, and the community affect an alternative certified teacher’s self-image and effectiveness?, 4) What relationships exist between alternative certified teachers’ perception of themselves and job satisfaction, personal fulfillment, and goals?, and 5)Where do alternative certified teachers see themselves in the future? Why will you stay? Why will you leave (Redman, 2015)? It is concluded that teachers are leaving the profession due to alternative certification programs not fully preparing them to enter the classrooms of Title One campuses. Keywords: alternative certification, teacher preparedness, traditional certification, high needs school, Title One school, teacher turnover rate, novice teacher