Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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10/22/15  5:01 pm
Commenter: Victor Terry

Proposed Engineering Endorsement 8 VAC 20-23

My name is Victor Terry and I am a licensed Technology and Engineering Education teacher with 20 years of teaching experience. I should note that my teaching license gives me no more right to go out and engineer a civil structure than an engineer's license gives them to come in and teach my class. My four year Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech is not inferior to a four year degree in Engineering; it is different. I am a licensed educator that has proven through the years to have the ability to manage a public school classroom and relate to and teach the students about Technology and Engineering Education. I have former students in all walks of life, including engineering. Not one of my former students has thanked me for teaching them the extra math, physics, science, etc… the majority have thanked me for caring enough about them to provide guidance along the way, and for teaching them to think critically, problem solve, and to apply the use of tools like the computer, 3d printer, cnc technology, or even hand tools from the tool cabinet to solve problems.

I am not in favor of changing legislation to let any professional engineer walk in off the street to teach Engineering classes in our public school system. We have a mechanism in place for career switchers who want to do that and meet those licensing requirements. Are there truly Engineers out there that think they are so far superior to those of us with degrees in education, that they can walk in and do our jobs with no preparation in our field? Has our society so undervalued educators as to afford us so little respect? I have a hard time believing that Engineers want to take the pay cut and work in our public schools. I chose to be an educator, because it is what I wanted to do. I have a passion for Technology and Engineering as well as teaching and helping students. I have taught classes in middle school, high school, and even dual-enrolled college classes during my tenure. I helped to initate an Engineering class at a new STEM-H academy that was dual enrolled with a community college in collaboration with a professor of Engineering who taught at both Virginia Western Community College and VA Tech.

I believe in rigorous programs and high standards as well as authentic assessment. I don't believe a paper and pencil test is the best way to prove to a teacher that you can ride a bicycle. The student should get on the bike and ride and the teacher will see the skill is valid. Let the educators teach, the engineers design, and politicians may God guide you to take care of your constituents with wisdom. By all means make Technology and Engineering a required subject discipline like Math, Science, and Social Studies. Every student needs the knowledge base and it is long overdue, but please do not tell me that a licensed Technology Teacher in Virginia cannot handle a high school, middle school, or even elementary school engineering class. If you need further proof, ask current students studying in ABET accredited engineering programs who also matriculated through our Technology and Engineering programs statewide. If you want to help further, bring back accredited teacher preparation programs to train technology and engineering teachers like the program in Technology Education that was closed at Virginia Tech. Those who can, do. Those who can do more with less, teach. Thank you for the forum to voice my opinion.