I am happy to join the ranks of those that are free from the chains of BTSA! How big was it? Well here it is:
Yes it was over 2-1/2 inches thick. In truth it took 1 semester to work on. Why only 1 semester, well that was my fault. See I have been on the "two-year" plan, but during the first year of teaching I found I was way too busy (hence the title of my web-blog) to really start collecting all the documents and student work. At the end of the first semester of my first year I knew that I really could not gather all that information that are part of the tasks of BTSA, so instead I decided to just attend the classes.
Now I think I agree with other BTSA-sufferers. The classes pretty much repeat what you have learned in your credentialing classes. If you are lucky you will have a presenter who understands this and will provide something new on the topic of your class, or at least be energetic! Having attended all the classes I have personally found they provided nothing really new. It was only Health classes that were interesting, and the presenter was excellent! He was energetic, knowledgeable and answered ALOT of questions!
My plan was to start collecting the information at the start of the first semester of my second year, unfortunatelyI found out at the start of the year that the long term sub they hired for the teacher next door did not take the position (the regular teacher in that room is on maternity leave). To give the kids in her classes a chance I volunteered myself to create lesson plans and crunch grades for the classes next door.
I introduced myself to each of the classes and let the students know if the had any problems to come see me after school (unfortunately not many did). It was a big undertaking, and It's not something I think I would do again. The main reason why I would not do it again is because it did take away from lesson planning for my classes and my students (and it definitely took all the time I had planned for BTSA).
That left only the last semester to collect data for my BTSA. I essentially started with one task and sequentially completed each task afterwards. It's not the best way to complete it, but it was the easiest way for me. I really cut it to the wire, having students complete one of the tasks 5 days before finals. But done is done!
So now I am enjoying my summer. I need to reevaluate my lessons. They have changed the pacing plan at my school so I need to redo lessons. Thats ok, I am looking forward to teaching without BTSA hanging over my head!