A longtime Alabama educator who has won Teacher of the Year honors resigned last week when her “frustration boiled over” with bureaucracy.
“After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6, I have no answers as to why this is a problem now, so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests, and proving once again that I am qualified to teach, I am resigning,” she wrote in her resignation letter.
Corgill, who was 2014-2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year and a 2015 National Teacher of the Year finalist, this year joined the staff at Oliver Elementary as a 2nd-grade teacher; she was then shifted to teach 5th grade. But roughly a month into her new role, a state education administrator called and said she lacked the certification to continue, AL.com reports.
This, despite Corgill’s National Board Certification to teach students between ages 7 and 12, which usually covers fifth grade. “When an inquiry was made, the department reported that her current [state] teaching certificate covers primary grades through Grade 3,” says the Alabama Department of Education in a statement; it says the national certification doesn’t trump the state requirements. As a Title I school, Oliver Elementary receives federal dollars because many of its students are from low-income families; so it requires that all teachers be “highly qualified,” a standard Corgill apparently didn’t meet, AL.com reports. “When the news came that I was not considered highly qualified, my frustration boiled over,” Corgill says. ” …[I] will continue to give my life to the profession. Every child I teach and learn from is a part of me. I love them and work to give them my best.”
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