How to Get a Teaching Certificate...When There is None

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by wingchun100, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    I called this local college (RPI) to ask about teaching Wing Chun there. The guy said, "We need your certificate to teach."

    The thing is, maybe they gave out certificates when I attended the school in the Ip Ching lineage, but the guy I learn from now does not do that. (For the record, he is in the lesser-known Leung Sheung lineage.) The only thing that happened was he said to me, "You know, you can teach people too." That was it!

    Then the RPI guy proceeded to ask me what rank I held. I said, "We don't have ranks." He said, "Aw, that will be a problem too."

    Where the hell do you go to get a certificate for something where no certificate is offered???
     
  2. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    3,740
    Likes Received:
    1,759
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Location:
    Saline
    Microsoft?
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Kababayan

    Kababayan Blue Belt

    Joined:
    May 7, 2017
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    43

    Since it is a college, could he have been referring to a teaching credential or a degree? He may just not know about how the martial arts works. If you have friends who run dojos, I'm sure that they can help you out with a "certificate".
     
  4. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,538
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Trophy Points:
    263
    My guess is they want a certificate so they have proof you're not just some random guy off the street coming in to teach Rex Kwon Do. Why they want a rank is beyond me, unless they want to offer belts or ranks as part of completing Wing Chun 101 and moving into Wing Chun 102 or 201.

    Off the top of my head, here are 3 ideas:

    1. If your lineage has a letterhead, ask someone well respected in your lineage to draft a certificate for you with a rank like Instructor, Chief Instructor, or Master (depending on what you feel is appropriate for your level). Explain to them it's merely a formality to satisfy requirements at the location you wish to teach.

    2. Find a different college with more lax requirements, or who may be willing to discuss with you and understand there aren't ranks in your art.

    3. Find a location to teach that isn't at a college. Lots of gyms will have areas you can rent for classes. The advantage here is that your students can get a workout at the same location if they want.
    Why is it you are dead set on RPI?
     
  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    3,210
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    In the dojo
    For those that don’t know RPI, it is typically a national top 25 (maybe even top 10) engineering college. They’ve got a veritable who’s who of engineering alumni base. A school like that is going to cross every t and dot every i when it comes to someone teaching ANYTHING.

    The HR people in charge of screening and hiring most likely have zero MA knowledge. They most likely look at it like every other physical activity in that they think there’s a credentialing process like yoga, personal training, coaching association levels, etc. I’m sure they’re just looking for someone official sounding to say the applicant is competent.

    I’ve worked at quite a few colleges. I can say that colleges have some of the most intelligent people who also happen to be complete idiots working there.

    @wingchun100 they have an Isshin Ryu club on campus. It is or at least was run by an outside guy (non-faculty/staff). Perhaps get in touch with him and ask his advice. I highly doubt he doesn’t know Wing Chun doesn’t have ranks.

    Isshinryu Karate Klub of Troy
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    470
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Yeah, I'd see if OP's teacher can go in Word and fill out a certificate or letter that says "Wingchun100 is certified to instruct in Wing Chun, signed, Sifu So-and-So". That's probably all they really want, just somebody to vouch that he knows what he's doing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    3,740
    Likes Received:
    1,759
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Location:
    Saline
    This!

    True Story:

    While in college I worked for a professor in the Forestry Department as a research assistant. An Engineering Professor borrowed a live trap from the Forestry professor one day because he was having trouble with rabbits in his garden. After a week, he brought the trap back telling the Forestry Professor he didn't catch any rabbits because cats, raccoons, and opossums kept getting in it. The Forestry professor asked what he was baiting it with and the Engineering professor told him a fresh can of tuna fish every night............for rabbits.......:D
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
  8. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY

    I am not "dead set" on it. As for gym rentals, they are good only if you can also get students in. I am already currently renting a room at a gym and, despite quite a push on my part, I haven't had anyone show up yet.

    However, I will say this about RPI versus other colleges: whereas the other colleges are willing to let me teach a course as part of their Community Education program, RPI would be looking for me to teach something that goes semester-long. At the other places, the classes last only 3 sessions tops.
     
  9. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    No, he definitely meant a certificate for kung fu instruction specifically. :-(
     
  10. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    While I do find this amusing, there is always this question: and what if they look to make sure the certificate I forged is legit?
     
  11. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    Thanks, my friend. If nothing else, maybe I can do as I have been advised: make an official-looking certificate and ask my Leung Sheung lineage teacher to just sign it. LOL
     
  12. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    Yeah, I am pretty adept at MS Word so maybe I can just get Sifu to sign it.
     
  13. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    3,740
    Likes Received:
    1,759
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Location:
    Saline
    Like Watergal suggested....get your instructor to sign it.....and poof....its legit.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    Yeah, I responded to some people before I read every reply. LOL
     
  15. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    3,740
    Likes Received:
    1,759
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Location:
    Saline
    So what kind of class will it be?

    My son's Sensei teaches Karate at a college and there its a professional elective for Kinesiology. Grade is based on attendance and students have a choice of competing in 1 tournament or writing a term paper.

    In the 30 + years of the class being offered only one student has chosen to write the paper. :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    No idea yet. All I know is that, unlike the community college where I teach, it would be all semester long...possibly even twice a week.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    13,071
    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Well, I know that the community colleges around here require a masters degree in SOMETHING in order to teach anything. Even martial arts, where there is no masters degree.

    So maybe that is part of the issue?
     
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    13,071
    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Do you teach martial arts, or something else, at the community college?
     
  19. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    3,210
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    In the dojo
    The rule of thumb for “teaching” (in quotes for the different types of teaching) at a college...

    If it’s an official course for college credit, such as a PE elective, they’ll require a minimum of a master’s degree in a relevant field or comparable experience. Relevant field in this case would typically be physical education, kinesiology, exercise physiology, etc., or adult education. Comparable experience could be, say, a former pro dancer who’s successfully run their own dance school for several years.

    Running an extracurricular club where credits aren’t earned allows far more leeway. Yes this is teaching, but not really in their eyes. They’d typically require references, background check, CPR/First Aid (for physical activities), stuff like that. Private schools have more leeway, and state schools have more red tape typically. With RPI’s reputation, I’d anticipate at least as many hoops to jump through, if not more.

    To give you a sense of RPI’s ways, I applied for an athletic training (sports medicine) position 5 years ago. My interview was about 5 hours total after all was said and done. Individually, I met with HR, the athletic director, the staff I’d be working with, the head athletic trainer, 2 head coaches, a committee of employees outside of athletics, and a group of student athletes. At least they fed me lunch in the middle. All that for a position where I wasn’t a supervisor. And I didn’t get the job. I’m not bitter though.

    If the OP obtains any credential certificate, it WILL be verified. If it’s issued by a teacher, they’ll look up the school to make sure it’s actually a school, and they’ll contact the person in charge. If not prior to hiring, then soon thereafter. Safety of the students is their primary concern.

    I’ve seen a few people seemingly slip through the cracks only to be escorted off campus by security shortly after.

    Please note I’m not saying the OP is someone who’d falsify any credentials, has a questionable past, etc. I’m just saying how colleges operate. I’ve had several friends in college HR. Unfortunately none at the college in question to be able to make a phone call.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  20. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    520
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Troy NY
    I have been teaching an ever-evolving 3-session course as part of Hudson Valley's community education program for a while now.123
     

Share This Page