10 Things You Need to Know About Teacher Certification

If you’re a new teacher, it’s more than likely that you’ve got questions about the complex world of teacher certification. Read on for facts and tips about teacher certification and get started on securing your credentials for the classroom.

10. Teaching Certificate vs. Teaching Credential?

A teaching certificate is simply the professional recognition granted by colleges or universities to the graduates of their teacher education programs. A teaching credential is the state-mandated license that demonstrates competence in a specific area of education. Credentials are typically granted by grade level and/or subject area, although teachers may be eligible for credentialing in multiple areas.

9. What is National Board Certification?

While states frequently have individualized requirements, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers a process for receiving nationally recognized certification that typically waives state-level requirements. The process is rigorous and usually takes several years to complete.

8. Is the NBPTS Process Worth It?

The benefits of National Board certification are numerous: Teachers can earn higher salaries than their non-certified peers and often see more dramatic results in student achievement and growth.

7. What’s an ‘Emergency Teaching Certificate?’ What About an ‘Alternate Route’ Certificate?

In areas with critical teacher shortages, states may grant temporary licenses that circumvent traditional licensing requirements. These certificates are usually granted to teachers who are eligible to teach high-need subject areas like math and special education. Teachers with emergency credentials often will be required to prove they are actively seeking certification, which can be accomplished via an “alternate route” process. This refers to any teaching certificate granted to a candidate who has entered the profession without having completed a traditional four-year degree in education coursework. Many new teachers are pursuing this route after pursuing careers in industry fields, then responding to critical teacher shortages in their geographic areas.

6. What’s the Difference Between an Elementary and Secondary Teaching Certificates?

Elementary teaching certificates are typically broad in scope, allowing the teacher to instruct all subject areas to students in a specified grade range. Secondary certificates require teachers to focus in a particular subject area, like English or science, and must demonstrate proficiency in both education and content coursework.

5. What are Teaching Certificate ‘Endorsements?’

Endorsements are add-ons to a teacher’s certification area, allowing them to teach grade levels or subjects outside of their certification. To seek an endorsement, teachers need to provide evidence of undergraduate coursework in their desired subject area, or enroll in graduate coursework, depending on the state’s requirements.

4. Where Can I Find State-by-State Certification Requirements?

While most states require teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and pass required licensing exams, specific credentialing requirements can vary greatly. Find the specifics on your state at All Education Schools

3. Can I Take my Teaching Certificate Across State Lines?

Some states offer reciprocity agreements to honor valid teaching certificates from another state. In some cases, teachers will be required to apply for a new license, but be sure to check the specific rules in your state.

2. Is my International Teaching Certificate Valid in the U.S.?

Few states will accept teaching certificates granted outside of the country, but you may be eligible for a temporary teaching license to allow you to teach while taking coursework toward full teacher certification.

1. Which States Offer Incentives for Teacher Certification?

If you’re looking to pursue alternative route certification in a high-needs area, you may be eligible for salary or loan-forgiveness incentives designed to attract new teachers to the field. if you’re a current teacher thinking about National Board certification, be sure to check out the list of states offering incentives for national teacher certification.

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