Teaching Credentials in Special Situations

Not everyone becomes a teacher on the traditional path. Some find their way into the teaching profession in other ways, such as emergency teaching credentials. And if you move out of state, you still need to transfer your teacher certification to your new state before you can start teaching in your new home town.

Keep reading to learn about some alternate ways that teachers can earn their credentials to become teachers or increase their salary.

Emergency Teaching Credentials

Because of teacher shortages in certain areas, some states grant temporary and emergency teaching licenses that relax their own teacher certification requirements. States grant this alternative teaching credential to individuals who teach in high-need subject areas, such as mathematics, science, special education or bilingual education, or for high-need geographic areas such as in urban schools. To find out if your state currently offers emergency teaching credentials, contact your state Department of Education.

Transferring Teaching Credentials from Another State

Many states have reciprocity agreements that make it easier for teachers licensed in one state to teach in another. Currently, over 40 states have reciprocity agreements with at least one other state; however, many consider this transfer only provisional. Therefore, you will be required to take some additional teacher training or assessment to earn the new state's teaching credential. To find out if your state has reciprocity agreements, contact your state Department of Education.

Online Teaching Credentials

Many online schools now offer teaching credentials for new teachers that meet the licensing requirements of many states, as well as offering continuing education for current teachers. Check with your state Department of Education to confirm that your school's online program satisfies its teacher certification requirements.

Teacher Certification in Private and Charter Schools

Charter schools are independent public schools, each governed by a public board of trustees that has the authority to hire teachers following its own requirements. In some states, charter schools can hire teachers without a teaching credential. In other states, charter schools are like district schools, and can hire only certified teachers. Contact your state Department of Education if you are interested in teaching at a charter school.

Private schools may—or may not—require teachers to hold teacher certification. Contact individual schools to learn if they require teachers to hold a teaching credential before applying for a job there.

National Teaching Credential

If you are already a state-certified teacher, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) offers additional voluntary national certification that can help you advance your career. The NBPTS currently offers certificate options that cover multiple subject areas and grade levels. Many states recognize national certification and provide special benefits to teachers holding a national teaching credential, such as better career opportunities and higher salaries.

Prior to applying for a national teaching credential, candidates must hold a bachelor's degree and a valid state teaching credential, and they must have completed three years of teaching. To become a national board certified teacher, you must develop a portfolio demonstrating your work in the classroom, pass a written assessment and an evaluation of your teaching knowledge.

Teaching Credentials: For You...For Your Students

Most teachers in the U.S. have a teaching credential. Whether you're just starting your college career or are thinking of going into teaching as a second career, getting a teaching credential indicates that you've got the content knowledge and classroom skills to teach effectively and succeed in our school system. There is no greater vocation than being a teacher and sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with the next generation of students.

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