Teaching Certification

While the simplest way to become a teacher at a public school is to enroll in a traditional four-year teacher education program at a college or university, complete the student teaching requirements and pass the state teaching exam; there are other routes to becoming a teacher in some states. Two possible alternatives to traditional formal teacher education are obtaining an emergency teaching certificate or a provisional teaching certificate based on certain qualifying criteria.

Some states are willing to issue emergency teaching certificates to individuals enrolled in accredited teaching programs in order to fulfill a high need for educators in certain specialized topic areas such as mathematics and science or a high need for educators in a certain geographic location, usually urban areas. Additionally, provisional teaching certificates are sometimes issued to individuals who hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in a field other than education, but have what the state considers to be sufficient education or experience in a certain subject area that is needful. Often, those holding provisional teaching certificates are required to undergo additional formal teacher education and peer mentoring, following which they are usually subject to state examination. It is important to check with each state to determine teacher certification requirements and eligibility.