How do I become a teacher?
We often get this question from those inside/outside of education looking to enter or reenter the field. Below is a general overview of how to become a teacher if you already have at least a bachelor’s degree. You’ll notice that part of this is to complete a certification program. Here is a list of approved programs from the PA Dept of Education: https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/BecomeAnEducator/Pages/Approved-Certification-Programs.aspx
HOW TO GET A TEACHING CERTIFICATION
1. Earn your bachelor's degree
The first step towards becoming a K-12 teacher is to earn a bachelor’s degree. If your bachelor’s degree is in a non-teaching program, you will need to follow the next steps on this list.
2. Decide what subject and/or grade level you want to teach
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can become a teacher through a teacher certification program. The first step is to determine what subject you would like to teach. Some students choose a subject that reflects their bachelor’s degree experience, while others may choose a new subject that they are passionate about.
3. Complete a certification program
Once you have decided on a subject, you should enroll in a teacher certification program and focus on your chosen subject. You will complete the required coursework for certification and gain the knowledge needed to complete the required Praxis exams.
4. Gain student teaching experience
While you complete your required coursework, you will also gain the required hours of student teaching experience. Most teacher certification programs require 12 weeks of student teaching experience.
5. Pass your certification exams
Once you have completed your required courses and student teaching experience, you will schedule and sit for your Praxis exams. Passing the required exams is a critical final step to become a certified teacher. Passing the exams will allow you to begin teaching in classrooms on your own. Some school districts may allow emergency certifications to allow teachers who have not completed their exams to teach in their schools for a certain period of time until they can pass the required exams.
6. Become licensed
Once you have passed the required exams, you will be issued an Instructional I teaching certificate in the state where you took the exams. As a certified teacher, you will be eligible for teaching positions in the subject in which you are certified. You can add additional certifications or complete requirements for an Instructional II teaching certificate as you advance in your career.
Alternatively, you can work as a substitute teacher, with a bachelor’s degree and a guest certificate that gets renewed every year.
Student Teachers can be hired as Substitutes. Students currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program who have completed 60 credits are potential candidates who can serve as day-to-day or substitutes on locally issued permits. At Neshaminy, we work through our staffing partner, ESS to hire substitutes. Here is a link with information on the sub process: https://jobs.willsubplus.com/jobs?districtIds=242
Conditional Employment. A school board may employ an individual as a temporary professional employee who, within six months of the date of expected graduation from an approved educator preparation program, presents a letter verifying that they are enrolled in an approved teacher preparation program in that institution and will complete all their bachelor’s degree requirements on the specified date. (b) The validity of this agreement shall be contingent upon all of the following conditions being met prior to the actual commencement of the individual's employment as a temporary professional employee: (1) The conferring of a bachelor's degree. (2) The individual having obtained a teaching certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in assignment or certification specified in the agreement.
Temporarily Hire Retired Educators. Act 91 of 2021 was recently enacted to provide additional flexibility in hiring substitute teachers through the 2022-2023 school year. For PSERS, this means that employers may hire a PSERS retiree as a day-to-day substitute under the emergency provisions of the Public School Employees' Retirement Code without having to first offer such employment to a non-PSERS retiree. Visit the PSERS website for more information.
Engage paraprofessionals as classroom monitors. Act 91 enables PDE to issue classroom monitor permits to individuals for service in an LEA to deliver student assignments preplanned by a professional employee or temporary professional. See Classroom Monitor Permit Application Instructions.
Also, when schools are unable to find a teacher, we can do an emergency certification. This also needs to be renewed every year.
Do you have an out of state teaching certification? Here is information on how to become a teacher in Pennsylvania: https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/OutOfState/Pages/default.aspx
If you have specific questions, please contact our Human Resources department at 215-809-6601 / email@example.com