Are You Open to Alternative Certification Teachers?

By Samuel J. Spitalli

Journalists, hospital administrators, CPAs, social workers, probation officers, yoga instructors, theater hands, flight attendants, human relations associates, veterans of the armed forces, professional entertainers, adult educators for nonprofit social service agencies, business managers, etc.

All have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some have a master’s degree. A few even have doctorates. They range in age from the mid-20s to the mid-50s and older. They have made difficult life and career-changing decisions and now aspire to make a difference in the lives of children.

Despite low pay and long, often thankless hours in the classroom and at home preparing on evenings, weekends, and vacations, they have decided to become teachers. And many are doing so with a passion that is both refreshing and exciting for the profession.

They are “new” because they entered the teaching profession through nontraditional routes created largely by a teacher shortage that is expected to grow, and students are the benefactors.

The long-established route to become a teacher, enrolling in a university’s school of education and completing education requirements including student teaching, remains the primary path for how most enter the profession. This model, along with variations, enables students to establish teaching credentials, pass licensure exams, and become certified.

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