Different Types of Teacher Certifications

taking notesEvery State has a different set of qualifications for teacher certifications, but there are some core teacher certifications that exist across the board for all teachers. They are Initial certificate, Standard certificate, Masters teaching certificate, Substitute certificate, a certificate endorsement, Early childhood certificate endorsement, Elementary school certificate, Middle level school certificate endorsement, and The Alternative Route to Teacher Education (ARC).

If you are studying for a Teacher Certification Exam, visit our Teacher Certification HELP section.

The initial teacher certificate is issued by your state upon completion of your college degree and state board exams. To obtain a Standard teachers certificate, you must have been a teacher for four years and complete one of the professional development options, such as getting an advanced degree, complete an approved mentoring and induction program, complete a 12-hour, education related professional development certification or a number of other courses or projects from the list.

And to get your Masters teaching certificate, you must attend and complete your Master’s degree in teaching at an accredited college or university and pass the exam at the end of the course.

A substitute teacher certificate varies from state to state in the amount of college hours one must have completed. But the certificate states you are eligible to substitute for a teacher in their absence and teach a particular subject you are familiar with. It does not have to be the one that the original teacher taught, however, on your application, there is a space for subjects you are fluent in and the principals always look to match substitutes with the classes making it easier on you.

A teacher certificate endorsement means this teacher has passed the appropriate state tests, and can now teach subjects authorized to a specific grade level in that state.

If you are studying for a Teaching Certification, there are numerous Study Guides available, depending on which state you are studying for. Here are a few:

Arizona (AEPA)  California (CBEST) Colorado (PLACE) Illinois (ICTS) Massachusetts (MTEL) New Mexico New York State (NYSTCE) Oklahoma (CEOE)   Washington (WEST)

Early childhood teacher certificate endorsement means specialization for a teacher to teach children in any state preceding and including third grade. This may include preschool and kindergarten students.

Elementary school teacher certificate is an authorization to teach all subjects to kindergarten through fifth grade, and grade 6 through eighth grade in a controlled, or self- contained classroom. This may or may not include one or more subject areas endorsed or authorized to be taught to grade 6 through 8. (a self-contained class room is one in which one teacher instructs the students for the majority of the instructional day)

Middle level school teacher certificate endorsement means a specialization to teach subjects endorsed on the teacher’s certificate to grades 5 to grade 9.

Teacher certification under the Alternative Route to Teacher Education or ARC is an authorized teacher preparation program, created in 1988, to attract mid-career adults in to the teaching profession. These would be individuals who have worked as substitute teachers or in the field of education in some capacity, are encouraged to apply. The only requirements are student teaching experience and a bachelor’s degree.

There are two sessions for the teacher certification for ARC available. One is a full-time summer session from June to August and the other is an intense three weekends a month session from October to mid-May.

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