Those wishing to begin a career in teaching, either in the US Public School System or abroad, need to qualify for a teaching certificate. Each US state will grant a teaching certificate to those who meet its specific requirements for certification; these certificates are classified according to the grades which the individual will be teaching.
Teaching certificates are available early childhood, elementary, and middle grades teaching; and in secondary education. Teachers can also qualify to teach specific subjects, such as music or art, to all grades from kindergarten to high school. Certifications in special educations, technical education, and substitute teaching are also required.
A teaching certificate, in other words, is a college or university’s acknowledgment that a student has successfully completed its professional-level education courses in a specific subject.
National Teaching Certificates
For those US individuals who would like to have the freedom to teach students from kindergarten through twelfth grade in any state, the National Board for Teaching Professional Teaching Standards can supply a voluntary national teaching certificate.
If teachers can provide an acceptable portfolio of his or her classroom experience, and also pass an exam assessing his or her teaching expertise in any of seven areas depending on the age of the students and or a specific subject, they will be qualified to teach that subject, or those students, anywhere in the country.
A national teaching certificate, for example, can be granted for general elementary school teaching, or it could be granted for teaching math to middle school students. Many states place a premium hiring teachers with a national teaching certificate, in the form of higher salaries than they pay those teachers without them.
Every US state has specific requirements for teaching certificate qualification, but the majority of them demand both a that a teacher has both obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in education from a state-accredited college or university and passed a state licensing test.
Various states also have differently teaching certificates based on the age of the students and the subjects to be taught. Each state’s Department of Education website will offer details on its requirements.