Maintaining Your Certification
Once you earn your certification, you’re far from finished with your teacher certification. It’s very important for teachers to continually be educated on advancements in their field and in the field of education as a whole.
Continuing education and certificate maintenance requirements vary widely by state. Some states require teachers to earn their master’s degree within a certain number of years of earning their certificate. Other states require educators to complete a predetermined number of continuing education credits according to a set schedule.
For example in Pennsylvania, teachers are first issued a Level I certification. Teachers need to earn their Level II certification within six years of service, and they can do so by earning at least 24 continuing education credits, teaching for at least three years, and completing a new teacher induction program. Then, once teachers earn their Level II certification, they must complete at least 180 hours of professional development every five years in order to maintain their certificate.
While teachers in California don’t need to continue their education to hold their certificate, teachers in Connecticut must earn their master’s degree in order to maintain their certification.
In many states, teachers must also keep their clearances valid throughout their entire teaching career.
Because requirements vary so widely, it’s imperative you understand what the requirements are for your state. Even if a state does not require teachers to earn their master’s, many teachers go on to receive this degree regardless as it improves their craft and often results in a pay raise.