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Online US teaching certification courses
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tcatsninfan



Joined: 29 Aug 2010
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:11 am    Post subject: Online US teaching certification courses Reply with quote

Hi everyone! Currently I'm working as an EFL teacher in an elementary school overseas, but I'd like to get certified as a teacher in the US so that I can make the leap to international schools in the future.

However, the logistics of moving back to the US after my contract is finished in order to begin the certification process would be problematic--I don't have a car anymore, I'd have to scrounge around and find some kind of job in the meantime, etc.

That's when I remembered that a friend had told me about TeacherReady. From what I understand, this course would prepare me to take the state exams in FL, which I would have to travel back to FL to do once I'm done.

Here are my questions:

1. I'm not missing anything, am I? I could use TeacherReady--or a similar online certification program--to get certified to teach in the US, which is one of the things international schools look for, correct?

2. Are there any other courses similar to TeacherReady that maybe...cost less? TR runs $5000 USD and takes 9 months to complete.

3. How likely is it that an international school would hire me once I'm certified? I wouldn't have worked as an elementary/middle/high school teacher at that point, but my bachelor's degree is in English for what it's worth. I realize the best international schools wouldn't hire me, but would I be able to find a job somewhere to start getting experience?

So, to summarize I suppose, I'm trying to make the jump to international schools without moving back to the US and with as little pain/money as possible.

Thanks in advance for any information or advice!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll likely get the best responses from a site like International Schools Review.
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diced260



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey tcats,

I'm doing the TR program right now. There are a TON of people who are teaching ESL in Korea and doing the program from there. As far as I know TR is the cheapest, most efficient alternative cert program available (you can take the test in different centers all over the US). You're right in that once you have the FL cert you are good to go. Probably won't get your dream destination straight away (most schools prefer at least 2 years of post-cert experience), but should be able to find some other, previously out of reach opportunities.

I've learned a lot from the program so far and I look forward to giving teaching another try with this new information.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 731

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

So, to summarize I suppose, I'm trying to make the jump to international schools without moving back to the US and with as little pain/money as possible.


The better international schools will ask for two years post-cert experience in your home country. There is already a fair amount of discussion on previous threads about this requirement, and varied opinions about finding employment without it. There are also a number of threads here about the TeacherReady program, which might be helpful to read through--a search brings up 16 threads, some applicable to your situation.

If you sift through them, you may find some useful information/advice.

.
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Welcheronymus



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 49
Location: The Middle Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Online US teaching certification courses Reply with quote

tcatsninfan wrote:

That's when I remembered that a friend had told me about TeacherReady. From what I understand, this course would prepare me to take the state exams in FL, which I would have to travel back to FL to do once I'm done.


I finished the TR program this year. You don't have to take the certification tests in Florida. I took mine in South Carolina. I would recommend taking one test each day, but that is just me. I used Praxis guides to study for the tests and those worked well. The fingerprinting might be an issue as it seems like going to Florida makes that a lot easier. I did mine out of state (got a card mailed to me from FL DoE and took it to a local police station to get the prints, and then mailed it back to the FL DoE) but I got the impression that had I done it in Florida it might have gone through quicker. But info on that can be found here:
http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/step4.asp

I think you can get your fingerprinting done before you've finished the program and taken your tests. But you would want to call the Florida Department of Education folks and confirm that.

tcatsninfan wrote:

How likely is it that an international school would hire me once I'm certified? I wouldn't have worked as an elementary/middle/high school teacher at that point, but my bachelor's degree is in English for what it's worth. I realize the best international schools wouldn't hire me, but would I be able to find a job somewhere to start getting experience?


As has been mentioned, forum 1 at International Schools Review is a good source of info about working at international schools. That said, I'm in China at the moment and looking for international school jobs. I have a BA in English and got certified in English for grades 6-12. One of the recruiters I've talked to said that even with 1 year of experience teaching ESL I stand a good chance of finding a job. Salary range would be somewhere in the 15-20K RMB/month range. They probably aren't elite schools but probably a step or 2 up from where I am now.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tcatsninfan wrote:
The logistics of moving back to the US after my contract is finished in order to begin the certification process would be problematic--I don't have a car anymore, I'd have to scrounge around and find some kind of job in the meantime, etc.

So, to summarize I suppose, I'm trying to make the jump to international schools without moving back to the US and with as little pain/money as possible.

Frankly, if moving back to the US and toughing it out temporarily ensures you complete the requirements toward getting the credential you need, then that may be a sacrifice you'll have to make. Of course, if you're young and up for it, a much heavier toughing-it-out option is the TNTP Teaching Fellows Program (http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/index.cgi?read=33424).
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tcatsninfan



Joined: 29 Aug 2010
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super helpful replies! Thanks so much, everyone. I hadn't heard of International Schools Review, but I'll check it out ^^
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Guerciotti



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 842
Location: In a sleazy bar killing all the bad guys.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope I can ask Dice and Welcher questions about Teacher Ready?

Their website includes pages for qualification in subject areas like math, for example, which requires 30 credit hours of math courses, but I wonder if that is necessary for alternate qualification?

Do you only sit exams to qualify? And perhaps that is because you previously completed the necessary courses?

As far as other programs, a preliminary certificate from Massachusetts (MTEL) seems the most straightforward. You sit two exams for the preliminary certification, but that is only preliminary. One must then find a teaching position in Massachusetts. Teacher Ready seems the most viable alternative for overseas teachers.

Cheers all
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine is going through Teach Now. Costs a bit more, but you don't have to go back to the USA to take tests.
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diced260



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guerciotti,

The way I understand things, one can get an initial certification ONLY in an area in which there is sufficient academic credit on record (or perhaps explicitly holding a relevant degree). But, once you have that in hand, you are free to try and test out of additional certification areas.

Having more than one cert isn't a bad thing, imo. I'm getting certified in something other than English, and I'm probably going to be testing out of another area right about the same time as I take the final Prof. Exam. A lot of small schools need people capable of teaching multiple subjects.

If Math is your area, congrats. It's one of the most in-demand subjects from what I've gathered.
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Welcheronymus



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 49
Location: The Middle Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guerciotti wrote:
I hope I can ask Dice and Welcher questions about Teacher Ready?

Their website includes pages for qualification in subject areas like math, for example, which requires 30 credit hours of math courses, but I wonder if that is necessary for alternate qualification?


Guerciotti,

No problem, I'll share what I know from my experience and research (YMMV). The FAQ section at TeacherReady's website is pretty helpful (https://www.teacherready.org/about-teacherready/faqs/); but any question not answered there you could email them with it. I always found the folks at TeacherReady were extremely helpful and responsive.

I took the program to get certified for grades 6-12 in English (my BA is in English). The 30 credit hours of courses in whichever content area is a state of Florida requirement (that is the state you'll get certified in when you complete the TR program and the other requirements Florida has like fingerprinting and what not).

I was under the impression that to get certified in a content area one needs 30 hours of classes and take the Florida certification exam in that content area. But I could be wrong on the credit hour requirement for additional content areas once you are already certified in one content area (English in my case). I have thought about adding social studies since I have almost 30 credit hours in that area (and like Diced260 said, it could be helpful to be certified in more than one content area), so I could know more about this in the future. But calling the FL DoE is an option, probably the best source for info on those requirements.

While it costs $75 (plus cost of getting transcripts to them) for each subject area you are interested in getting certified in, you can get a letter of eligibility from the state of Florida telling you what it would take to become certified in that subject.
http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/apply.asp

If you decide to go with TR, you'll need that letter before you begin TR, IIRC.

Guerciotti wrote:
Do you only sit exams to qualify? And perhaps that is because you previously completed the necessary courses?


There is applying and getting your letter of eligibility, possibly taking classes (to meet the 30 credit hour requirements, etc), getting fingerprints, and taking the certification tests. You don't have to take Florida's 3 certification exams before you start the TR program, but it wouldn't hurt if you can. I think the test scores and your eligibility are good for 3 years so make sure you can get everything done in that amount of of time.

Guerciotti wrote:
As far as other programs, a preliminary certificate from Massachusetts (MTEL) seems the most straightforward. You sit two exams for the preliminary certification, but that is only preliminary. One must then find a teaching position in Massachusetts. Teacher Ready seems the most viable alternative for overseas teachers.

Cheers all


I started the program in the US but finished it in China, teaching English (speaking) at a high school. You end up doing a week of student teaching that is observed. The vice principal at my school is a certified teacher in China with years of experience so he did my observations. Other assignments for the program can be done in your classroom.

The nice thing about TR is that once you finish the program and meet the rest of Florida's requirements, the TR staff handle applying for your certificate and all that. And, once you've got that, you have a professional teaching cert from Florida that is good for 5 years.

I noticed you used "sit exams" a couple of times. To my American ears, that sounds British (or Australian). But I may be wrong. At any rate, I don't want to assume anything, but I would point out that for non-US citizens, there may be issues getting certified through TeacherReady and the state of Florida. So that could be something to investigate before starting the program for anyone who is not a US citizen.
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Guerciotti



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 842
Location: In a sleazy bar killing all the bad guys.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diced and Welcher, thanks!
Diced - yes more than one cert is better and I believe you may add additional certs after initial certification.
I must retake the math classes as my degrees are too old. Dam. But worth it. To be honest I think the math cert is the easiest. The requirements for other areas make my head spin. I imagine you could add a new cert every year until you reach critical mass. Whatever that is.

Welcher - thanks for all the good info. You summarized it well. I will email the FDOE for the rest. I can finish the courses and study for the Florida exams (use Praxis materials I suppose) and then apply. Hit the ground running as they say.

My current school observed my classes for almost two months. One week sounds good!

Oh yea, 'sitting' the exam. Now I teach A Levels in the Cambridge system so my language has changed a bit, but I am American.

Thanks again and cheers, y'all.

Cool
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diced260



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure your degrees are too old? I'm not aware of any kind of time restrictions in that regard.

One could add new certs even quicker if they had diverse interests and enough knowledge. But, I think I read on another site that schools prefer teachers be more specialized, and more talented, than possessing certs in everything under the sun.

Math, if that's your thing, is about as good as it gets. I'll be getting a low demand cert and the competition is going to be high. The only thing I have that might make me stand out is a desire to travel to places most people would rather avoid.

There are study guides for the FL exams. Use those, not the Praxis.
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Guerciotti



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 842
Location: In a sleazy bar killing all the bad guys.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diced260 wrote:
Are you sure your degrees are too old? I'm not aware of any kind of time restrictions in that regard.

One could add new certs even quicker if they had diverse interests and enough knowledge. But, I think I read on another site that schools prefer teachers be more specialized, and more talented, than possessing certs in everything under the sun.

Math, if that's your thing, is about as good as it gets. I'll be getting a low demand cert and the competition is going to be high. The only thing I have that might make me stand out is a desire to travel to places most people would rather avoid.

There are study guides for the FL exams. Use those, not the Praxis.


Actually I am not sure. I know they are too old for grad school, as I earned my degrees over 10 years ago. I'll ask, but I need to take some classes anyhow because I did not finish the calculus series way back when.

I'll look for the Florida books online. Seriously, the math sounds easier than, for example, a mix of history, geography, economics and this and that for social science, for example. I have a BS in accounting and a JD, so I don't have 30 units of anything they want, as far as I can tell. I am closest to the math cert, FWIW.

Cheers, Diced, you will find a good job regardless. It's a big world.

Cool
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Welcheronymus



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 49
Location: The Middle Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guerciotti wrote:
Actually I am not sure. I know they are too old for grad school, as I earned my degrees over 10 years ago.


FWIW, I earned my BA in English 20 years ago and Florida accepted that to fulfill their requirements for English, grades 6-12. I would assume (Ha! Ha! We know what happens when people do that, right?) that your degree and credits earned would count towards teacher certification with Florida.
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