Question on Subject Certification

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Question on Subject Certification

Postby esbynum » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:42 pm

I have seen a few jobs like this one:
Teacher - Language Arts/Social Studies

Do I need to be certified in both subjects to apply? I am looking at adding another subject of certification and I am just trying to determine my options.

Thanks
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby Johncn » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:30 am

Hello,

It depends on the district. Ideally, yes, certified in both. Practically speaking? Depends on the district. Probably certified in ONE of those two, but a skill set or comfort level or "highly qualified" status (those are all different things!) to teach the other subject area. It does mean that the person hired will be teaching both subjects. Really, though, it is up to the district's policy and practice.

Although I can't say what is needed now for them, the district I worked for most recently posted those dual subject area jobs knowing that the one they listed first in a "Language Arts / Social Studies" listing was the area they preferred certification to be in. We looked for hobbies, interests, club memberships, experience in volunteer work or other things that would lead us to believe that the person hired could also teach the "other" subject well. If we found someone with actual dual certification, of course, they would move to the front of the proverbial line. Other districts may require dual certification and/or HQ status because they don't have someone at that school or at the right grade level to act as the "teacher of record" for a subject, for instance, when they file their accountability report on staffing. The reports filed about who teaches the core subjects at a rural school, and who actually teaches the students at that school in those subjects can vary widely.

Why is this so? Technically, some subjects require HQ status and certification, while others are a little more loose about who is teaching what. In small, rural K-12 schools it was simply impossible to find, let alone hire, staff who were highly qualified and/or certified in ALL the subjects and grade levels the school offers. Typically, the smaller the school, the harder it is to find the required staff...even if you fudge the "teacher of record" info like it's a fantasy football team...lol. As a Secondary Generalist, for instance, I taught ELA (Language Arts) for many years at the high school level in the Bush, as well as Science. I was certified in neither, but did a pretty credible job, at least in hindsight. The role I played back then may not be possible now in an era of "highly qualified" and accountability.

I know this is more of a non-answer than an answer, but checking with the district with the opening is the only way to know what they need or will accept in the case of dual certified listings. ;-)

Sondra Meredith is ATP's Live Chat guest from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM (Alaska Time) on the ATP website. I'm sure she would know what has changed in the last year or so, and would have concrete answers about what districts are REQUIRED to do currently for HQ status and certification in rural schools:

ATP Live Chat - Thursday, March 12, 2015: Certification Q & A
http://alaskateacher.org/live_chat.php

John
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby esbynum » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:37 pm

Thanks John. Would it be possible for some on to pose this question in the live chat tonight to get her answer? I will be atb work and will not be able to a teen but I watch all of them afterwards.
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby Johncn » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:40 pm

Sure. I will post the question for you.

John
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby esbynum » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:44 pm

Thank you for all your help.
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby lauren burch » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:29 pm

We are a small district with small schools. Technically, you can teach if you ass the praxis 2 in that subject. Most can pass an elementary praxis and many can pass the middle school general one. Then there are the secondary subjects. Social Studies is probably the easiest one for most. There are multiple Science subject tests, but you better have your game on to pass English, Math, Chemistry and Biology for instance.

In general, my advice is to pass as many as possible if want job in rural Alaska, as I would view having multiple to indicate some skills and attributes. Now does it mean you can teach an elementary classroom as well as a certified teacher....Not likely, but it means that I have options with you that I would not have with someone else and when it comes to being hired or tenured in small sites it increases your odds a hundred percent. Lauren Southeast Island School District
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby Marilyn Soto » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:36 am

Hello
My name is Marilyn. I am actually teaching in Puerto Rico. I teach English as a Second Language , but I also master Spanish. What do I need to work in Alaska.
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Re: Question on Subject Certification

Postby Betty Walters » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:20 am

Marilyn,

You will find the information for Alaska Certification at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development website. That will be a good start for you. http://www.eed.state.ak.us/teachercertification/

Betty Walters
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