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Alternative Teaching Certification in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee is facing a dire teacher shortage at all grade levels and in all subject areas. According to the Memphis publication, A Commercial Appeal, it is predicted that 40 percent of teaching positions – over 31,000 – could remain unfilled in 2013, especially in the areas of math, science, technology, English as a second language, and elementary art, music, and physical education. According to teachnow.org, Tennessee hires up to 4,600 new teachers every year, and approximately five percent of educators in Tennessee enter the profession through non-traditional routes.

The Tennessee Department of Education offers a transitional license to teach. While alternative certifications are no longer issued in the state of Tennessee, the transitional license is issued to individuals who are employed in a school while still completing specific licensure requirements. In order to receive your transitional license, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • A degree in the subject area sought.
  • Documentation of at least 24 semester hours in the subject area sought.
  • Verification of passing scores on the required PRAXIS II content exam(s) for the subject area(s) sought.

Once you are issued your transitional license, it is valid for one school year and may be renewed for up to two additional years.

Two programs you may consider are Troops to Teachers or Transition to Teaching. Troops to Teachers is a federally funded program created to assist eligible military personnel in making the career change to education in “high need” schools. Stipends of up to $5,000 are available to reimburse the costs associated with teaching certification, and bonuses of $10,000 are available for those who agree to teach for at least three years in a school with a high population of low-income students. Transition to Teaching is a program for individuals who have a degree in mathematics, science, or foreign language. Under the state-approved program, an applicant may earn certification within a shorter amount of time, since this program takes into account individual experience and academic qualifications in lieu of traditional education coursework.

Learning Outcomes for Alternative Certification Programs in Tennessee

In order to be responsible for the students of tomorrow, it’s important to gain a solid base of skills that can make you a capable teacher. In Tennessee, many alternative teacher certification programs have a significant focus on integrating technology within the classroom. Knowing how to effectively use several types of technology can help you address another learning goal in Tennessee: reaching students of differing abilities and strengths through the use of different instructional techniques. Social justice is a core component of Tennessee teacher certification programs, since social issues like poverty can significantly impact how students learn. Not only may you learn how to teach students that are socially disadvantaged, you can learn how to work on these issues on a systemic level.

Working as an educator requires being able to work in many different settings, and most schools emphasize the importance of being able to work independently and as part of a team. This prepares you to become an effective teacher in the classroom as well as an important part of the teaching team at your school. To be a contributing part of a team, it’s also essential to use your time in school to develop effective communication skills. To earn your Tennessee alternative teaching certification, locate schools in your area by using our free directory.

Top Online Schools for Teachers In Tennessee

In Tennessee, it has become less cumbersome for people who
wish to gain teaching credentials through alternative means. This
is due to the combined factors of institutions embracing online
learning and networks of educators lending assistance.

University Of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee has a school of education that offers
online degrees at both masters and undergraduate levels. Along
with these courses, the university also has a slew of outreach
opportunities for students to gain field experience that fall in
line with the curriculum.

Grand Canyon University Online
Grand Canyon University has an established online education program
that allows budding teaching professionals to earn degrees for their
respective discipline. Another factor for potential students lies in the
school’s facilities to lend help with regards to tuition.

University of Memphis
At the University of Memphis, obtaining an online degree through
their college of education means that you can facilitate the process
through a dedicated platform. The courses offered are mostly masters
level, with a couple of doctorate programs geared towards specific
education leadership duties.

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