Education Opportunities in Pennsylvania
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The education opportunities in Pennsylvania for teachers wishing to work in that state are published in newspapers, on eth school board websites and through various online recruitment sites. No one site will list all of the positions available for the entire state, so it may take a bit of searching on your part to find positions for a particular region of the state. Hiring teachers in Pennsylvania is the responsibility of each school administrator. Therefore the application, resume and all communications have to be routed to this person. The job posting will provide you withy the details of where to send your application.
You have to be deemed a ''highly qualified teacher'' in order to take advantage of the education opportunities in Pennsylvania. This is the same as for the other states in the country. These regulations have been put in place as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act. In order to be deemed a highly qualified teacher in Pennsylvania, a teacher must have a degree in Education from an accredited university. The university can be in any part of the country, but the teaching certification requirements are unique to each state. The certificate will determine what grades or subjects you will be able to teach.
If you prefer working with young children, the education opportunities in Pennsylvania require that you have a certificate in Early Childhood Education. Elementary teachers must pass the certification exams in Reading, Writing and Mathematics along with grade specific or content specific exams. Pennsylvania uses the Praxis exam route. Junior High and High School teachers must pass the exams for the content areas in addition to having a degree.
Even when you obtain a teaching position by being hired for one of the education opportunities in Pennsylvania, your studying is not complete. According to Act 48, which took effect July 1, 2000, all teachers in Pennsylvania must maintain their teaching certificates by taking courses leading to either six collegiate courses or six approved in-service credits every five years. Each collegiate course is equivalent to thirty continuing education hours. Educators cannot just take any courses to satisfy this requirement of their teacher certification. All courses must relate to the teacher’s teaching assignment or area of certification. There is an exception to this if the teacher is enrolled in a program leading to certification as an administrator or if the school board approves a specific course. Any teacher who does not comply with these regulations will have the certificate declared invalid and be ineligible for employment as a teacher in Pennsylvania.
Education opportunities in Pennsylvania start with an interim teaching certificate. During the first years of service, a teacher has to be evaluated by the school administration and this evaluation determines whether the teacher’s contract with the school will be renewed. The initial teaching certificate is for a five-year period after which the teacher will receive a permanent teaching certificate upon passing the appropriate Praxis exams for the Level 11. However, teachers cannot carry courses over from one five-year period to another if they are enrolled in a program.