The main requirement for obtaining a position as a teacher in Connecticut is to hold a teaching certificate issued by the state. In order to meet the requirements for this certificate you must graduate from a an approved teacher-training program, Admission to such a program means that you hold at least an undergraduate degree and pass the Praxis 1 exam of pre-professional teachers. The training you receive in the teacher preparation program will determine the endorsement you receive on your teaching certificate. You can also qualify for a teaching certificate in Connecticut if you have evidence of at least 20 months of teaching in the same school or school district.
An endorsement on a teaching certificate in Connecticut refers to the individual subject area or grade level you can teach. You do need to have course work in this specific area, which you usually obtain through a major concentration in your undergraduate degree. The initial teaching certificate is valid for three years, during which you must meet the requirements to obtain the next level of certification – the Provisional Educator Certificate. This certificate is valid for an eight-year period and is non-renewable. The requirements for achieving this certificate level are that you have at least one year of experience as a full time teacher and successfully complete the BEST program, which refers to the Beginning Educator Support and Training program.
After this second certificate you will have eleven years of experience as a teacher in Connecticut, but you must undertake further studies to advance to the final level of teaching certification. The Professional Educator certificate is contingent upon successful teaching in the classroom and passing required endorsement testing to qualify you to teach in additional subject areas. This certificate is up for renewal every five years, during which all teachers are expected to complete nine continuing education units. This amounts to about two or three university credits.
Success on the Praxis 11 exams will meet the requirements for the testing portion of the Connecticut teacher certification process. Endorsements in various subject areas are added to your certificate as you complete them once you submit the appropriate applications for the changes to be made. For each certificate level, a teacher has to pay the appropriate fee, which ranges from $100 for the initial certificate to $300 for the Professional Educator certificate. Each endorsement you add to the certificate costs $50.
The website for the Connecticut State Board of Education has an interactive questionnaire to help you get the exact information you need for becoming a certified teacher in the state. By answering Yes or No to each question you will find out if your credentials are lacking in any area so you can take the necessary steps to complete the course work or testing you need. For teachers with teaching certificates and experience in another state, you will have to submit the documentation needed to verify that you meet the requirements. This documentation includes the general application for certification in which you give a detailed list of your courses and training and a statement that you have teaching experience in another state, complete with references and recommendations.