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Teacher Certification for Foreign Educated Teachers

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The shortage of educators in prime subjects and in different areas in the country has led to an increased demand for qualified educators from other countries. Qualified foreign educated teachers can find teaching opportunities in the US if they take time to follow the rules and regulations required to join the teaching force. There are many opportunities in both public and private schools as well, as foreign educated teachers who meet certifications in different states stand better chances of gaining employment.

Nature of the Work

Educators have the task of fostering intellectual and social development of children and teens during their early growing years. The education imparted into the children by the educator is key to determining what the child will grow to be in future and the options that will be available to him.



Foreign educated teachers act as coaches or facilitators using individual instruction or presentations in the classroom to help students acquire and apply mathematical, science, language and other subject concepts in schools. They are engaged in planning, evaluating and assigning lessons, preparing, administering and grading tests, listening to oral presentations, and maintaining the discipline of the class. Individuals in teaching jobs are also involved in observing and evaluating the potential and performance of a student and are increasingly advised to utilize new assessment techniques.

Foreign educated teachers who teach in kindergartens and elementary schools play a crucial role in the child's development. They introduce children to language, mathematics, social studies and science. They use artwork, music, games, computer, books, films, and other media to impart basic skills into the children. Most foreign educated teachers instruct a class of children in different subjects. Some schools may allocate a class of two or more teachers who work as a team and may instruct the children in at least one subject. Other schools assign a single special subject, usually reading, music, art, physical education or science to a teacher. Depending on the qualification and teaching experience, some teachers may be given responsibilities of handling multilevel classes.

Applying For Teaching Jobs

It is essential that all foreign educated teachers applying for teaching jobs in the US apply for visas from their respective US embassies in their countries in order to qualify for teaching jobs in the US. Apart from being required to have a visa, foreign educated teachers who are applying for teaching jobs in US public schools, from kindergarten up to the 12th grade, must be given certification by the relevant authorities in the areas where they wish to apply for teaching jobs. Every state has different regulations and requirements although certain conditions are similar in many states.

Foreign educated teachers are required to have successfully completed an equivalent certification of a US bachelor's degree in his home country. He must also have participated in a program that prepares teachers for teaching responsibilities which meets the standards set by the authorities where he is applying for teaching jobs. Most states also require the foreign educated teacher to have completed some credit hours at the university level in the areas they are applying for teaching jobs.

Other Requirements

Many states need foreign educated teachers to hand in a report which contains a summary and evaluates their credentials when they are applying for teaching positions in the US. The report gives a summary of the credentials that the foreign educated teacher has acquired and is usually acceptable if it is prepared by a credential evaluator who is licensed by relevant state authorities.

Other states may require prospective foreign educated teachers to take a number of tests in order to ascertain their writing and reading skills. If English is a foreign language to the teaching jobs applicants, an exam can be administered to ascertain their proficiency in the language. Other states administer their own certification tests and may require teachers educated in foreign countries to pass these tests before they are certified to start teaching in schools in that state.

Teachers who are foreign educated and meet the minimum requirements for certification in the state need to pay fees for application and processing for the certification, which averages $100.

Teachers who fail to meet the minimum requirements for certification by a state may have to undertake further coursework in order to be certified.

Foreign educated teachers who do not meet the minimum state certification requirements may pursue other options. Due to a huge demand of educators, other states have provisions for emergency certifications which allow foreign educated teaching applicants to start teaching in state schools without having the normal state certification requirements. Although these emergency certifications allow the teacher to start teaching, they are not a guarantee of full time teaching and educators have to work hard to attain the required certification.

Another option available to foreign educated teachers would be to apply for teaching posts in private schools. Although it is a viable option, it is good to bear in mind that educators in private schools in the US usually earn less pay than those in public schools. An advantage of being a private teacher however is the ability to handle the small size of the classes that they usually teach.

Job Outlook

The teaching jobs available to foreign educated nationals are many and are expected to remain abundant in the coming years. The foreign educated teachers will continue to have job opportunities in some parts of the country, and those who meet the states requirement for certification have better chances of advancing their careers. Teachers who are specialized in science, math and bilingual studies will be in demand in urban areas and in less desired urban or rural schools.

Some of the foreign educated professionals take part time classes to advance their certifications, and after qualifying they may progress and apply for teaching jobs in high schools. Others with doctorate degrees have found employment in many state universities.

Average earnings for foreign educated teachers in kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary schools range from $44,000 to $48,000 per year. Teachers may get additional income through offering private coaching classes or taking part time work while on vacation.
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 basic skills  teachers  shortages  techniques  elementary schools  assessments  lessons  intellectual  certifications  state university


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