School districts utilizing emergency teaching certifications to help staffing shortages

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 9:47 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - School districts across the state are working to finish filling empty teaching positions before the start of the school year next week.

Emergency and provisional teaching is where someone with a four-year degree becomes a teacher, even if they don’t have an education degree. They just become certified while teaching.

“Really any applicant just has to have a four year degree,” Walker County Superintendent Dr. Dennis Willingham said. “A lot of them have been in a career for several years and they decide they want to try teaching, so they come in with a new excitement. They bring a lot to the table as well. We have teachers in the building now who have degrees in communication, in nursing, and in finance.”

The Walker County School districts has a mentorship program where all new teachers are paired with a senior teacher as a mentor to help them through the process. Not all new teachers are also being certified, but all have a mentor.

“There are certain hours they have to spend with this new teacher a week and throughout the school year,” Willingham said.

Teachers getting certifications get the same size class and pay as already certified first year teachers and have to complete their certifications within a required time frame.

“They may have to take teacher preparation classes or some of them may be required to get a Masters Degree in that field to be certified,” he said. “We have seen a great number of retention these people that we hire.”

Willingham said they are almost completely staffed for the year and have multiple teachers in this program where they are still getting certified.

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