Virginia Teacher Certification
The Virginia State Department of Education has named ten teaching areas facing critical teacher shortages, including English, ESL, foreign languages, math, science, special education, and more. While teacher shortages can be hard for scrambling districts, they create added job security for teachers. Getting certified as a teacher in Virginia can offer you a job with high security and satisfaction.
Virginia Teacher Certification Incentives
To gain and retain teachers, Virginia tries creative approaches, including paying extra retirement benefits, offering signing bonuses, and reimbursing graduate school tuition. For career-switchers, some Virginia districts provide "life experience" credits, which places them higher on the salary scale.
Teachers in Virginia also earned wages slightly above the national mean. Secondary school teachers earned $59,980 in 2009 while elementary school teachers earned $55,320, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How to Get Virginia Teacher Certification
Career-shifters can earn Virginia teacher certification through the "Career Shifter Program." To qualify for the program, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and five years professional work experience. The intensive program involves 180 hours of combined instruction and field experience. You'll also need to pass Virginia teaching examinations. In the end, you'll receive a Provisional License, which is valid for three years.
For the more traditional route, gaining Virginia teacher certification involves completing an approved teacher education program (at the undergraduate or graduate level), student-teaching, and passing exams. This leads to either the Collegiate Professional License (for those with undergraduate degrees) or the Postgraduate Professional License (for those with graduate degrees). Both are valid for five years and are renewable.
If you're a certified teacher from another state, getting certified as a teacher in Virginia is straightforward. You'll simply need to fill out an application from Virginia Department of Education and complete the Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention online tutorial.
How to Renew Your Virginia Teacher Certification
To renew your Virginia teacher certification, you'll need to complete 180 hours of professional development hours before renewal time is up. In addition, teachers need to complete Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training and Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel the first time they renew their licenses.