ESL Certification

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Furrymom, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Furrymom

    Furrymom Rookie

    Apr 17, 2017
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    Mar 10, 2019

    So my school wants some teachers to go out and get their ESL license and I am one of the teachers who has been asked to do so. I already have two certifications/licenses in my state (general ed and special ed). The cost of going back to school and getting this additional certification would be out of my pocket and could total about $7,000. As a side note, I do believe that the ESL courses will count towards the hours that I need to maintain my current state licenses. Though, I need to double check on this.

    I enjoy working with ESL students and I am thinking that in the next few years I would like to try to leave my current school district to find a teaching job closer to my house. I estimate that I have about another 20 years of teaching still left ahead of me.

    Would having special ed, general ed, and ESL certifications give me an upper hand or make me more desirable to schools when it comes to applying for another teaching position? Or do you think that simply having special ed and general ed certifications is good enough?

    I value all of your opinions on here, so any advice would be great! Thanks so much!!
  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Jun 27, 2014
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    Mar 10, 2019

    Absolutely! SPED and ESL are two of the highest-need areas, so having both would bode well for you in terms of employment.

    Also, why isn’t your district paying for you to be certified? If they want you to get an additional certification — on top of your other two — then they should pick up the tab. That’s what my school does and they pay for our professional development (seminars, summer courses, certification tests, and licensure) if the cost exceeds $100.
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Jul 7, 2005
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    Mar 10, 2019

    I was required to get an ESL certificate when I moved to my current district. It only involved taking a test and paying for the license.

    I’m in Texas though and we have a high population of ELs. In my small district, there are four languages represented.
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Feb 5, 2011
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    Mar 10, 2019

    If your district wants you to get the certification, they should pay for it. No way would I just be told to go spend $7,000! It's possible having the extra certification would make you more marketable, but definitely not as marketable as having a sped cert, assuming you're actually willing to teach sped. Around here EL certs are a dime a dozen because most gen ed teachers choose that for their MA programs.

    I would also consider the job market in your area. Unless it's super tough, do you really need three certs? Do districts pay for extra graduate credits on the salary scale? My district pays for MA+20, MA+40, and MA+60. If that's the case where you are, having more hours may actually hinder your job search because it will make you even more expensive to hire. I would only get the extra cert if you see yourself truly wanting to become an EL teacher in the near future.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Mar 10, 2019

    In NJ, ESL is highly desirable. At the least it takes five grad classes to earn your ESL certification, which would be about right for an experienced teacher. Here, tuition reimbursement made this an easy thing to do. If you haven't looked around to find out if there are graduate programs that may have cohorts available, which usually have the advantage of being cheaper, and also meeting closer to where you live or teach. I teach SPED, but have ESL, and find that many of my SPED students (in my school) are actually ELL's. Once they are classified, it seems like no one mentions their ESL needs. That said, I find that my ESL training is highly beneficial, so very worthwhile. I am paid extra for my additional certs, and I appreciate that, or my pay check appreciates that. I have eight certifications, so three doesn't seem like too many to me. :) I still take classes, simply because I believe in lifelong learning. I embrace it, and try to get my students to do the same.

    Good luck!
  7. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

    Jun 24, 2006
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    Mar 11, 2019

    ESL and SPED would definitely get you a job in my area. Both are in high demand.
    futuremathsprof likes this.

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