How to get new certification as a current teacher (NJ)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ZoeMarie, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. ZoeMarie

    ZoeMarie Rookie

    Aug 9, 2016
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    Jan 15, 2019

    I'm in my 3rd year teaching. I currently teach preschool. I'm figuring out that I don't want to teach young students. I have my special education certification so I can teach up to 12th grade special education but I'm not interested in doing that. I would teach 3rd grade but am thinking about possibly getting an English certification. I know I have to pass the praxis but is there anything else I would have to do to get an English certification.

    My current certifications/degrees: P-3, Special Education, BA in Family and Child Studies, Masters in Teaching

    Thank you!
  3. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

    Oct 13, 2015
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    Jan 16, 2019

    Why English? I only ask because it's a glutted market. It's best to check with State Department of Ed, but definitely Praxis and you will more than likely need at least 18 credits in English, which you may have in your BA, that wil be a determination made by the licensing board. You may want to enroll in some English/Writing courses, even if you have the credits. It depends on what level you want to teach.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Jan 16, 2019

    Let me update the previous post. If you are looking for a K-12 English endorsement, you will, in fact, need 30 undergrad credits that are in a logical sequence of a major. If you are looking to teach only through MS, you will need a minimum of 15 credits, but no specific sequence. If you go the K-12 route, you will need to pass the Praxis Exam 5038. If you want to teach through MS instead, you will need to pass Praxis 5047, as well as the Elementary Praxis Series 5001, if you haven't already.

    Hope that helps. Yes, your undergrad credits have to be accepted by NJDOE, which can sometimes be trickier than you would believe, however, dependent upon what they question, you may be able to pick up the missing credits using the CLEP exams, particularly if only going to the MS level. It won't do you as much good it you are looking to earn the K-12 certificate. As far as what certificates are the most worthwhile, well, that is always up for debate. Math and science are pretty highly ranked, especially since you are not interested in using the SPED cert. There is a place for the ESL certificate, but that would require more grad classes, and some people don't like it once they get into it.

    When you say that you have SPED certification, I assume that what you actually have is the TOSD certification, which makes you qualified to teach students with disabilities in any content endorsement that you hold. NJ used to have a Teacher of the Handicapped endorsement that basically allowed you to teach SPED in all subjects to all grades, without the criteria of you needing to hold the content endorsement. That TOH endorsement has gone the way of the dinosaur, and is no longer an endorsement you can acquire in NJ. Since that isn't an endorsement you are likely to have, then you will need to acquire the content certificates that you want to teach, even to teach with your TOSD certificate.

    You didn't say whether of not you have standard certificates, or are still in the provisional certificate phase. Any provisional certificates will become standard certificates once the first provisional endorsement becomes standard. That is a nice feature in NJ. If you test well, and you have the undergrad coursework to support varied endorsements, you can increase your flexibility by acquiring more certs. I have the TOSD endorsement, and because I teach in a school that has a few MS students, I acquired my MS Specialization certificates in MS English, MS General Science, and MS Social Studies. Just because you have to have certification in Elementary Ed., to hold the MS endorsements, I also hold the K-6 endorsement. Because I am a science geek at heart, I am endorsed to teach Life Sciences (biology) and General Science K-12. I do have the MEd. in TESOL, K-12, but in this environment, the TOSD endorsement is highly beneficial when working in that content.

    The reason that I mentioned Clep exams had to do with NJDOE not approving a couple of courses that were considered English Dept. courses at the university that I did my undergrad in. After many phone calls, I stumbled across the Clep exams, which are easy to take at virtually any community college in NJ. I think I took 1 or 2 exams that were worth 6 credits, just what I needed for the state to approve my coursework. I find that NJDOE knows what they want, arguing is somewhat pointless, but discussing the situation may well point you in a direction that will help you solve the problem.

    Best of luck in your search for a content that you feel comfortable will. All I can tell you is that I would be happy to teach anything I have an endorsement for. I "could" acquire a cert in Chemistry, but I really wouldn't want to teach it - same with MS Math. Why take on a subject that you don't enjoy, when there are so many that excite me?

    FYI - if you do happen to have enough Physics courses to count as a major hiding in your transcript, there are always jobs teaching physics.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019

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