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Emergency Licensed Teachers

Posted By: Larry Palko on April 16, 2003
Hi Connie!

I am a Curriculum Coordinator for an Educational Service Agency (in Pennsylvania we call them Intermediate Units. The are 12 public school districts in Schuylkill IU 29 where I work.

For the past three years we have conducted a Guest Teacher Program. It was implemented at the request of our Superintendents and based on a model approved by the Department of Education and piloted in 5 or 6 other Iu's in the state. The program is intended for those with a minimal of a Bachelor's degree who have not completed a teaching certification program and usually have no classroom experience.

We require applicants to attend a three day trainig/orientation program. During this time we assist them with paperwork required by the Bureau of Teacher Certification. If they complete the program successfully they receive an Emergency Permit. This allows them to subsitutue on a day to day basis in any school district or IU program in the County (but not outside the County. The Permit is good from the date of approval to the end of the year. It can be renewed, however, with a simple electronic process and many Guest Teachers have chosen to do so.

We also have established a relationship with a local college. They send prospective teachers to our GT Program and have a certification program for Guest Teachers who want to become certified.

The program has been successful for the applicants and the districts. Some have been offered full time or extended employment, have become certified, and in some cases found out that teaching is hard and not for them.

I don't know how long the program will continue in light of No Child Left Behind mandates. For now the substitute shortage continues and we expect to continue twice a yesr trainings. The Guest Teacher Program did not solve the shortage but it sure helped. The one thing we all agree is that the caliber of the people coming into the program has been impressive and many of them are doing an excellent job in the classroom with miniaml training and experience.

Hope that helps. I think other IU's in PA would give you similar information.

Larry Palko
570-544-9131 Ext:1280
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 Alternative or emergency licensed teachers by Connie White on March 21, 2003
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