7 Ways to Qualify an Uncertified Teacher (2022)

7 Ways to Qualify an Uncertified Teacher (1)

As school districts attempt to do what is best for their students, they may find it challenging to comply with certification rules.

The 2018–2019 school year has begun, but some classrooms across the state don’t have a certified teacher. This occurs most frequently in identified teacher shortage areas (i.e., Bilingual/English as a Second Language; Special Education; Career and Technical Education—Technology Applications and Computer Science; and Mathematics).

The main goal of district recruiting efforts is finding and securing a fully certified teacher to serve students. When unable to fulfill this task, districts must use other avenues, including certifying individuals using one of the following:

  • Alternative certification program (ACP)
  • School district permit
  • Emergency certification
  • Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit (TCAP)
  • Nonrenewable permit
  • Texas Education Agency (TEA) waiver

Alternative Certification Program (ACP)

About half of new teachers to the profession are certified through an ACP. An ACP program is ideal for an individual holding a bachelor’s degree and showing content proficiency by taking the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT). Eight steps, as identified by TEA, for an individual to become certified through an ACP include:

  1. Decide what you would like to teach
  2. Select an approved Texas ACP
  3. Meet the screening criteria of the program
  4. Develop a certification plan with your program
  5. Obtain a teaching position
  6. Apply for a probationary certificate
  7. Complete all requirements for a standard certificate
  8. Apply for the standard certificate

Additional information regarding certification via an ACP can be found in our HRX article Teacher Certification: Part 1—Alternative Certification Programs.


School district teaching permit

Districts have the option to issue a school district teaching permit to an uncertified individual with a bachelor’s degree and subject matter expertise. For core academic classes, districts may issue a school district teaching permit subject to approval by the commissioner of education.

A person is not eligible for a school district teaching permit for core academic courses if he or she:

  • Has or previously had a valid Texas teaching certificate or out-of-state teaching certificate
  • Has applied for a teaching certificate and the application has been denied
  • Has or once had a teaching certificate that has been sanctioned or revoked
  • Has taken but has not passed a Texas teacher certification exam; or
  • Has a pending application for a State Board for Educator Certification teaching certificate

The local school board can issue school district teaching permits for teachers of noncore academic Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. Commissioner approval and a bachelor’s degree aren’t required.

A school district teaching permit is valid for general education classroom teaching assignments only and isn’t available for other assignments including counselor, librarian, administrator, any other professional assignment outside of classroom teacher, or special education or bilingual education.

More details can be found in the HRX article Teacher Certification: Part 2—DOI Flexibility and School District Teaching Permits.

Emergency permit

An emergency permit may be used when a district cannot secure an appropriately certified and qualified individual to fill a vacant position or who doesn’t have the appropriate credentials for the assignment. Familiarity with TAC Chapter 230 Subchapter F will help with determining eligibility for an emergency teaching permit. An emergency permit limits an individual to one year of service with the exception of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and instructors or teachers of students with visual impairments.

To be eligible for an emergency permit, the individual must meet the following criteria:

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  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (CTE—appropriate degree for assignment or specified work experience)
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Communicate and understand the English language
  • Be of good moral character
  • Submit fingerprints

For an elementary teaching assignment, the individual must have completed 12 semester credit hours in a combination of subjects directly related to the elementary curriculum, 12 semester credit hours in elementary education, or any combination of areas of study.

For secondary assignments, the individual must have completed 24 semester hours in the subject to be taught or 24 semester credit hours toward a composite teaching field appropriate for the assignment, including at least 12 semester credit hours in the subject to be taught.

Districts must document efforts to employ an appropriately certified individual and file an application with TEA within 45 instructional days of the date of the assignment. The district must have a support system in place for the individual, including a trained mentor. It also must inform the individual of SBEC rules regarding permits and permit renewal requirements.

Districts may grant an emergency permit on a hardship basis for an individual not meeting all emergency permit requirements. They also need to document local conditions requiring the assignment of an individual not meeting emergency permit requirements, verify the deficiencies sought don’t exceed 36 semester credit hours, and verify the individual is enrolled in the next available course on the certification plan or registered for the next content specialization test.

Learn more about emergency permits in Teacher Certification: Part 3—Emergency Permits.

Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit (TCAP)

Districts may activate a TCAP for each class period (maximum of four) taught by a teacher certified at the secondary level assigned to a subject area not covered by the certificate. The individual must have completed 12 semester hours in the specific subject area. For science or mathematics, the individual must have completed 15 semester hours.

The TCAP is valid for one school year unless it’s issued for fewer than 90 calendar days before the last day of instruction. For an assignment that exceeds four class periods or for an individual who hasn’t completed the minimum semester hours in the subject area to be taught, TEA must grant the approval; however, an individual with six or fewer hours in the subject area will not be approved.

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Read more about the TCAP in Teacher Certification: Part 4—Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit.

Nonrenewable permit

Districts may activate a nonrenewable permit for an individual who hasn’t completed the appropriate examination requirements and expires 12 months after activation. This may include an individual who has completed all course and degree requirements of a Texas educator preparation program but hasn’t successfully completed examination requirements. An individual who holds a Texas teacher certificate with an effective date before February 1, 1986, but hasn’t revalidated the certificate for employment purposes by passing an examination, also may qualify for a nonrenewable permit expiring six months from activation.

A nonrenewable permit may not be activated in an assignment area for which another permit had previously been activated. The application for a nonrenewable permit and fee must be submitted to TEA within 45 calendar days of the assignment.

More information about nonrenewable permits can be found in Teacher Certification: Part 5—Nonrenewable Permit.


There are two types of waivers available to districts who are unable to meet the criteria for permits and certification described above. Districts can file a bilingual exception and/or English as a Second Language (ESL) waiver when it’s unable to provide a certified teacher to implement its bilingual or ESL program. The bilingual exception allows the district to offer an alternative instructional program (e.g., replace with an ESL program). The ESL program waiver allows the district to forego the certification requirements for teachers who will provide ESL instruction.

A certification waiver allows an individual to serve without the necessary certification requirements. The certification may be issued to allow:

  • A person to teach without the necessary certification requirements
  • Qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in a subject or course for which no state assessment has been developed
  • Qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in Alternative Education
  • Qualified individuals to teach JROTC classes outside their areas of certification

You can find additional information regarding these waivers in the HRX article Teacher Certification: Part 6—Exceptions and Waivers and also on the TEA website. Send questions to the TEA waiver unit at 512.463.9630 or waivers@tea.texas.gov.

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Remember, a substitute is a type of temporary employee. Temporary employment suggests a definite start and end date and is not open-ended or indefinite. Teacher Retirement System (TRS) defines substitute as a person who serves on a temporary basis in place of a current employee. On the other hand, a regular employee is employed for four and one-half months or more, for one-half time or more, and paid at a rate comparable to other persons employed by the employer in similar positions during the school year.

Before retaining a substitute in a vacant position for an extended period of time, consider Texas Education Code §21.003, which prohibits a person from being employed as a teacher unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit. It may be better to seek applicants meeting the criteria for one of the options above rather than assigning a substitute for an indefinite period of time.

More about employing substitutes can be found in Teacher Certification: Part 7—Substitute.

Karen Dooley is a senior HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email atkaren.dooley@tasb.org.

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7 Ways to Qualify an Uncertified Teacher (2)

Tagged: Certification, Employment, Hiring, "Teacher certification"

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Why is it important to have qualified teachers? ›

A growing number of studies provide conclusive evidence that teacher quality is the primary school-related factor affecting student achievement. Students who are taught by effective and competent teachers excel quickly, while those who are assigned to the least effective teachers lag behind and often never catch up.

Can you get hired as a teacher without certification Texas? ›


Allows a district to employee a person to teach without the necessary certification requirements for a limited time. Valid only in the district where approved for a term of 1-3 years, maximum.

What qualifications do I need to be a teacher in South Africa? ›

Ed.); a three-or four-year Bachelor's degree, followed by a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Once completed, both routes lead to classification as a professionally qualified teacher. Upon qualifying, you will be required to register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

Can I teach in UAE without PGCE? ›

No. At a minimum, English teachers will need to possess a bachelor's degree in addition to their TEFL certification. With that said, many schools in the UAE will require teachers to possess a degree specifically in education or a master's degree (often in any field).

What makes you a qualified teacher? ›

So what does it really mean to be a qualified teacher? It means having both an academic qualification and the proper training in pedagogy. It means recognizing teaching as a full profession that requires specialized training.

What qualifies you as a teacher? ›

In California, the minimum education requirement for teacher certification is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. You must also complete a teacher preparation program approved by the CTC. An approved program provides both educational curriculum and fieldwork.

Can schools hire unqualified teachers? ›

Since their inception in 2010, free schools have always been able to employ unqualified teachers. Until 2012, academies were bound by the same rules as maintained schools in their funding agreements, but after a change in 2012 academies can now employ anyone they deem suitable.

How much does a non certified teacher make in Texas? ›

Current Salary for Teachers in Texas 2022

In 2021-2022, the minimum teacher salary in Texas with no experience was $33,600, with 10 years of experience 45,500, and with 20 or more years of experience, 54,500.

How long does it take to get a teaching certificate? ›

A typical teacher education program is set up to be completed in four years. During your first two years, the bulk of your coursework will be general education requirements such as math, history, and English.

How many APS score is needed for teaching? ›

Selection criteria: To be considered for this qualification, Applicants must have an Admission Points Score (APS) of at least 25 (excluding Life Orientation).

What points are needed for teaching? ›

Teaching Foundation Phase requires you to pass Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy in Grade 12 and have your Bachelor's degree. Teaching as an Intermediate Phase teacher requires you to have passed Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy in your matric year and have your Bachelor's Degree in two of these: Language(s)

How many points needed for teaching at Unizulu? ›

APS score of 21 for Bachelor's Degree. APS score of 17 for Diploma.

What is Dubai teacher salary? ›

The average teacher salary in U.A.E. international schools is 9,000-15,000 AED per month ($2,400-$4,000). Teachers will usually make slightly less than their counterparts working in the public schools.

How do I get teacher certification? ›

Traditional Teaching Certification
  1. Choose a bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program. The traditional route to certification in any state begins with earning an undergraduate degree. ...
  2. Complete a student teaching experience. ...
  3. Take your state's required exam(s) for educators. ...
  4. Apply for teacher certification.

How do I get a PGCE certificate? ›

You can get a PGCE in primary education, secondary education, or further/adult education. Your course will involve both school placements and academic theory. You can do this through a school-led, university-led, or an apprenticeship teacher training programme. You can do a full or part-time PGCE course.

What are the 5 qualities of a good teacher? ›

top 5 qualities and characteristics of a good teacher.
  • Patient and approachable. They say that 'patience is a virtue', and this couldn't be more true for teachers. ...
  • Enthusiastic. ...
  • Strong communication skills. ...
  • Strong knowledge and a solid education. ...
  • Disciplined and professional.
1 Mar 2022

What makes you best qualified for this position? ›

Before anything else, you should refer to your education and previous experience. If you had a similar job in the past, and did a decent work for your former employer, you can definitely say that your former experience (and the fact that you responded for the same duties), makes you feel qualified for the position.

What is the highest qualification of a teacher? ›

3 Doctorate. The highest level of education that a teacher can attain is a doctorate degree. This can be either a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree or a Doctor of Philosophy, or PhD, degree in a teaching-related field.

What does unqualified teacher mean? ›

Definition of unqualified teachers

''Unqualified teacher” means a teacher who is not a qualified teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

How long can you work as an unqualified teacher? ›

There's no limit on how long unqualified teachers can work for, apart from the following exceptions: Trainee teachers - if they don't pass their course, they'll either leave teaching or retake their course until they become qualified. Overseas trained teachers (OTTs) - there's a limit of 4 calendar years.

Can unqualified teachers teach PE? ›

Can you teach PE without QTS? Yes, although a school employee leading PE physical education classes for each individual sport or activity requires alterative qualifications.

Who pays most for substitute teachers? ›

Arizona is the best state for substitute teachers, where the median salary is $33,237. Arizona is the best state, and Anchorage is the city with the highest pay for substitute teachers.
6. California.
Total Substitute Teacher Jobs:2,731
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$56,000
3 more rows
6 Apr 2021

How much do teachers get paid per hour? ›

How Much Do Teacher Jobs Pay per Hour?
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$47,000$23
75th Percentile$36,500$18
25th Percentile$23,500$11

What state are teachers paid the most? ›

Teachers in California earn about 25 percent more than all other occupations. Teachers are paid about $87,738 on average, while all other occupations are paid about $70,460 in New York; that's a difference of about 24 percent.

What is the maximum age to become a teacher? ›

KPSC Age Limit and Age Relaxation

To apply for the teacher recruitment exam, a candidate must be between 21-42 years.

Do I need a degree to be a teacher? ›

To become a teacher, you'll need qualified teacher status (QTS) and to obtain QTS you must have a degree or a qualification equivalent to a UK degree. So, if you want to teach and already have an eligible degree – great!

How fast can you become a teacher? ›

In general, becoming a teacher takes about four to five years. Unless, that is, you want to work in one of the states that require teachers to have master's degrees. This timeline also assumes you major in education and can graduate from your bachelor's degree program in the usual four years.

What can I study with APS of 19? ›

If you achieve an APS of 19, you can study Diploma courses. ICB and NATED courses go up to the Diploma level, which is just one level below a Bachelor's Degree.

Which course can I do with 20 APS? ›


What can I study with 18 APS? ›

Diploma in Chemical Engineering: APS Score 18. Diploma in Civil Engineering: APS Score 18. Diploma in Corrections Management: APS Score 18. Diploma in Electrical Engineering: APS Score 18.

What can I study with 25 APS? ›

List of Courses that require 20 – 25 APS Score Points or less at UJ
  • Fashion Production Diploma:
  • BA Design Cours.
  • Diploma in Architecture:
  • Accounting Extended Degree (4 years):
  • Business Management Extended Degree:
  • Economics and Econometrics Extended Degree:
  • Finance Extended Degree:
  • Logistics Extended Diploma.

Can I study teaching without matric? ›

You can study teaching without Matric but it would be a different qualification. All Universities that offer teaching require matric or at least a NQF level 4 certificate. You can however do an Education course at a TVET College which requires you to have Grade 9.

What qualifications do I need to do a bachelor of education? ›

  • Mean grade C+ in KCSE with at least C in Engl, C in Math and C+ in 2 teaching subjects, OR 2 Principals and 1 subsidiary in KACE, OR Diploma in Education with at least a credit from Senate-recognized institutions.

How many points is Unizulu nursing? ›

B Nursing Science at University of Zululand Unizulu
14 more rows

Are walk ins allowed at Unizulu? ›

No walk-ins are allowed. Be sure that you accepted the University's offer of admission before you embark on registering.

How many points are needed for teaching at Ukzn? ›

The minimum points required for a majority of our qualifications is 28 points.

Can you teach in UAE without a degree? ›

In order to practise a teaching profession in the UAE, the applicant must have a minimum qualification of a bachelor's degree or a 4-year university degree or higher in the required field. This rule applies for public/government schools as well as private schools in the UAE.

What do teachers wear in Dubai? ›

Teachers are required to dress professionally. Formal business wear is not usually required, business casual is usually the norm. Shorts, Jeans and casual clothes and footwear (flipflops or sandals) are NOT allowed.

What is ESL certificate? ›

ESL job is all about teaching English to the speakers of other language. As in this age of globalization, all the countries are trying hard to participate in the global platform and earn a respective position in global dealings hence the importance of English language has grown massively.

Which certification is best for teachers? ›

20 Best Certifications For Teachers
1Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)BLI
2Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE)Microsoft
3Child Development Associate (CDA)CECPR
4First Aid, CPR and AED InstructorNSC
16 more rows
9 Sept 2021

What certificates do you need to be a teacher? ›

All states require certified teachers to hold a bachelor's degree, and more and more states now require candidates to hold a master's degree or receive one within the first five years of teaching. Teachers may earn a credential that allows them to teach either certain subject matter or a specific grade level.

Why do teachers need license? ›

Licensure is an important element to assure quality in the teaching workforce. It establishes the floor intended to distinguish between those who have the desired level of competence to begin practice and those who do not.

Is PGCE pass or fail? ›

"With a PGCE, all you get is a pass," she says. "There's no way to know how well you did. When I took my degree, you came out with a grade; you knew where you were.

Is PGCE a degree or diploma? ›

The PGCE (Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Teaching) is an entry-level, initial professional teaching programme that 'caps' an undergraduate degree or an approved diploma.

Can I do a PGCE without a degree? ›

The most common route into teaching is the PGCE, which can be studied at university or as part of a school-based training programme. You'll need: an undergraduate degree or equivalent. GCSE C/4 or above in English and maths (a B in Wales)

Why is it important to have high quality teachers? ›

A very good teacher as opposed to a very bad one can make as much as one full year's difference in the achievement growth of students. [1] Studies also show that high-quality leadership directly affects school performance, as well as improves the working environment for teachers.

What are the different roles of a professionally qualified teacher educator? ›

They perform a wide range of roles that might include: informally providing advice to early career teachers in a school setting. delivering training to teachers within a ministry of education teacher development programme. working as an e-moderator within a MOOC for teachers.

What is the highest qualification of a teacher? ›

3 Doctorate. The highest level of education that a teacher can attain is a doctorate degree. This can be either a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree or a Doctor of Philosophy, or PhD, degree in a teaching-related field.

What are the 7 domains of quality teachers? ›

The 7 domains are as follows: Domain 1 – Content Knowledge and Pedagogy, Domain 2 – Learning Environment, Domain 3 – Diversity of Learners, Domain 4 – Curriculum and Planning, Domain 5 – Assessment and Reporting, Domain 6 – Community Linkages and Professional Engagement, Domain 7 – Personal Growth and Professional ...

How can teachers improve their performance? ›

Three Steps to Improve Teacher Performance
  1. Create a Common Language of Instruction. ...
  2. Increase Teacher Feedback by Increasing Classroom Visits. ...
  3. Connect Student Performance and Growth to Classroom Teacher Performance and Appraisal. ...
  4. How do you work with teachers to help them grow professionally and impact student learning?
28 Mar 2019

What are 5 responsibilities of a teacher? ›

And by the end, you'll be able to enhance the quality of education you deliver to the students.
  • Mentor. During the formative years of students, teachers play the role of a mentor. ...
  • Mediator. ...
  • Resource House. ...
  • Morale Booster and Motivator. ...
  • Demonstrator. ...
  • Continuous Learner. ...
  • A Good Listener. ...
  • Participant.
1 Feb 2022

What is the most important responsibility of a teacher? ›

1) The first and most important responsibility is to show love, respect and caring for each student. This requires that teachers help each student to identify his or her strengths, abilities, talents and interests.

Which certification is best for teachers? ›

20 Best Certifications For Teachers
1Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)BLI
2Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE)Microsoft
3Child Development Associate (CDA)CECPR
4First Aid, CPR and AED InstructorNSC
16 more rows
9 Sept 2021

Do I need a degree to be a teacher? ›

To become a teacher, you'll need qualified teacher status (QTS) and to obtain QTS you must have a degree or a qualification equivalent to a UK degree. So, if you want to teach and already have an eligible degree – great!

What is a Level 1 teacher? ›

Post Level 1 teachers include underqualified teachers, teachers, senior teachers and master teachers. There is a distinction in the remuneration of teachers, with those underqualified with diploma qualifications for example, being paid with a 'Relative Education Qualification Value (REQV)' of 13.


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