Troops to Teachers does not train or certify teachers, but rather helps you to find and enter the programs that do. Then, if you are eligible, Troops to Teachers provides financial assistance in the form of stipends or bonuses. Becoming a teacher with the assistance of TTT needs to be viewed as three distinct processes occurring at the same time. Some individuals begin teaching before becoming fully certified.
I. Registration. To receive funds, you must register with TTT, request financial assistance, and then later fulfill the required 3-year teaching commitment in a high need school or district. Click HERE to register
II. Certification. You must fulfill the certification requirements of your desired state, often by participating in a teacher certification program. To find the certification information, including state licensing departments, advanced fields of study, and state counselor contact information, hover over the zone tab above and click the zone that corresponds to the state in which you would like to live. Then find the "state information" tab, hover over that and find your desired state and click.
III. Finding a job. Obtaining a position is your responsibility. The TTT national and state support offices assist with certification and job hunting advice but are unable to perform employment agency functions. To find job information, including charter schools, national job banks, JROTC jobs, and "hot" jobs, hover over the zone tab above and click the zone that corresponds to the state in which you would like to live. Then find the "find a job" tab, hover over that and find your desired state and click.
For some individuals, registering in TTT, pursuing certification, and job hunting can occur almost simultaneously.
If you are considering making a career change into the teaching profession, know that teaching is not just another job and that teaching is not for everyone. At the same time, however, classroom teaching is one of the more rewarding careers, providing a great sense of accomplishment similar to that experienced while serving your nation in uniform. Teaching is a career in which you are able to make a difference in our society and the world.
Before investing considerable time, effort and precious resources a decision must be made……….how strong of a commitment does it really take to actually make the transition to public education? This is critical, since obtaining certification, and then discovering a wrong career decision has been made is the perfect storm! Consider these strategies to see if the public classroom is a positive and potential career option:
Deciding What to Teach:
- Meet with teaches and school principals to discuss a career as a classroom teacher.
- Get permission to "shadow" a teacher for a day.
- Obtain a substitute teaching permit so that you can teach in an actual, real classroom setting.
- Volunteer your time to assist in school events such as Junior Achievement, Dramatics Athletics, Odyssey of the Mind or Science Olympiad, or other clubs.
Decide on a specific subject area or areas and at what level (high school, middle school, elementary school). This choice may be based upon a previous career, a personal interest, the family or perhaps just a life long interest in certain subjects. Although the initial focus should be on one academic content area, multiple areas of interest may have an advantage since it will allow for greater flexibility of assignment once the teaching career begins. The demand for teachers will vary by certification and geographic areas. However, there is currently a critical need for teachers in the following content areas:
Typically, opportunities for employment will increase if multiple certification is held (e.g., Mathematics and Spanish), however, cost and time must also be taken into consideration. Deciding what to teach should be made from the standpoint of a longer career, not forgetting that leadership skills may ultimately lead to promotions as a school administrator.
- Foreign Languages
- Special Education
- English Language Learners
- Native Studies
Deciding Where to Teach:
Most individuals pursuing a second career in teaching and planning to teach may have already decided where to reside. This decision is usually based upon the location of family, job offers to another family member, previous duty stations, or owning a home in the area. The demand for teachers could vary significantly by certification area, and by geographic location. Areas of rapid growth will have a higher demand for teachers than areas with slower growth. As you plan your career transition, you must consider the geographic location and possibly plan for a longer transition period if you intend to settle in an area of slower growth, especially if you are interested in teaching a subject that is not in high demand.
Reciprocity is a mutual, cooperative agreement between States regarding the interchange and transfer of teacher certificates. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) is the lead agency with regard to the Interstate Contract, which is intended to assist teachers and other educators who find it necessary to move to another state. Currently 46 States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have signed the contract.
It is important to note that reciprocity between States is not automatic. It is possible that additional requirements such as more academic credit, state testing programs or student teaching may be necessary depending upon one's portfolio and teacher preparation program. Should you hold a current teaching license, and have questions about reciprocity, please contact our offices (see contact information below) to inquire about the appropriate procedures.
Know that generally, there is no "short cut" to becoming a professional, licensed classroom teacher. Most if not all academic programs leading to teacher licensure will, at some point, include the requisites for an academic major, professional education classes, guided instruction (student teaching), State level tests, CPR certification and a criminal history check.
"Alternate routes to certification" are appealing since they are compressed licensure programs and are considered by many to be legitimate and legal forms of entry into education. Alternate routes to certification are frequently based upon the assumption that the candidate may have the academic content expertise, maturity, appropriate socialization, study skills and success in the workplace that would qualify for transition into the classroom without proceeding through a traditional licensure program. Although these sounds attractive and may be accepted by some school districts under certain circumstances, most schools prefer that their candidates obtain certification from traditional licensure sources. This route is more frequent in those geographic areas in which there exist teacher shortages and with academic content areas that are more critical such as Mathematics and the Sciences.
Carefully consider the college or university in which to enroll, making sure that it is regionally accredited by The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and is also approved by the State in which the certificate is issued. Contact the certification officer or academic counselor in the teacher preparation institution of your choice and inquire into what programs are available, based upon your credits and current academic transcripts. Some universities are more open and flexible than others when working with adult learners, and be certain to inquire about what benefits are specifically available for veterans.