Relocating Teacher (California to Pennsylvania) (Wilkes-Barre: credit, home, transfer)
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I am a native of PA. I am currently in CA, recently a credentialed teacher, and planning on moving back to PA.
From what I read at the PA Dept. of Education website, I should be able to transfer my credential (I met all their other requirements re: GPA, 2 math classes, 2 English classes, etc., will just need to do the standardized tests).
However, I wanted to hear from someone's personal experience. Even if you simply came from a state other than California, and had your credential transferred in, I would like to hear your story.
I would suggest calling them up because sometimes it's not as straightforward as it seems. If you want to teach secondary you need a separate subject certification for that, not just passing one of the Praxis tests. In Pennsylvania teachers major in education in College and must decide what level they want to teach before graduation so they can become correctly certified. Here's some info about Middle Level cert's. Teaching in PA: Applying for Middle Level Certificate (http://www.teaching.state.pa.us/teaching/cwp/view.asp?A=94&Q=95686 - broken link)
Depends on area of certification...some are easier and cleaner to transfer, get PA certification. I have a long complicated story of transferring teaching credentials from NJ to PA, and we're right next door to each other. Previous poster suggested calling~good idea.
I can tell you what I know and the experience I had, but it's dated, very dated, and licensing/reciprocity and getting permanent certification in the state (called an Instructional II) is complicated to the outsider.
What is your area of certification? If it is a K-12 certification (Art, PE, FACS, Tech/Bus. Ed, Music) or secondary subject (Math, Science (specific Science), English, Social Studies/History or a Foreign Language) it will be different than if just an elementary ed, with middle school certification being 6-8. Also depends on whether you've already taken a PRAXIS or NTE exam in teaching,writing and subject area. PA now requires teachers of any courses being taught to 6th, 7th and 8th graders to be MS certified.
I taught for 11 yrs. in NJ, had a Masters in Education and dual certification in Home Economics (K-12) and Cooperative Education. Undergrad from large midwestern university and Masters from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. I served on a selected committee to evaluate and write the National Teachers Exam (now I am dating myself) for Home Economics. They brought in a bunch of teachers from different areas of the state and industry to go through piles/stacks/throngs of questions to put this exam together, all courtesy of College Board located in Princeton. Later that decade I moved to PA and got an emergency certificate for 1 year, pending successful completion of the PCTCP/NTE (now the PRAXIS). I had written the D*&% exam and now I had to take it! After teaching 1 year on the emergency certificate (which can be renewed if you are still needed and taking credits towards getting the certification/courses/or taking the exams needed) I applied for the Instructional I certificate (temporary). With that certificate you need to teach 3 years and complete 24 credits of graduate work (I already had a Masters, so I just had to do the 3 years of teaching). Then I applied for the Instructional II certificate. Each one costs money to apply for, and if it's not approved, you don't get your money back. Additionally, in order to keep your certificate, you must complete 180 hours of continuing education in every 5 year cycle, just to keep your certificate current.
If your subject area is in demand, you'll be a hot ticket. We do need teachers in some areas, and many districts are willing to look at out of state applicants who are qualified because they bring a different perspective or experience to the district. Don't be discouraged, we are compensated well for the cost of living, most districts have attractive benefits, in most cases the working conditions are decent, and teachers are supported by unions or associations. For the first several years, summers will be spent on getting the advanced degree status, writing curriculum, attending workshops etc., and then the time for professional development will be more individualized.
Let me know if you need any further information.
I recall that California has a pretty good teacher credential program, and the California credential seems like it would put you in pretty good stead for most places. That said, you will need to contact the proper authorities and expect the worst (more school!). I will say that you will do much better on a teacher's salary in PA than CA!
TeachBeach (and others) thanks for your replies and insight. I possess a single subject credential in social sciences, which permits me to teach 7-12 in California.
I tersely reviewed the website regarding which standardized tests I'll need to take, and I find that a bit daunting. That might require a phone call. I would hope I can continue to teach the middle school crowd (7th and 8th). But, TeachBeach, you said all middle school teachers need a MS (multiple subject/elementary?) credential? Is that a correct interpretation? That might dash my dreams if true.
Paying for the standardized tests and bureaucracy do not bother me, so long as I get the credential in th end. I have a ton of education (7 years); BA and MA in history (from Pennsylvania too, hope that helps network me) and a year I spent on the California credential out here. I do not anticipate a move to PA until the 2011-12 school year. But I figure I better get familiar with the hurdles I'll need to jump.
jabcity, My daughter went through the PA credential struggle early last fall. Her education and certification was in IL, where she was certified for K-9 (at the time of her graduation) and social science. She took the PA praxis tests to be el ed certified for K-6 in early 2007. Last year in 2008, she was hired for a year long sub position here in PA and got emergency certification. Even though she had taken the tests and done everything necessary for PA certification (and the administration leaning on the state) she was not certified until late October.
With the way the middle certification is shaping up, it almost seems like you should just wait until next year to see what's needed. The first provisional certification expires after three years so it doesn't make sense to try to get that now since you won't be moving for another year and a half.
Wait and find out how this middle school certification is going to shape up. If you were to try and get certified now, they would only offer an emergency and it expires in one year. As previous poster said, if you can, wait. If you plan to teach middle school, you are going to have to get middle level certification~those that already have it are okay, but any new requests for certification in a subject area that want to teach in middle school, will have to have the appropriate level of certification. You might be able to get a job and then work on getting the certification, but you'd be teaching on an emergency certificate.
My girlfriend is currently living in CA and is moving here to PA in 2months. We're trying to figure out how the whole transfer/testing thing works before the new school year.She called and they said something about taking the 0511? I noticed this thread was a few years ago....was wondering how it all happened with you? ANy help would be great!!! thank you!!
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