Everything You Need To Know About Teacher Reciprocity
Teacher reciprocity, also known as teacher certification reciprocity or teaching credential reciprocity, is an understanding established between states due to the varying requirements to become a teacher from state to state. It allows a state to acknowledge the teaching credentials from another state. The aim of this arrangement is to address the shortage of teachers that may arise in a state. Teacher Reciprocity simplifies the process for a teacher to become certified upon moving to a different state.
There are different reasons why a teacher may choose to move to a different state. They include family reasons, health benefits in a state, or even desirable weather conditions. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) was established to allow licensing of teachers from different states as well as facilitate interstate communication and relationships. While individual states come up with their standards for a teaching qualification, NASDTEC provides support and leadership. It can also determine what qualifies as teacher reciprocity besides the conventional state credentials.
If one applies for the license to teach in a state, your credentials will be reviewed to confirm whether you meet the requirements for teaching in that particular state. Should you not meet these requirements, you will be required to undergo additional processes in order to be licensed to be given a teaching license.
These additional processes are dependent on the standard of licensure in your initial state. “Education Degree” highlights the three tiers of licensure. Level 1 is what is known as an initial license, whereby you will be required to attain further qualification through extra coursework as well as up to three years of teaching experience to move to the next tier. A state with three-tier licensures will mean that the process becomes increasingly difficult. The thing about reciprocity is that certification in another state is an additional qualification. You can then teach in states where you are licensed.
A state may have some sort of understanding with another state. States may come together in what is termed as regional agreements and may decide to set uniform standards of licensure. Although these agreements may involve fewer states, they tend to make up for those left out due to NASDTEC requirements and can be a bit more accommodating even.
There is also the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) which seeks to harmonize teaching standards across states with the goal of promoting better academic outcomes. The NBPTS certification, although voluntary, boosts the chances of a smooth transition process from one state to another.
Teaching reciprocity is seen as the way forward in dealing with the qualification gaps among states. There are, however, concerns that need to be addressed, such as the special education needs which have not been sufficiently covered in the reciprocity agreement. We hope to see how reciprocity progresses over time with respect to this and other aspects, for example, the possibility of inter-country reciprocity.