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Already taught abroad, need help with my initial certificate

Already taught abroad, need help with my initial certificate

Postby brentk » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:34 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been scouring these forums, reading back over questions that have been asked regarding the teaching license situations of Americans from various states. I wanted to specifically ask my questions and hopefully get some good advice from you experts on here!

I am a 32-year-old American who has taught abroad multiple times. Back in 2017, after returning to the US from a stint teaching ESL with EF in China in 2014-2015, I obtained my initial teaching certificate in the state of South Carolina after completing an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) graduate program at a university in South Carolina. I'm certified to teach Social Studies in grades 5-8 in South Carolina, through June 2020, with my current SC initial certificate.

Immediately upon completing my MAT degree and student teaching in June 2017, I accepted a job with a British Columbia offshore school in China. I taught in the Social Sciences department of one of the private high schools, run by this well known British Columbia-affiliated international school company, in a major city in China from August 2017 to June of this year (2019). As part of this position, and utilizing my initial teaching credential in South Carolina, I obtained a 5-year British Columbia Conditional Certificate of Qualification (CoQ) that is valid through 2022. This major international school company in China had told me I was going to receive a lifetime/non-expiring British Columbia teaching credential, but that did not turn out to be the case. I left that school/company when my contract was complete back in June of this year.

At the moment, I am back in the States and have started a full-time teaching position in Social Studies at a public middle school in South Carolina. However, for a number of reasons I do not desire to stay in South Carolina any longer than I feel I have to. The public school I am in at the moment is a challenging inner-city school and is lacking in support, has extremely high teacher turnover, and is generally not a place I want to be beyond this year. Many teachers regularly don't make it one year at this school. On top of that, I am a native of the state of Ohio and only moved to South Carolina out of necessity a number of years back, when I was unable to find work after completing my undergraduate degree in Columbus at the height of the Great Recession. I want out of South Carolina and am seriously considering any options I can find to teach abroad permanently, if possible.

What advice is there for my situation, currently holding a South Carolina initial teaching certificate that expires in June 2020, and that requires going through the state's "ADEPT" evaluation process here in SC to be moved from the 3-year initial cert to a 5-year professional cert?

The public school I am currently at has me on 'induction' this year and said they will apply for an extension of my initial SC certificate at the end of this school year, basically putting me in a situation here in South Carolina I further don't want to be in. I am looking for a state to proactively apply for a teaching certificate in immediately, in order to not depend on South Carolina and my cert here. I have seen some past threads mentioning that New Jersey, Missouri, California, and a couple of other states might be good options to apply for.

I want a state that will issue a license, where I won't have to worry about an INITIAL certificate expiring in three years if one is not working in the public schools in that state towards a professional cert in that state. That is: I want a license I can use internationally and send PD info to to extend, not needing to actually be in the public school system of the state itself.

South Carolina's Dept of Education is really terrible in that they don't really recognize anything from out of their state, as it comes to holding on to a teaching credential in this state. So one has to be in the public school system of SC to hold onto their license at all: people teaching at private schools in SC also only have a small waiver and can lose their license if they don't get into the SC public schools within a specified period of time.

So should I apply for a New Jersey license? If I get an initial NJ license will this allow me a license that I can renew from Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, or wherever I decide to venture to next?!! Does New Jersey or Missouri have initial licenses that can be renewed from abroad with PD evidence only? I have also applied to the Department of Defense Education system, so I wonder what licenses are used for the schools serving US military bases abroad.

Thank you so much!

Brent K
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Re: Already taught abroad, need help with my initial certifi

Postby interteach » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:37 am

Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:25 pm


Postby PsyGuy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:19 am

What was your first/bachelors degree in?

Assuming your bachelors as in something related to social studies/humanities I would first try applying for QTS from the UKs TCL/TRA. QTS is a lifetime, no renal credential, that if your academic background is congruent with your teaching field would be a very easy option. the application take maybe 15 minutes and youll get a response including issuance if granted within a few weeks of providing a complete application.

If that doesnt work or doesnt suit meet your needs than yes NJ would be the next recommended pathway, because even if you dont meet the experience requirements for the standard credential you met the requirements for the CEAS which is also a lifetime credential that requires no PD. However, given your experience you may want to wait on the NJ application until you are sure you meet the experience requirement because you can not transition to the standard credential once you have the CEAS without teaching in NJ and completing their induction program. The other option seeing as you have three years of experience is to apply for the HI standard (professional grade) credential which is a 5 year renewable credential but the internet would be during those 5 years to either meet the experience requirements for NJ or to add an ESOL credential through PRAXIS testing in HI and then apply for the CA CLEAR credential.

I wouldnt try Vermont, sure you would likely get an initial credential from them, but youll have the same renewal problem in 3 years as you do now, except you could use Uni credits to renew.
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