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Teacher Shortage Results in Approval of Non-Certified Teachers in Alabama

Teacher Shortage Results in Approval of Non-Certified Teachers in Alabama

The teacher shortage in Alabama has resulted in the State Board of Education approving “a new category of educators called adjunct teachers,” said WAAYTV.com.

"An adjunct teacher is someone who has worked in a career field other than education, will work part time under a licensed teacher and has a high school diploma or equivalent,” the article said.

This means that students in Alabama could very easily be taught by a person who is non-certified, an idea that is disturbing some parents in the state.

"I think that they probably need to have a teaching certificate because just because they're knowledgeable about a subject might not mean that they're skilled at teaching techniques,” said parent Katy Bryan to WAAYTV.

But she also acknowledged that there could be some benefits to the plan. She said some advantages could include utilizing professionals in the area "who are good at mathematics, physics and those types of topics.”

Still, even professionals knowledgeable in desirable subjects might not be prepared to handle the challenges that occur in the classrooms that they have not been exposed to through the certification process.

But there are some stipulations to the process, preventing any regular person from walking off the street and into a classroom.

For one, adjunct teachers will not be able to teach in early childhood or elementary classrooms.

And for certain subjects, like a career tech course, adjunct teachers have to have business or industry certifications. Of course, a clean background check is an absolute must.

This isn’t the first time Alabama has utilized adjunct teachers. In emergency situations where teacher shortages have been a serious problem, " uncertified teachers [were able] to get an emergency certificate to work in public education in Alabama.”

But “if they wished to keep their jobs, these teachers eventually had to seek certification,” the article said.

Many city schools are unsure if they will use adjunct teachers, but said they could be a potentially good resource for career tech courses.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/28/2016

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