Benefits of Dual Certification for New Teachers

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • With mul­ti­ple cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, you can fill dif­fer­ent roles with­in a school, increas­ing your chances of secur­ing a job in a com­pet­i­tive market.
  • Hold­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in mul­ti­ple sub­jects allows for greater flex­i­bil­i­ty in teach­ing assign­ments. This can help you fill sched­ule gaps and adapt to changes in staffing needs, ensur­ing job secu­ri­ty and vari­ety in your teach­ing career.
  • Dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion requires addi­tion­al course­work and train­ing. This not only improves your teach­ing capa­bil­i­ties but also posi­tions you for high­er-pay­ing roles.
  • With dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, you devel­op a broad­er knowl­edge base and more com­pre­hen­sive teach­ing skills. This enables you to effec­tive­ly address the needs of diverse stu­dent pop­u­la­tions, includ­ing those with spe­cial needs or those from mul­ti­cul­tur­al backgrounds.

As the edu­ca­tion­al land­scape keeps evolv­ing, sim­ply hav­ing one cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in edu­ca­tion is not always enough. Indeed, you have the knowl­edge, and the pri­ma­ry cer­ti­fi­ca­tion you received allows you to have your own class. Still, if you want to evolve and advance in your career, you might need more than one degree.

If you are a new teacher, this arti­cle will go over the advan­tages of dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion when you are get­ting your degree. Let’s get started!


Why Get Dual Certification as a New Teacher?

There are mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits of obtain­ing dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as a new teacher. This can include the following:

1. Expanded Job Opportunities

First things first, get­ting dual teacher cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can open up var­i­ous oppor­tu­ni­ties when it comes to get­ting a job. With the cur­rent teacher short­age, teach­ers are high­ly sought-after, but employ­ers are still look­ing for the ones with the high­est exper­tise. Dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can allow you to apply to mul­ti­ple posi­tions, offer­ing more versatility.

For instance, with a spe­cial edu­ca­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and one for teach­ing math, you can teach the sci­ences while cov­er­ing spe­cial edu­ca­tion class­es. You could also become cer­ti­fied in ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion while get­ting a sec­ond spe­cial­iza­tion in a dif­fer­ent area (e.g., art). This way, schools can improve their pro­grams with­out hav­ing to hire sep­a­rate peo­ple, improv­ing your employability.


2. More Flexibility in Teaching Assignments

If you have many inter­ests, dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can offer more teach­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty in assign­ments. Let’s say that you have one cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in the Eng­lish lan­guage and the oth­er one is in social stud­ies. Should this hap­pen, you can teach both class­es, which fills not only your sched­ule gaps but also those of the school.

Going for more than one cer­ti­fi­ca­tion might seem to bring more work than you signed up for, but it can even­tu­al­ly turn to your advan­tage. For instance, if a staff short­age or one of the class­es goes off the cur­ricu­lum, you won’t have to wor­ry about your job safe­ty. The flex­i­bil­i­ty of your cer­ti­fi­ca­tion acts as a back­up, offer­ing numer­ous possibilities.

3. Enhanced Professional Development

Dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion also increas­es the poten­tial for pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment for teach­ers. For instance, when get­ting your cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in two domains, you must take extra course­work and train­ing to suc­ceed. This might seem like extra work at first, but you will receive more infor­ma­tion and train­ing in the end.

With your advanced teach­ing skills, you should be able to teach high­er-pro­file class­es. For instance, a reg­u­lar degree might only allow you to teach in ele­men­tary school (depend­ing on your loca­tion), but a dual ver­sion could enable you to teach in high school or even col­lege. As some­one with dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, you will also engage in con­tin­u­ous edu­ca­tion, sig­nif­i­cant­ly improv­ing your edu­ca­tor pro­fes­sion­al growth.

4. Higher Salary Potential

The aver­age Eng­lish teacher earns around $59,857 per year, accord­ing to Glass­door. On the oth­er hand, the medi­an salary for an Eng­lish teacher with a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in spe­cial needs is around $78,161 per year. That extra cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will have land­ed you an addi­tion­al $20,000 annu­al­ly, which is god-sent in this economy.

Indeed, salaries depend great­ly on the state where you work and the insti­tu­tion where you get a posi­tion. With that in mind, more exper­tise has always brought high­er wages, and plen­ty of schools offer a high­er salary for teach­ers if they have dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This is done in an attempt to bring in more employees. 

5. Improved Teaching Skills and Knowledge Base

Whether you are going for the tra­di­tion­al or accel­er­at­ed pro­grams, many cer­ti­fi­ca­tion cours­es only cov­er a lim­it­ed num­ber of class­es. You will have some knowl­edge by the time you fin­ish, but it could pale com­pared to some­one who has already been teach­ing for a while. This is where becom­ing a dual-cer­ti­fied edu­ca­tor can be beneficial.

By get­ting dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, you can enjoy a mul­ti-sub­ject teach­ing approach that sig­nif­i­cant­ly improves your knowl­edge base and teach­ing skills. You can take advan­tage of the knowl­edge obtained from both spe­cial­iza­tions, offer­ing stu­dents a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the sub­ject. For instance, you may be teach­ing the aver­age math class, but spe­cial needs cer­ti­fi­ca­tions could help you reach all types of students.

6. Meeting Needs for Diverse Classrooms

Dual teacher train­ing pro­grams not only allow you to teach your knowl­edge but also instruct you on how to address the needs of a diverse group of peo­ple. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant, as mul­ti­cul­tur­al groups are very com­mon nowa­days. The main issue is that while mul­ti­cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion has shown to be quite effec­tive in terms of inclu­sion, not many teach­ers are pre­pared to teach in a cul­tur­al­ly appro­pri­ate manner.

For instance, by get­ting a dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, you can help stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties effec­tive­ly inte­grate into a main­stream class. As you are teach­ing diverse class­rooms, you can offer dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed instruc­tions to your stu­dents, pro­mote cul­tur­al respon­sive­ness, and sup­port learn­ers whose native lan­guage is not English.

7. Better Job Satisfaction

Repet­i­tive tasks are some of the lead­ing caus­es of burnout. You may be inter­est­ed in the sub­ject you plan to teach right now, but give it a few more years, and this can eas­i­ly change. Doing the same thing on and on can become quite monot­o­nous, no longer bring­ing any chal­lenges or opportunities.

On the oth­er hand, get­ting a dual degree can sig­nif­i­cant­ly help your edu­ca­tion career advance­ment, giv­ing you that chal­lenge you’ve been look­ing for. You can enjoy diverse roles and oppor­tu­ni­ties, par­take in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary teach­ing, and obtain more flex­i­bil­i­ty in your career path. This free­dom and gate­way to con­tin­u­ous learn­ing and oppor­tu­ni­ties could offer more sat­is­fac­tion for your career.

Steps to Achieve Dual Certification for Teachers

Dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can cre­ate a path toward numer­ous teacher job oppor­tu­ni­ties as you are learn­ing to teach more than one spe­cial­iza­tion. Achiev­ing it is eas­i­er than it seems, and you’ll have to meet the fol­low­ing requirements:

1. Have an Educational Background

To get your dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, you should first get a bachelor’s degree as a teacher or in a sim­i­lar field. You can go for the tra­di­tion­al route or get an accel­er­at­ed degree if time is of the essence. The “dual” part of the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion might need addi­tion­al course­work, which you can com­plete simul­ta­ne­ous­ly with your degree. Com­plet­ing an approval pro­gram might also be nec­es­sary, along with get­ting some field experience.

2. Pass Your Exams

Depend­ing on the state that you are in, you might need to pass some exams that prove your basic skills, con­tent, and ped­a­gog­i­cal knowl­edge. The Prax­is exam series is most com­mon in this sce­nario, but there could also be some state-spe­cif­ic exams you’ll have to pass. Make sure to do your research on what is usu­al­ly required in your area. Prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence could also be nec­es­sary, as most cer­ti­fi­ca­tions need at least one semes­ter of teaching.

3. Apply for the Certification

Now that you have your doc­u­men­ta­tion, it is time to apply for the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Sub­mit the doc­u­ments and the form to your state’s U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion. Depend­ing on the area, you might need to go through back­ground checks while com­mit­ting to con­tin­u­ous education.

The Bottom Line

Get­ting your dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can bring plen­ty of ben­e­fits, from high­er pay to increased job sat­is­fac­tion. Get­ting this done in the ear­ly stages of your teach­ing career is bet­ter, as it can open up more job oppor­tu­ni­ties for you in the long run.