Do You Need Specific Certifications To Teach Private School?

Private School Teacher CertificationsEducators considering working outside of the traditional public school system should be aware that things are a bit different in terms of special certifications needed to teach private school classes. While public schools require a teacher to have pursued certain undergraduate or graduate programs, pass a PRAXIS-II certification exam, and hold a permanent licensure to teach a given topic or grade level, private schools often operate in a much different way. These schools often do not require the traditional teacher certification that has become a mainstay of public education. Instead, they may require certain degrees or specializations to ensure that the educators they hire are competent in the classroom and qualified to manage the learning experience for their unique student body, according to the Department of Education.

First and Foremost, Private Schools Require Certain Degrees

It’s tempting to assume that the lack of an official certification requirement could allow almost anyone to teach private school students, but this just isn’t the case. Even though these schools lack the requirement for an official certification, they do enforce mandatory degrees in a wide range of subjects, depending on what the educator will be teaching upon being hired. Most schools will require math teachers to have a mathematics major, for example, or they’ll require special education teachers to have at least a concentration in that field before they can be hired into that type of role.

Education Level is Another Clear Area of Differentiation

While undergraduate degrees are considered the minimum requirement at all private schools, as in public schools, some private institutions enforce a policy requiring new hires to either have or pursue a content-specific graduate degree. Graduate degrees may be paid for by the school through a tuition reimbursement program, and some schools may even host graduate classes in their own facilities in order to guide their new teachers toward meeting their unique requirements. Even so, it’s very important for aspiring private school teachers to pay careful attention not only to the content of their degree, but also to the level of education that they have obtained prior to filing a formal application to teach at a private institution.

Specialized Certifications May Be Required by Some Schools or Departments

Though many schools do not require specialized certifications of their educators, this is not a general rule. In fact, some schools do require official state licensure of their teachers. Others require that their educators have at least passed the PRAXIS-I and PRAXIS-II examinations prior to leading a classroom. For teachers of special education, or administrators who oversee policies on learning disabilities and gifted students, a certificate in special education may be required to ensure full compliance with state regulations and educational best practices. These requirements will likely be listed in the initial job opening announcement, so be sure to pay attention to these crucial details before submitting a formal application.

Related Resource: Education Specialist Degree

Great Opportunities Exist in Private Schools Nationwide

Though they are significantly different from their public counterparts in terms of professional licensing requirements, private institutions offer unique opportunities to teach varying kinds of students from a wide range of backgrounds. Before submitting an application for one of these unique and highly rewarding jobs, however, applicants should make sure that their degree, education level, and applicable certifications match up with the school’s minimum requirements. By reviewing these requirements, including the potential for special certifications needed to teach private school, candidates will have a better chance of landing the job and developing a career in education.