Teaching Without Certification Is Acceptable

Brendan Donaldson, staff writer

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A current hot topic in education is whether or not teachers need to be certified to teach. In Arizona, it is not necessary to be certified in order to get hired, and there are teachers at Cactus Shadows who are not certified. These teachers seem to be more than capable of teaching the classes that they teach. Teachers should not have to be certified, because they have the potential to be amazing teachers without certification.

Even though these teachers are not currently certified, they must meet certain requirements in order to teach. First, they must have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Second, they must be enrolled in a qualified program to become certified. These teachers have two years to complete the certification process.

Another reason to hire teachers who aren’t certified is that there aren’t any certified teachers available. Because of the low pay, Arizona is currently experiencing a huge teacher shortage. While non-certified teachers usually lack the experience that most certified teachers have, their experience does not usually impact their teaching ability. In 2017, Arizona schools hired 1,035 “underqualified” teachers.

Something that not many people are discussing is: why are these teachers willing to leave more lucrative careers to come and teach? They will make less money teaching, and yet, they still want to teach. This means that they are probably very committed to doing a good job, and may bring some experience from their previous careers that will be beneficial to their students.

Some would argue that hiring uncertified teachers is a bad idea because they have not received specific training in teaching. In reality, because of their degree, it is certain they are experts in their subject area, which means they have the knowledge needed to teach the students. Every potential teacher is interviewed, and we can assume they will not hire people that they see unfit for the position, and it is not like they are just pulling strangers off the street to teach math classes.

Another thing to consider is that for teachers who are getting their teaching degree while they are teaching, it will be a little chaotic during the school year.

The fact is that in Arizona there may not be enough teachers without these humble individuals who are not certified and are choosing to pursue this line of work. If there weren’t enough teachers, the students would be negatively impacted with over-sized classrooms, which would also affect the teachers who are certified and working. This would have the potential to completely leave high schoolers undereducated by making the classes too big for enough teacher and student interaction.

Students in class with uncertified teachers do not usually notice that their teacher is not certified, which speaks to the fact that many of these teachers know what they are doing and how to do it. Instead of complaining about uncertified teachers, let’s be thankful we have enough teachers in our classrooms to educate us.

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