How do I get Emergency Teaching Certification?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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In some high need areas, you can obtain an emergency teaching certification that will allow you to teach without the official credentials necessary to obtain a full teaching certificate. Emergency teaching certification is common in urban areas with a high population, as well as in extremely rural areas where the teacher pool is limited. Math and science are the areas most in need of teachers, so a candidate is most likely to obtain an emergency teaching certification in these areas; these certificates are not limited to these areas, however, and you can obtain a certification in any area depending on the need in a particular school district.

Most teachers must complete a teacher training course in order to obtain full certification. Others obtain a bachelor's degree in a specific subject area, then complete additional coursework to become certified. Emergency teaching certification bypasses some of these requirements, though just about all candidates must have a college education or specialized experience in a certain subject area. When an emergency teaching certification is issued, the issuer may require that the teacher begin fulfilling requirements for a full teaching certificate as he or she teaches.


Some requirements are unavoidable regardless of the type of certificate being pursued. Every teacher must be subjected to a background check that will include any criminal history, and every teacher must obtain a fingerprint clearance card from a local law enforcement agency. While a criminal history will not necessarily exclude a candidate from obtaining an emergency teaching certification, it can certainly make the process more difficult. If you have a criminal history, it is a good idea to check with the local school district regarding the criminal history policy before trying to obtain an emergency teaching certification.

It is also important to remember that an emergency certificate is not a permanent license to teach. Most emergency certificates expire after only a few months, or an entire school year. After the certificate expires, the teacher will have to re-apply or begin working on full certification in order to continue teaching. Some school districts will provide financial support for emergency certified teachers who wish to continue their education and obtain a full certificate, though many districts cannot afford to do so. A substitute teaching certificate is another way to continue teaching after an emergency certificate expires, though this is again a temporary certificate that must be renewed yearly, and it does not certify the candidate as a full teacher capable of all the duties associated with teaching.



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