Maryland Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Maryland
Anyone who has taught in a public school system will tell you that teaching is more than a profession: it is a calling. Unlike other callings, however, teaching in public schools requires very specific training and certification. If you are planning on becoming a teacher, or if you already have a teaching license but are planning on moving to another state, you would be wise to carefully research the teacher certification requirements of the state in which you plan to teach. Below you will find a brief outline of the requirements necessary for teaching certification in Maryland.
Requirements for certified teachers in Maryland
To become a certified teacher in Maryland, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Your studies must also include a teacher preparation program approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. You must also pass two tests that will measure your overall knowledge as well as your readiness to teach effectively in the classroom. These tests are a basic skills test (either the PRAXIS I or the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills test) and a relevant PRAXIS II content-area test for the subject and grade level you wish to teach. Additionally, if you plan to teach a foreign language, you must earn a passing score on the ACTFL Certified Proficiency Testing Program.
All Maryland teaching certificates carry a January or July issuance date. There are several different types of certificates available. Some of these include a professional eligibility certificate if you are not currently employed by a local Maryland school system, a standard professional certificate if you are employed by a local Maryland school or an accredited nonpublic school, and an advanced professional certificate if you have three years of professional teaching experience and you have earned your master’s degree. All of these licenses are valid for five years. It is not possible to get permanent teaching certification in Maryland.
Maryland jobs for licensed teachers
In an effort to attract and retain highly-qualified educators to its public school system, the state of Maryland offers several teacher incentive programs. Collectively called “Teach Maryland,” these programs were introduced by the 1999 and 2000 state legislative sessions. Through Teach Maryland, you may qualify for a $1,500 tax credit to offset tuition expenses if you take graduate courses to maintain your teaching certification in Maryland. To qualify for the program, you will need to be an employee of the local school district, earn a “B’ or better, and receive a passing performance evaluation for the school year in which you claim the credit.
Other teacher incentive programs in Teach Maryland include a $2,000 stipend for earning a certificate from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards if you teach at a school that has been identified as having comprehensive needs by the Maryland State Board of Education. You are paid a $1,500 annual stipend if you hold an Advanced Professional Certificate and maintain a satisfactory performance rating.
If you are a retired Maryland certified teacher and you work as a substitute in a school deemed to be failing to make adequate yearly progress based on the No Child Left Behind standards, you will be exempt from the earning limitations placed on other teachers in the same district.
Additionally, if you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Maryland for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Art (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Dance (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Theatre (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Business Education
- Career and Technology Areas (Grades 7 – 12)
- Family and Consumer Services
- Technology Education
- Computer Science (Grades 7 – 12)
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Mathematics (Grades 7 – 12)
- Science Areas (Grades 7 – 12)
- Earth/Space Science
- Physical Science
- Special Education Areas
- Generic: Infant/Primary (Birth – Grade 3)
- Generic: Elementary/Middle (Grades 1 – 8)
- Generic: Secondary/Adult (Grade 6 – Adult)
- Hearing Impaired
- Visually Impaired
- World Language Areas (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Maryland
Maryland participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.