Many NYSUT members have been on the job for five years or fewer and have questions about employment requirements, the union and other professional issues.
Q: I am a first-grade teacher, and I have received my initial certification. What steps do I need to take to earn my professional certificate?
A: There are three steps to professional certification: earn a graduate degree, teach for three years and teach with a mentor. Your college and employer must submit documentation of each of these steps through the New York State Education Department’s TEACH portal. Once all documentation has been submitted and you have applied and paid, SED will review your application. The process can take 16–20 weeks to complete, so do not wait until the last minute! If you cannot complete the required steps within five years of receiving your initial certification, you can apply for a time extension or re-issuance of your initial certificate through the TEACH portal.
Q: I have my initial certification and I’ve already started to collect Continuing Teacher and Leader Education hours. Will those hours count toward my CTLE requirements once I receive my professional certification?
A: Unfortunately, no. SED only starts counting CTLE hours once you have received your professional certificate. At that point, you have five years to complete your 100 hours. But just think – you are already learning new skills that will make you an asset in the classroom!
Q: How do you get recommendations from colleges for your professional certificate?
A: The good news is that NYS colleges should do this as a matter of course for most relevant master’s programs leading to teaching certificates. Log into your TEACH account and make sure the recommendation is posted and that it is for professional, not initial certification.
Next Generation NYSUT offers a wealth of info and resources to our new members. Check out nextgen.nysut.org. Have a question of your own? Email firstname.lastname@example.org; subject line “Union mentor.”