Hiring Teachers in an Emergency

English teacher Jeff Ludlow gives an interview just outside his classroom Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 28, 2014, at Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls.

DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS

TWIN FALLS — A quickly growing teacher certification program is tightening its requirements for soon-to-be teachers.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence — a nonprofit established by the U.S. Department of Education in 2001— is an alternative program that allows professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree to earn their teaching certification.

Starting Sept. 1, anyone who enrolls in the online program to become a certified Idaho teacher must complete a clinical experience.

In a statement Wednesday, the nonprofit wrote: “Solving Idaho’s teacher shortage with unprepared teachers is not a solution.”

American Board candidates currently enter the classroom after passing the program’s professional teaching knowledge and subject area exams.

Now, they’ll also have to complete a clinical experience. It will allow first-year teachers to receive feedback on their teaching skills from a school-appointed coach who will conduct classroom observations throughout the school year.

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“New teachers can have a difficult time navigating challenges ranging from keeping rowdy students under control to a student getting stuck in a desk,” American Board executive director Lisa Howell said in a statement. “Having consistent, constructive feedback during that first year is crucial.”

American Board has awarded more than 6,000 teaching certifications in 12 states, including Idaho.

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