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.
“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.