Maine: Teacher Credentialing in Maine

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To become a teacher in Maine, individuals need to obtain the necessary education and training to do so. The state's department of education mandates that all teachers who wish to teach in public or private schools within the state will need to have specific education, degrees, and formal training in order to be certified within the state. Certification is an ongoing process in that continuing education is required for most teachers. In order to obtain teacher certification, students must complete the necessary education requirements, and then obtain teacher preparation before they can sit for the necessary certification tests.

Education for the Teacher

To become a teacher in the state of Maine, individuals must first obtain a bachelor's degree in education. This is the very basic level of education and the board of education does encourage students to obtain both specialization and advanced degrees (to ensure they meet the requirements of Higher Qualified as set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act of the federal government). However, the state of Maine does not have specific requirements for undergraduate credit hours. You must meet the requirements of the college or the university to receive your bachelor's degree. You must obtain that bachelor's degree from a state accredited school, too.

Teacher Preparation

The second step in the process to becoming a teacher is to obtain teacher preparation. This step is done through an accredited teacher education program, which may be available through the college or university you attended or through third party organizations that are approved by the state.

Teacher preparation encompasses learning how to properly research, develop, and implement curriculum within the classroom. It is a combination of a work study and lecture type of education in which the student will learn how to and then demonstrate these skills. This is followed by a period of student observation within the classroom of a certified teacher and then a period of student teaching. Working one on one within the classroom enables the student teacher to ensure their teaching skills meet requirements.

Alternative Certification

If you already are a graduate with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, but it is not in the field of education, you still may qualify for certification called an alternative teaching certificate. The state of Maine does allow this to occur, under most situations. You will still need to complete teacher preparation as well as sit for the required testing in order to qualify to obtain this certification. Check with the Maine Department of Education to determine if your specific qualifications are enough to qualify.

Required Testing

The Maine Department of Education mandates that the individual who has met all of these requirements listed thus far will sit for the basic skills test. This is the Pre Professional Skills Test or PPST. In addition, most teachers will need to sit for the Praxis II Subject Test, which is for specialized competence.

Once you have sat for and passed all of these courses, the next step in the process is to apply for your teacher certification through the Maine Department of Education.

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