Legislator: Educators should be focused on students, classrooms
State Rep. Aaron Miller today announced his plan to help new teachers be focused on students, and not on unreasonable certification requirements, has been signed into law.
“The time new teachers spend during the first few years of working with students is invaluable, but instead we’re forcing them to go back to school to meet licensing requirements,” said Miller, a licensed teacher. “They should be teaching and setting the stage for a long career working with young minds, not hustling for a piece of paper with no bearing toward improving their abilities a teacher. How does that help the students?”
New teachers are issued a standard teaching certificate with a professional license available after three years of classroom experience, over 150 hours of professional development and additional post-graduate coursework. New instructors may renew their five-year standard certification multiple times, while obtaining a professional certificate may be required as early as three years into a teacher’s career.
Miller noted the legislation only makes it optional for teachers to pursue the professional certification. The plan has the support of the state Department of Education, along with several other educational groups.
“Teachers should be measured on the educational growth and results by their students, not which certification they have achieved,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “We’ve got to let teachers teach, not spend time worrying if they got enough professional development to earn another certificate. We don’t need to add to that, especially if they just graduated from college and are starting their career.”
House Bill 4614 is now Public Act 202 of 2018.