A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.
The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Kentucky for the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. (see page 62)
Early Childhood Education
English and Communications
English as a Second Language
Exceptional Children Emotional–Behavior Disability
Moderate and Severe Disability
Career and Technical Education
Learning Behavior Disability
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Kentucky
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 11/1/2016
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Kentucky, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Certification to teach elementary school (grades 1-6) requires coursework in all subject areas taught in elementary school.
Kentucky requires that middle school (grades 5-9) teachers have a major in either English, math, social studies, or science, with a major being equivalent to 30 semester hours of coursework. secondary school (grades 8-12) teachers are required to have a 30 credit hour major in their desired area of study.
Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Kentucky can be found on Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board webpage.
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It is no longer enough to only have years of experience teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, teachers are almost solely evaluated on their success in the classroom. A master’s degree in the field of education provides more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.
After a master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. In Jefferson County Public Schools, which encompasses Louisville, teachers holding a master’s degree can expect to earn around $5,400 more annually than teachers who lack the advanced degree, according to a 2016 salary schedule provided by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Kentucky, visit the Teach.com reciprocity page. Or, for more information click on the Kentucky Department of Education’s Professional Development page.
Kentucky teachers become vested in the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System after a minimum of five years of service. Additional benefits Kentucky teachers receive include health care coverage, annual and sick leave and vacation days.
The Educational Professional Standards Board is responsible for managing certification renewal and teacher assessment. Kentucky requires at least four days of each school term to be used as Professional Development days. Kentucky’s Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) involves monitoring and performance assessment of first-year teachers to ensure that they are making progress in teaching to state standards.
To advance from one certification rank to the next, teachers are required to complete either a certain number of graduate credits or the Continuing Education Option (CEO), an independent study plan that teachers create based on the needs of their schools or districts.
The Kentucky Educator Placement Service (KEPS) runs a simple job search engine that allows teachers and administrators to search for job postings. There is an advanced search function that lets users search by grade level, region and subject.