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Teaching program for military personnel creates concern


There’s a new “shortcut” to becoming a teacher here in the state of Florida, and it’s being offered to all military personnel, veterans and their spouses.

What You Need To Know
The bill went into effect on July 1 and creates an additional pathway for military service members to teach

There are requirements, but a bachelor’s degree isn’t one of them

Not all parents and teachers are excited about the plan, though

The bill went into effect on July 1 and creates an additional pathway for military service members to get a five-year, temporary teaching certification, without requiring a bachelor’s degree.

It does require 48 months of active-duty military service with an honorable discharge or a medical separation. Applicants must meet most of the general requirements for all people seeking teaching certifications. They must complete subject-area content requirements or demonstrate mastery of the subject-area, and they must complete 60 college credits with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

Not all parents and teachers are excited about the plan, though, and some have a lot of concerns, like Andria Moore, who is a Pinellas County teacher, and has two children herself.

Andria’s sister is also a teacher, and military spouse, but she says her sister completed all the requirements. “My sister, as I mentioned, is a teacher. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching, and she taught for many years, and being a military spouse, she’s taught in other states.”

And while her sister did all the schooling, Andria is concerned about the new bill allowing military personnel, veterans, and their spouses to get their certification without it.  

“It’s really great that military members have an opportunity to become teachers, but bringing them in with no experience, or background, isn’t helpful either for the person coming in, or the classroom itself,” said Andria.

Andria holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, but she says she even had to go back to school when she decided to become a teacher. “I had to go through a lot of rigorous steps and many hours of training with the county, also additional college courses in education, in order to be an effective classroom teacher.”

Now, she says she’s thankful for all of that training. “What I’m facing in the classroom now is very diverse and challenging, more so than it’s ever been before, and not having had a background in being in the classroom, stepping into that, I don’t see how somebody like that could be successful.” 

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