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Emergency-Hired Teachers Effective in the Classroom

photo of a young female teacher, woman dressed in a blue blazer, standing against a wall, tables / desks in the background

Research from New Jersey and Massachusetts shows that emergency-hired teachers do just as well as those who go through normal training.

An article in The 74, Emergency-Hired Teachers Do Just as Well as Those Who Go Through Normal Training, reviewed two studies that measured the effectiveness of teachers emergency-hired in New Jersey and Massachusetts compared to teachers who completed the full requirements to become certified. The studies looked at student growth as well as evaluation ratings of emergency-hired teachers. Both studies concluded that teachers who were emergency-hired performed similarly to other newly hired teachers.  

While emergency-hired teachers in New Jersey and Massachusetts may be similar to uncertified teachers in Texas through District of Innovation (DOI) plans, there are key differences that are important to note.  To qualify for an emergency teaching license in New Jersey or Massachusetts, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, and in New Jersey candidates must also complete 50 hours of preservice training. There’s also a limit on how long an emergency teaching license is valid before the candidate must complete steps towards becoming fully certified. These requirements are monitored and enforced at the state level.

In Texas, there is not a state-imposed minimum education or training requirement to teach under a DOI plan, nor is there a limit on how long an uncertified teacher can teach in a district before starting an educator preparation program. It is up to each individual district to set or not set these requirements.

Uncertified teachers in Texas may look different compared to other states, but one thing that can be agreed upon is that a strong support system for uncertified teachers is a key component to their success. The New Jersey study showed that emergency licensed teachers were working in schools that had strong support systems in place, which may have compensated for less training. A robust orientation program, teacher mentors, targeted professional development, and frequent check-ins are key components to teacher success. Implementing a strategic approach for support will help new uncertified teachers learn the skills necessary to perform effectively in the classroom.

For more information on supporting uncertified teachers, check out the HRX article Supporting Non-traditional Route Teachers.

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Lauren Wurman
Lauren Wurman
HR and Compensation Consultant

Lauren Wurman joined the HR Services team as an HR and compensation consultant in 2023. She assists with compensation plan development, training, and other HR projects. Prior to TASB, Wurman spent 18 years working in education. Most recently, she was the executive director of human resources for a Texas public school district.

Wurman holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. She also has a pHCLE certification.

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