Educational aides seeking teacher certification now have the opportunity to complete their clinical teaching without the financial hardship of an unpaid student teaching assignment.
Teaching is one of the only professions in which an individual is expected to complete an unpaid internship. The adoption of Texas Administrative Code (19 TAC §228.35) in December 2018, added an option for teacher certification candidates employed as certified educational aides to complete their clinical teaching while remaining employed with the school district. The rule states “…candidates employed as educational aides may satisfy their clinical teaching assignment requirements through their instructional duties”. The candidate’s educational preparation program (EPP) must approve.
A clinical teaching assignment must be a minimum of 490 hours, equivalent to 14 weeks. If an educational aide takes maternity leave, military leave, or is ill during the clinical teaching, the aide may be excused from 35 of the 490 hours. The EPP must provide for three formal observations during the assignment.
The certification candidate will successfully complete the clinical teaching assignment after demonstrating proficiency in each of the educator standards for the assignment. The next step is recommendation by the field supervisor and cooperating teacher for a standard certificate.
As districts seek to develop educational aides into teachers, this rule provides an avenue to retain the employee while they satisfy clinical teaching experience. Pursuing a teacher certificate may now be more affordable for educational aides than in the past. Communicating this option to educational aides could provide additional interest in a teacher certification program.
Karen Dooley is a Senior HR Consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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