A teacher's certificate affirms that the teacher or specialist has met all the requirements for employment as a teacher or educational specialist in Maine's public schools. There are different varieties of certificates:
This is issued to a new teacher or educational specialist in his or her first two years of employment. All course work for certification has been completed, but the teacher or specialist needs to complete the two-year TAP (Teacher Approval Process). (This certificate may also be issued to a new hire who has allowed his/her certificate to lapse, or has come to Maine already fully certified by another state. In these instances, the employee may be allowed to complete a one-year "Fast Track" TAP during his/her second year of employment.)
When completing a TAP, the teacher/specialist will work with a mentor, who will meet with him/her to discuss goals chosen to help improve the candidate's professional skills. The mentor will observe the provisional certificate holder three times per year, as well as meet with him/her for pre and post observation conferences. (A "Fast Track" TAP only requires one observation.)
CLICK HERE to open the full TAP (Teacher Action Plan) process document
Occasionally, the Maine Department of Education will issue a Conditional Certificate to someone who has not yet met the requirements for a Provisional Certificate. This teacher/specialist is missing some course work, or his/her student teaching, or needs to take an exam (such as the Praxis). This certificate is renewed on a yearly basis. Two three-credit courses must be completed each year, or the other necessary requirements must be met within the specified time frame. This teacher needs to ask his/her superintendent for an affidavit.
This certificate is issued to a teacher or specialist already holding a provisional or professional certificate in one subject area, but the teacher or specialist is transitioning to a new subject. To renew this certificate, two 3-credit courses must be taken each school year.
Targeted Need Certificate:
When there is a shortage of qualified teachers in certain subject areas, occasionally the State of Maine lessons the requirements for full certification. Currently this applies to the following areas: Special Education, Industrial Arts, Secondary Math and Science, Speech and Hearing, and Foreign Language.
Full Professional Certificate:
Professional or master teacher. This certificate is renewable every five years.
Professional Certification Renewal:
This process only applies to those teachers and educational specialists who are currently holding a valid full professional certificate. This process requires the acquisition of 6 certification credits over the course of holding a five-year certificate. The State of Maine Department of Education allows the Certification Steering Committee for each school district to approve coursework or activities toward certificate renewal. At the end of five years, each candidate must show evidence proving 6 certification credits (that have prior approvals) to the Certification Steering Committee. The Certification Committee Chair is authorized by the State to sign a teacher's renewal form so that the teacher may send that signed form to Augusta in order to have his/her certificate renewed for another five years.
Goals and Prior Approvals:
Those seeking renewal must submit to the Certification Steering Committee (online) a "Renewal Plan" consisting of a set of professional goals to be approved by the Committee. Each time an activity is selected to meet one of the goals, a "Prior Approval Form" must be submitted to the Committee for approval before that activity occurs. (Prior Approval is done online and must be completed by midnight the day prior to the day of the activity.)
Development of Renewal Plan:
While the teacher or specialist holds his/her five-year certificate, six pre-approved credit hours of learning activities or study (in the field for which the teacher holds an endorsement or in a related subject) must be attained toward the next certificate renewal. The six certification credits may include a combination of of college credits, CEU's or approved contact hours. 1 college credit = 1 certification credit. 1.5 CEU's = 1 certification credit. 15 contact hours = 1 certification credit. (6 certification credits = 9 CEU's or 90 contact hours or 6 college credits or any combination of these that equals the 6 total certification credits required.)
Learning Activities Definition:
The State of Maine Department of Teacher Certification has identified the following as learning activities that will be considered as acceptable certification renewal activities:
Inservice Participation (New Learning)
Teacher Mentor Training or Peer Coaching Training
Attending Professional Conferences and Workshops
Research done to prepare to teach a college course or workshop
Independent Study or Research
College-Level Course Work
Research done in order to publish material
Membership on a NEASC visitation team (one time only)
Serving on a NEASC committee at your school
Mentoring a Student Teacher (one time only)
Overall, the primary focus for renewal activities is new training or learning that a teacher can apply to the classroom.
CLICK HERE to see the requirements for using Microcredentials toward your certification renewal
CLICK HERE for an application for a Group Book Study, the hours of which will be used toward group members' certification renewal
After a teacher or specialist has submitted a prior approval form, the prior is approved, and the teacher completes one of the approved activities listed above, the teacher or specialist must submit (within two months of completion) paperwork proving attendance or completion of that activity, which will be documented online by the certification building representative. When official certificates of attendance are not issued, the teacher/specialist needs to print a copy of the Documentation Form and have it signed by his/her building principal, or by the person who taught the workshop.
Through our online certification database, each renewal candidate will compile an online portfolio containing the approved activities being used to achieve certification. The portfolio will be examined by the Certification Steering Committee for final approval prior to the candidate mailing in his or her certification renewal form to the State DOE.
Goal Writing Tips
Well-written goals are written in a "to" form and are clear, measurable, and attainable, and are broad enough to encompass multiple activities.
Examples of well-written goals:
"To gain a stronger understanding of the process of assessment and to develop assessments for the Social Studies Department at CHRHS."
"To become proficient at using technology in the classroom."
"To improve my proficiency at curricular design, pedagogy, and content knowledge as related to science instruction"
Information on Continuing Education Units
The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally accepted unit of measurement to document individual participation in non-academic credit, continuing education courses. One CEU is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction.
5 hour workshop would award 0.5 CEU
10 hour workshop would award 1.0 CEU
22 hour workshop would award 2.2 CEUs
45 hour workshop would award 4.5 CEUs
Application of CEU's to Certification Renewal:
It is important to note that the application of CEUs to renewal of education certificates requires PRIOR program approval by the Certification Steering Committee. (A "Prior Approval" must be done online by midnight the day before the activity.)
Recertification credits are based on fifteen (15) hours of participation for each credit. This formula is used by most school systems and the State Department of Education to convert CEU's to credits for renewal of teaching certificates.
15 contact hours = 1.5 CEUs = 1 recertification credit
30 contact hours = 3.0 CEUs = 2 recertification credits
45 contact hours = 4.5 CEUs = 3 recertification credits
90 contact hours = 9.0 CEUs = 6 recertification credits
In order to renew a five-year certificate, the Certification Steering Committe must approve a portfolio showing proof of 6 recertification credits. These credits can be a combination of approved contact hours, CEU's and academic credits. All credits must show proof of prior approval.
Certification Steering Committee Members for SAD #28, Fivetown CSD:
Lisa Damian, Chair - CHRHS
Cara Moody - CRMS
Debbie Meservey - CRES
Deb McIntyre - Superintendent's Office
State Department of Education:General email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The State of Maine DOE Certification website has links for filing a change of address, checking on the status of your application and much more. It can be found at this address: http://www.maine.gov/education/cert/index.html, or by clicking on the link above or below:
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