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Alternate Routes for Teacher Licensure

written by: Lady Lit•edited by: Trent Lorcher•updated: 7/16/2009

This article examines the advantages of alternate route certification.

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    What is an Alternate Route Certified Teacher?

    An alternative teacher certification program requires that individuals interested in obtaining a teacher license, attend some format of class, whether online or in person. Generally, candidates for an alternate route program are going to be individuals who have already graduated from college, but those who did not major in education while they were in college. Alternate route teachers are individuals from all walks of life including recent college graduates, retired military personnel, and former business executives.

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    Pay Incentives

    There are many benefits to becoming an alternate route certified teacher. For example, in Mississippi, if a teacher attends the Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI), an individual receives a pay incentive. A state law in Mississippi says that individuals who successfully complete the TMI as well as their first year teaching will be paid as a third-year teacher upon their second year working as a teacher in a public school. In some cases, not only do individuals finds their passion in education, but they are also rewarded monetarily for becoming a teacher.

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    Life Experiences

    Alternate route teachers bring their experiences to the classroom. In some cases, alternate route teachers have real life experience working in a career. Typically, these individuals graduated college and accepted a job in their field only to discover that their job is by no means their dream job. For a student, it is pretty neat to have a former meteorologist teaching a physical science or an astronomy course.

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    A Level of Excitement

    As some alternate route teachers have worked in jobs that proved disappointing, these teachers tend to bring a level of excitement that is unmatched by one’s traditional certified teacher. Plus, alternate route teachers have not been subjected to listening to all those highly theoretical concepts concerning education as they do not possess a degree in education. In other words, these teachers tend to bring their own approach—learning as they go.