The educators at The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point explain that an emergency teaching certification (also called a License with Stipulations) lets people with bachelor's degrees temporarily teach even if they haven't completed teacher education programs. There are different ways to get a teaching emergency credential, and these depend on state and school district regulations. Like other states, Mississippi offers them when districts don't have enough available certified teachers for their schools.
Mississippi Emergency Teaching Certificate
Certain Mississippi school districts are in poor, rural areas that have to compete with larger, wealthier ones that can pay more experienced teachers. Close to one-third of the state's 152 districts are termed "critical shortage areas," and emergency teaching licenses help them fill the positions. In order to obtain some of these emergency teaching licenses, you'll need to fill out a licensure application, a Verification of Contact with the Local District Teacher Center, an Individualized Certification Plan for the Local District and a Local District Application, along with your college transcripts.
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You can find applications and send your packets to the Mississippi Department of Education, which is in Jackson. Some specific laws and regulations apply to the certification, and these are found in the Mississippi Code of 1972, in Sections 37-3-2 (6) (c,d,e and f). The emergency certifications are generally considered non-renewable, but the state may grant an exception to specific individuals in some circumstances.
Opportunities in Teaching
There was a nationwide teacher shortage even before the pandemic, and there are now even more vacancies and opportunities for new teachers. The educators at the University of Kansas explain that every state requires public K-12 teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Graduates must then comply with their state's licensure requirements. Initiatives like the TEACH Grant Program for education majors can provide students with up to $4,000 a year, but this comes with certain obligations like temporarily teaching in schools that serve low-income students.
The experts at The U.S. Board of Education described their approval of Mississippi's American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) to help support K-12 students and schools. The state received $543 million in funding to enhance safer schools' operations and expand opportunities for students and support staff members. The shortage still exists, and emergency teacher certifications are still vital.
Teacher Salaries and Benefits
The writers at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the median 2021 pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers was $61,350 per year; the salary was the same for middle-school instructors and was only slightly higher for high-school teachers at $61,820. This dollar amount does not include benefits like health care coverage and pensions, and don't forget that teachers also get summers off when they work at public schools (most of the time). They also have a shorter workday but often have to spend time after school and on weekends preparing lessons and grading papers. There are also meetings, training and workshops to attend.
Teachers can benefit from other perks as well. For example, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) offers American teachers who are first-time homebuyers help with down payments and closing costs. These include the Teacher Next Door Program, Nehemiah grants and HART. You can also find retailers that offer teacher discounts, and this can be a big help when classroom supplies and personal items have to be purchased.
The educators at the Mississippi Teacher Corps is an alternative-route program offered by the University of Mississippi that offers lucrative incentives for students. They provide a full scholarship for a master of arts in teaching degree from the University of Mississippi, followed by job placement in a state public school. Besides that, they provide a summer stipend, a technology stipend and extra money to purchase classroom supplies.
- University of Wisconsin Stevens Point: License With Stipulations (Previously Referred to as an Emergency License)
- University of Kansas: How to Become a Teacher
- U.S. Department of Education: U.S. Department of Education Approves Mississippi’s Plan for Use of American Rescue Plan Funds to Support K-12 Schools and Students, Distributes Remaining $543 Million To State
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
- Mississippi Teacher Corps: Benefits Overview