New teacher articles

UFT certification & licensing team at your service

Miller Photography

The new director of the UFT Certification and Licensing Services Department, Nanette Rosario-Sanchez, has a knowledgeable staff of educational liaisons and certification specialists available to serve newer teachers in every borough with workshops and individual consultations. Seated from left are certification specialist Peter Mason, Bronx educational liaison Dana Falciglia, Brooklyn educational liaison Nadine Reis and Brooklyn educational liaison Bill Kalogeras, and (standing, from left) Bronx educational liaison Farheen Malik, certification specialist David Mahl, Rosario-Sanchez, Staten Island educational liaison Tanisha Franks, Queens educational liaison Tabio Da Cruz and Manhattan educational liaison Winnie Thompson.

Do you know which state certificate you hold? Your requirements under that certificate? Your deadlines for completing those requirements? What city license you’re appointed under?

If you’re like most new teachers — city schools have some 4,000 rookies this year — you’re confused about these things and more.

And these are not just academic questions: You could run into trouble and even lose your job if you don’t understand what to do and when to do it.

The basics are outlined below. To help further, the UFT trains educational liaisons and other experts who offer workshops in schools or UFT borough offices and respond to teachers’ questions in person, by telephone and via email.

Check your credentials

Check certificates at TEACH online. If you haven’t already done so, register on the New York State Education Department website for a TEACH online account [go to and follow the prompts]. This will enable you to check which certificate you hold, when it expires, which certification requirements you have already met and which you still need to meet.

Know the license you are appointed under. First-year teachers should consult a recent DOE email that clearly identifies individual appointment, licensing and certification details, including codes and dates. Otherwise, ask your school secretary to confirm the license under which you were appointed. This information is key for excessing and layoff purposes.

Check your requirements and deadlines

Once you know your certificate type and expiration date, determine the requirements you need to fulfill and how much time you have to complete them.

Initial Certificate. First-year teachers are most likely to hold this time-limited certificate. You have five years from the issue date to complete the following requirements to qualify for a professional certificate:

  • a master’s degree;
  • in some cases, 12 graduate credits in the certificate area’s content core or a related field;
  • three years of full-time teaching experience;
  • one year of mentoring; and
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

Professional Certificate. Once you have met all current state requirements listed above, you will be eligible for this advanced certificate.

For more specific and individualized information about your certification, contact TeacherLine at 1-212-253-8800 or; call an educational liaison in your UFT borough office; or call 1-212-420-1830 for an appointment with a UFT certification specialist at 52 Broadway.

Am I done yet?

No certificate is issued automatically. Once you qualify for your professional certificate, apply online at so the New York State Education Department will print and mail it to you. Check your TEACH online account for the documents you need to submit together with your $100 application fee (reduced to $50 if you have a college recommendation). Make copies of everything before you send it in. Mail your packet Return Receipt Requested and file the receipt with the copies of your paperwork.

Since it takes time to process your application, it’s wise to complete all your requirements early and apply at least six months before your time-limited certificate expires.

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