Be sure to complete your certification requirements

Rachel Nobel 1143

With summer just around the corner, it’s crucial to meet upcoming deadlines for certification if your current teaching certificate is near its expiration date.

If you’re a teacher working with an expired certificate, you must finish your certification requirements by June 30 to avoid termination. Once you fulfill your requirements, you should receive a letter from the Department of Education notifying you that your situation has been resolved; if you don’t, contact the Certification Department of the Division of Human Resources at 65 Court St. in Brooklyn to discuss your situation.

If you’re a teacher who was granted a time extension, you must complete your certification requirements before your extension expires this Aug. 31.

If you’re a teacher in your fifth year of teaching under an initial certificate, you should apply for your professional certificate before your initial certificate expires on Aug. 31. If you realize that you will need an extension to complete requirements for your professional certificate, you should apply for that extension immediately. You can apply and pay the $50 fee by going to the State Education Department website at In your application, you must identify one of the listed reasons for needing an extension and mail in the appropriate supporting documentation.

To fulfill the requirements for your professional certificate, you’ll need to show that you’ve earned a master’s degree and that you’ve completed three years of paid, full-time teaching experience. Your teaching experience can be in any public or approved nonpublic school, and in any grade or subject within the developmental level of your certificate — and the three years don’t all have to be in New York City schools. Any teaching you did under an alternative certificate such as a Transitional B or an Internship certificate also counts. Substitute teaching, as long as it was done in the same developmental level of your certificate, counts as well.

You’ll also need to complete the new six-hour anti-bullying course mandated by the Dignity for All Students Act — and, if you haven’t taken those classes already, state-mandated courses on child abuse identification and school violence prevention.

As a new teacher, you should have received one year of mentoring. It’s your mentor’s responsibility to log 40 hours into the DOE mentoring system, and you should see this reflected in your online TEACH account at the State Education Department website.

Since it takes time to process your application, it’s a good idea to apply for your professional certificate as soon as you finish all the requirements, or at least six months before your certificate expires. You must apply and pay the fee online at the State Education Department website at

Then, you should mail your official sealed transcripts and other supporting documents to the New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N-EB Education Building, 89 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12234. It’s recommended that you make copies of everything before you send it. Mail your documents certified return receipt requested.

For help with certification issues, call TeacherLine at 1-212-253-8800; an educational liaison at your UFT borough office; or a certification specialist with the UFT Certification Services Department at 1-212-420-1830.

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