Many students working toward Maryland teaching certification choose to earn their teaching degree online. Pursuing an education degree online allows students to structure their studies around their professional and personal responsibilities. Online students can reduce or eliminate costs associated with commuting and childcare, and the flexibility of online programs help students improve their time management skills.
Typically, distance learners can complete most required coursework online. However, some programs include onsite classroom observation requirements. To qualify for professional licensure, all education students must complete a supervised internship in a local school. Before enrolling in an online teaching program, make sure you can fulfill all in-person requirements.
Teaching licensure requirements vary by state. Maryland residents who enroll in an out-of-state program should investigate regulations for the state in which they plan to teach. Full-reciprocity states impose no additional certification requirements for teachers licensed in other states, but not every state offers full reciprocity. Teachers licensed outside Maryland must fulfill additional requirements to teach in the state, including requesting a credential evaluation from the Maryland State Department of Education.
All licensed teachers must complete continuing education requirements to retain and renew their teaching certification.
How to Become a Teacher in Maryland
Teachers in Maryland must have at least a bachelor's degree and a teaching license. Maryland teaching certification also requires additional coursework in reading. The state's alternative preparation programs address teacher shortages in critical subject areas.
Teaching licenses do not transfer across state lines, although some states maintain reciprocity agreements that ease the process of obtaining certification in another state. Some states require additional coursework, further assessments, a higher GPA, or attendance at an accredited teacher preparation program. States may issue an initial certificate and provide a timeline within which teachers must fulfill additional requirements.
Regardless of their state of residency, students enrolled in Maryland schools should earn teaching certification in Maryland to take advantage of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification interstate agreement, which streamlines the process of applying for certification in other states.
Before enrolling in an online program, prospective students should visit the U.S. Department of Education's resource organizations directory and verify that the coursework of their prospective program will qualify them for licensure in the state in which they plan to teach.
How to Get a Teaching Certification in Maryland
Earning an initial teaching license is a crucial step toward becoming a teacher in Maryland. All candidates seeking teaching certification in Maryland must meet state requirements for academic preparation, standardized testing, student teaching, and background clearance. After completing all requirements, candidates apply for licensure and pay fees through the Maryland State Department of Education. The school district may apply on your behalf if you receive a job offer before earning certification.
Provide proof that you hold a bachelor's degree
Candidates must submit proof that they hold a bachelor's degree. Those who did not major in education can complete an approved program in their subject area, an alternative preparation program, or a transcript analysis including scores on basic skills and PRAXIS subject assessments. The Department of Education provides information for non-teaching majors.
Hold a minimum GPA of 3.0
Candidates for teaching certification in Maryland must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate coursework and must have earned grades of "C" or better in all required pre-professional courses.
Complete approved student-teaching hours
After completing all required coursework and passing exams, students pursuing certification through approved teacher preparation programs must complete a student-teaching practicum. Student teachers work in an appropriate grade level or subject area under the supervision of a mentor. Most programs require candidates to complete at least 600 classroom hours. Student teachers work full time and can complete the practicum in one semester.
Receive a passing grade on required exams (PRAXIS)
Candidates pursuing a teaching certificate in Maryland must submit at least two qualifying exam scores. First, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in basic skills by attaining minimum scores on the PRAXIS Core or PRAXIS I exam. Candidates must earn scores of at least 177 in mathematics, 177 in reading, and 173 in writing. In lieu of PRAXIS scores, candidates can submit scores of at least 1100 on the SAT, 1000 on the GRE, or 24 on the ACT. Second, candidates must pass applicable PRAXIS II content and pedagogy exams for their intended grade level or teaching subject area. Prospective foreign language teachers must also pass a proficiency test through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Pass background clearance by Maryland
All candidates for teaching certification in Maryland must pass a background clearance. Candidates submit an application for criminal history records check to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, pay the $30 fee for a full background check, and submit fingerprints. Approved fingerprint service providers require an additional $20 fee. Candidates must sign a disclosure statement regarding any criminal history with results forwarded to the Maryland State Department of Education.
Submit an application for teaching certification
Candidates submit the initial application for certification online through the Maryland State Department of Education website. Candidates must provide their education history -- including degree, date conferred, GPA, and major -- supervised student-teaching information, and employment history. If applicable, provide out-of-state certification and license suspension information. The application packet must also include proof of qualifying scores on the basic skills and PRAXIS exams, official transcripts, an affirmation statement, and a cover letter.
Payment of all fees
Candidates must pay a $10 fee for the initial teaching certificate and $10 per renewal. Payments are accepted online through the Maryland State Department of Education website or through the mail. Online payments require an additional $1.50 service fee.
Student Teaching in Maryland
All candidates for teaching licensure in Maryland must complete a supervised student teaching internship involving at least 80 in-class hours at a local school. Interns are responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating units of instruction under the supervision of licensed teachers. Internships begin with co-teaching and observation and then gradually receive greater responsibility and assume full responsibility for the classroom by the sixth week. Students must complete the internship during the final semester of their program and cannot carry any additional coursework during the internship. Interns must submit a portfolio to demonstrate competency in the appropriate subject area.
Online students prepare for student teaching responsibilities in stages. First, they view and analyze teaching videos approximating the environment in which they plan to teach. Second, they plan and practice pedagogy within online and on-campus settings. Third, they practice in a real classroom. At all stages, instructors and peers provide feedback to help students refine their pedagogy. During the internship, the student's university field supervisor provides formal observations of the student's performance.
Interns must also complete a teaching performance assessment (edTPA). All students who complete their student teaching in Maryland must complete the edTPA, even if they plan to teach in another state. All students applying for Maryland licensure must also complete the edTPA, even if they completed their student teaching in another state.
Online schools collaborate with school districts to obtain field placements and support distance learners. Online students typically work with a field placement specialist to find an appropriate placement in a local school. The placement specialist may also assist with the licensing process.
Career Outlook for Teachers in Maryland
Teaching careers in Maryland rank among the most lucrative in the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for teachers is higher in Maryland than in many other states. The BLS reports that Maryland's average salaries for all education, training, and library occupations are significantly higher than the national average. While secondary teachers rank highest in annual earnings, middle and elementary school teachers are not far behind.
Average teacher salaries in Maryland rank among the top 10 highest in the U.S., and high teacher salaries are named as one factor in the "Maryland formula" leading to increased average test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
|Occupation||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Elementary School Teachers||24,960||$64,970|
|Middle School Teachers||11,550||$64,840|
Excludes Special Education Teachers, May 2016
Scholarships for Maryland Teaching Students
Aspiring teachers can take advantage of a variety of national, state, and local scholarships. Additional financial assistance is available for students pursuing Maryland teaching certification who commit to teach in high-need areas or in schools with critical teacher shortages.
- Distinguished Scholar Teacher Education Award
Who Can Apply: Recipients of Distinguished Scholar Awards can receive an additional $3,000 applicable to Maryland teacher preparation programs.
Amount: $3,000 for the Distinguished Scholar Award, plus $3,000 for the Teacher Education Program
- Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance Grant
Who Can Apply: The Howard P. Rawlings Foundation awards grants to full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students at Maryland colleges who demonstrate financial need. Students or their parents must be Maryland residents.
Amount: $400 to $3,000
- Sharon Christa McAuliffe Education Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Program awards grants to students who plan to pursue an approved teacher education program leading to certification in an area of critical shortage, such as chemistry, Spanish, technology education, special education, mathematics, or computer science. Applicants must be high school seniors or degree-seeking students enrolled in eligible, accredited Maryland institutions of postsecondary education.
Amount: $1,000 to $4,000 per year, up to $19,000
- Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy Memorial Scholarship & Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: These scholarships are awarded to eligible degree-seeking Maryland residents who are related to military service members, veterans, or school employees who suffered injuries or death in the line of duty.
- Robert G. Porter Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) awards postsecondary education scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are dependents of AFT members.
Amount: $1,000 to $8,000
- University of Maryland Tuition Assistance for Mathematics Education
Who Can Apply: The University of Maryland Department of Mathematics offers tuition waivers and financial support to students with a bachelor's degree in mathematics who want to pursue a master's degree in education.
Amount: Unspecified; contact department advisor for information
Resources for Teachers in Maryland
- Maryland State Department of Education: Located in Baltimore, the Maryland State Department of Education develops policy and standards for public pre-K–12 educational programs. Led by the state superintendent of schools and guided by the Maryland state board of education, the department focuses on effectiveness, innovation, inclusivity, safety, and accountability. The department's website provides information regarding initiatives, regulations, and news. Educators and students can learn about job openings and access information and forms for educator certification.
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation: With locations in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, CBF is an independent, accredited charity and conservation organization that focuses on restoration, advocacy, education, and litigation. Members receive discounts on discovery trips and purchases from the CBF online store. Educators have access to information regarding jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. They can also apply for watershed field experiences and other educational programs as well as download posters, reports, and resources for classroom use.
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Based in Annapolis, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources promotes ecological sustainability and fosters values aligning with responsible natural resource stewardship for all Maryland citizens. The department offers workshops and events, environmental data, professional development, funding opportunities, student activities, lesson plans, and in-class presentations. Program topics include geology and groundwater, state parks, wildlife education, and boating and water safety.
- Maryland Council on Economic Education: Located at Towson University, the Maryland Council on Economic Education promotes the advancement of economic literacy and personal finance skills for students in Maryland schools. The council ensures that Maryland's high school graduates are equipped to make economically-sound decisions as workers, consumers, investors, and citizens. The council provides teacher resources for financial literacy research and education, including lesson plans and activities, individualized assistance in curriculum development, seminars, and teacher training programs.
- Maryland Historical Society: Founded in 1844 and based in Baltimore, the Maryland Historical Society collects and preserves historical materials and educates people of all ages about the state's history. Member benefits include library and museum access, members-only publications, and reciprocal nationwide admission to historical museums. Resources available for teachers include professional development workshops, classroom materials, lesson plans, and a subscription-based historical investigations portal to help students learn to analyze primary sources.
Networking Opportunities in Maryland
Networking is essential to career advancement and success in any field, and this is especially true in education. Conferences, meetups, and professional organizations help educators stay updated on news and policy developments in the field, connect with peers, learn about educational technology, and explore job opportunities. Networking opportunities allow teachers to connect with their peers, compare notes on lesson plans and classroom techniques, and support each other by sharing teaching best practices.
Founded in 2014 by five co-organizers with diverse backgrounds in education, the EdTech meetup welcomes teachers, administrators, and enthusiasts of educational technology. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month and features presentations from startups and community organizations.
EdCamp meetings feature no set agenda, as participants choose topics and focus on accessible learning. Described as an "un-conference," EdCamp attendees bring prepared discussion topics. Past camps have included learning experiences, informal networking, and the sharing of educational tools.
|Maryland Society for Educational Technology||A membership and networking organization founded in 1986, MSET promotes excellence in teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. Educators can follow the organization's Twitter account to learn more about conferences, workshops and training opportunities, and scholarships and grants for innovative educators.|
|Loyola University Maryland School of Education blog||Focused on Catholic students and school counseling professionals, Loyola's blog covers topics including net neutrality, reports from EdCamp, paths to accreditation for school counselors, curriculum and instruction, career advice, community activities, and comparisons between master's degrees in education.|
|Maryland Public Schools||The Maryland State Department of Education emphasizes support, accountability, and leadership in public education. Teachers can follow the department's Twitter account to stay informed on career and technology education, track job fairs, follow conference reports and award recipients, and learn about grants and incentives for teachers working in underserved areas.|
|National Education Policy Center||NEPC produces and disseminates peer-reviewed research on education policy issues and maintains a collection of blogs on a variety of topics. Educators can read daily NEPC blog posts covering topics such as school reform, teacher preparation programs, and funding for education.|
|Professional Learning for Maryland Educators||As a division of the Maryland State Department of Education, the professional learning office fosters educator effectiveness and lifelong learning. Educators can follow the office's Twitter account for daily links to Maryland learning publications and information on sourcing high-quality learning resources.|