Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Maryland
Maryland’s Early Childhood Education Scene
Maryland, a small state surrounding the Chesapeake Bay, leads the nation in many educational categories. It has earned the top national ranking for five years in a row by Education Week and continuously receives high scores for its investment in early childhood education. It ranks 7th in the nation for teacher salaries, with the average teacher earning approximately $63,831 in 2010-11 according to the National Center For Education Statistics. While many states have experienced large budget cuts due to the tough economy, Maryland continues to provide funding to its schools which aids its ongoing success (Washington Post).
Teacher Certification and Licensure in Maryland
The Maryland Department of Education’s web site includes extensive information about the ways to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.
Maryland does not issue permanent certification. It offers six certificates based on experience, level of education, and professional development.
- Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC)
- Standard Professional Certificate I (SPC I)
- Standard Professional Certificate II (SPC II)
- Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)
- Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC)
- Conditional Certificate (COND)
To apply for a credential, you must hold a degree from a Maryland approved program or out-of-state approved program, hold a valid professional certificate from another state, or have earned a baccalaureate degree or higher in a non-education area.
When applying for initial teacher certification, you are required to present passing scores on the Praxis I, ACT, SAT, or GRE. You also must present passing scores on the Praxis II or ACTFL in your content area. Out-of-state candidates must meet Maryland’s qualifying scores; however, some candidates may be eligible for exemption.
The three forms needed to apply are the initial application for certification form, the verification of educational experience form, and the occupational experience resume form.
Be sure to contact the MDOE’s human resources department or your desired school system’s human resources office should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.
Early Childhood Education Degree Programs
Here are four of the many reputable colleges that offer early childhood or elementary education degrees in Maryland. Many teachers find it beneficial to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree prior to entering the job scene because Maryland requires post-baccalaureate course work to earn the Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). In addition, teachers holding a graduate degree earn higher salaries in many cities.
prepares students to become early childhood educators capable of effectively engaging young learners in the pre-K setting. With the option to focus on special education or classroom supervision, Capella’s Master’s in Early Childhood Education is designed with the modern pre-K classroom in mind.
is the largest early childhood education school and offers a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in early childhood education (birth through third grade). A Master of Education in early childhood education (pre-K through three) and elementary education (grades one through six) are also available.
College of Education ranks in the top 25 colleges of education in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It offers a Bachelor of Science in early child education (pre-K through three) and elementary education (grades one through six).
offers a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education (pre-K through three) and elementary education (grades one through six), as well as a double major. There are several organizations for education majors, including the Living Learning Community, Education Club, and Kappa Delta Pi.
located in rural western Maryland, offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education (pre-K through six) and elementary education (grades one through six). It also offers a Master of Arts in elementary education (grades one through six).
Looking for Teaching Jobs in Maryland
There are several different avenues you can take in pursuing a career in early childhood education in Maryland.
Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. Here is a link to Maryland’s professional salary schedule by school system. Each school system’s website lists current open positions as well as step-by-step information about how to apply for current job openings.
Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start, Bright Horizons, Knowledge Beginnings, Kinder Care Learning Centers, and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area as well, as many of these centers are in constant need of highly qualified teachers and assistant teachers.
GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated public and private preschools and elementary schools in your local community.
Maryland’s Professional Groups for Teachers
There are many organizations you can join in support of teachers in the state of Maryland.
The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) is the largest union in Maryland. It is comprised of more than 70,000 educators and school employees in Maryland’s public schools. The MSEA also represents 39 local affiliates in every county across the state. Signing up through your local affiliation grants you membership in both the MSEA and the 3.2 million-member National Education Association (NEA). Fees to join vary based on salary and can be paid through payroll deductions.
The Maryland Association for the Education of Young Children (MAEYC) aims to improve the quality of early childhood education for children and educators through information, advocacy, education, networking, and service. There are five local chapters as well as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Membership dues vary by state and community, but are considerably lower than MSEA dues.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Maryland is the state-wide affiliate of the AFT’s national union. This union has been advocating for the rights of teachers for over three decades.
Early Childhood Education Bloggers in Maryland
The Baltimore Sun’s Inside Ed blog covers a variety of hot topics in news and education. There are also quite a few prominent teacher bloggers to follow.
The Maryland Learning Links blog features expert teachers who share their thoughts on topics affecting families and communities.
Family Connections: Pete Begler is a veteran teacher with a master’s degree in early childhood education. He covers a variety of educational topics for teachers and parents and has a special interest in working with children with autism.
The author of the article on Technology on Maryland Learning Links is Rebecca Simon, who holds a Master of Arts in teaching with a focus in elementary education. She has a passion for incorporating technology while teaching her students and her son who has high-functioning autism.
Autism: Chris Swanson is a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins School of Education, Center for Technology in Education (CTE). He focuses on early childhood education, instructional technology, and children with autism.