General Program Questions:
1. Q: What is the Troops to Teachers program?
A: This program assists eligible veterans, active duty, Guard and Reserve individuals in their transition to a new career in public education as a teacher in the K-12 public school system of the United States.
2. Q: What benefits are there in applying to the Troops to Teachers program?
A: There are five major areas in which Troops to Teachers assists future teachers:
- Financial aid in the form of $5,000 stipends or $10,000 bonus money to qualified participants.
- A nationwide referral system; our participant database is available to school districts to recruit new teachers.
- Regional or state assistance offices to provide local representation for participants.
- Provide school districts the ability to post their vacancies directly on our nationwide website.
- Troops to Teachers participants can post a mini-resume along with their database record to personalize their national record.
3. Q: Who is eligible to register for the Troops to Teachers program?
A: First, check out your Eligibility Criteria. Those interested in an academic teaching position (elementary/secondary) must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Those without a bachelor’s degree can be considered for vocational, technical, or professional teaching (electronics, computer technology, construction trades, automotive, etc.) but must be able to document their skill level or expertise.
4. Q: When should an individual register for the program?
A: The best time to register is now—this will lock in your eligibility and entitlements under the current rules, and there is absolutely no obligation on your part. The rules that govern Troops to Teachers are federally mandated and are subject to change, perhaps becoming less lucrative in the future.
5. Q: To which office should I send the registration?
A: Register Online, or if you prefer, the registration packet and accompanying documents can be mailed to the national office at the following address: DANTES, Troops to Teachers, 6490 Saufley Field Rd, Pensacola, Florida 32509-5243. If you wish to teach in one of the Lewis and Clark region states, we request you notify us by EMAIL when submitting your registration.
6. Q: Where can I obtain a registration form for the program?
A: You can register online at Proud to Serve Again. You may also download the registration packet.
7. Q: What other documents must be submitted with the registration form?
A: Please refer to page 7 in the registration packet for applicable supporting documentation.
8. Q: May I submit copies of the accompanying documents or must they be originals?
A: Legible copies are acceptable.
9. Q: By submitting a signed registration form, am I obligating myself to anything?
A: No; however, you are certifying that all the information on the registration form is true and correct.
Becoming a Teacher:
10. Q: What if I am not sure that I want to become a teacher?
A: The best approach is to gain some practical experience by volunteering in a public school at the grade level and subject area you wish to teach. Click here for What to Expect Your First Year. You have nothing to lose by registering and a lot to gain-we can provide you with materials, resources, counseling and mentors that can help you to decide if teaching is right for you. Also, we recommend you try substituting.
11. Q: I have heard that a person has to be ‘licensed’ or ‘certified’ to teach. What does that mean and are there alternative routes to certification/licensure?
A: Every state requires public school teachers to meet a set of education standards, which vary from state to state. After you complete these requirements you are issued a license or certificate verifying your eligibility to be hired by school districts in that state. You should check with the individual state’s Department of Education/Office of Public Instruction. Troops-to-Teachers assistance offices can help you determine requirements in the states they represent.
12. Q: Do substitute teachers have to be certified?
A: Some states issue a certificate to allow a person to substitute teach, but most do not. Hiring substitutes is managed entirely by the school district. Working as a substitute teacher allows the district to become aware of your teaching abilities and offers you the opportunity to become acquainted with the system.
13. Q: What do beginning teachers get paid?
A: The National Education Association estimates the 2010/2011 national average salaries for teachers at $35,139 (bachelors degree) - $64,883 (masters degree).
Teacher Licensure/Certification Questions:
14. Q: Is a teacher license/certificate required to get hired as a full time teacher?
A: Yes, in most but not all cases. Many states have an “Alternative Teaching Certificate” that is issued to an individual based on their existing academic background and the school’s immediate need to hire a teacher. Also, in many states individuals can be hired as vocational/technical/professional teachers based on their skill level/experience, without having a current certificate. Most states in the Lewis & Clark region offer an alternative licensure/certification program. In Idaho the Pathways for Accelerated Certification & Endorsement (PACE) program is offered through Lewis-Clark State College. The Nothern Plains Transition to Teaching (NPTT) program is offered by Montana State University and accepted for licensure in Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. These programs are all or mostly online and therefore very convenient for Troops-to-Teachers participants. Some accredited online universities offer teacher training programs accepted in many states.
15. Q: What if the state in which I wish to teach does not have an alternative certification program or I do not wish to take an online program?
A: You would then need to take a traditional ‘on-site’ teacher preparation program at an institution of higher learning or complete courses to meet requirements in academic subject areas.
16. Q: How do I find a teacher preparation program?
A: Contact the Troops to Teachers assistance office for the state in which you’re interested. Another contact is each state’s Department of Education/Office of Public Instruction.
17. Q: In what states can I find a Troops to Teachers assistance office?
A: All 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, are covered by a state or regional Troops to Teachers assistance office. The Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) contact is at www.dodea.edu/ .