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A License to Teach

I’ve written before about the many jobs that require a license. Teaching is among those, but a teaching license isn’t as inaccessible as it first appears. There are technically eight licenses in education offered by the state of Montana- for practical purposes, there are really only three that matter to someone considering beginning a career in education: Class 2, Class 4 and Class 5.

The Class 2 license is the standard path (and, in fact, a standard license). It requires a degree in education and a student teaching experience. The class 4 license is a vocational license, and it relies primarily on work experience. The class 4 requires a high school diploma.

Finally, the class 5 license is a provisional license. A provisional license is one that allows someone to work as a teacher while obtaining their credential. It lasts for three years, and can be obtained only once. It requires a bachelors degree and is intended for an applicant enrolled in some form of distance education while teaching. There is no penalty for failure to obtain the formal teaching credential before the license expires in three years.

In short- the only path that doesn’t require higher education is the class 4 vocational license. The straight forward, college-to-workforce path is the class 2 license. The middle path, with an education that isn’t necessarily for teaching, is the class 5 provisional license.

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