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When you first obtained your Texas teaching certificate, it entitled you to teach in the state for five years, at which time you would have to renew it. To renew, you must have participated in continuing education courses. This goes for all teachers, whether they're taking a year or two off to be with family, or whether they teach for the full five years. If you allow your certificate to expire, it goes on "inactive" status and can be reinstated only after taking the required number of continuing education hours.
Continuing Education Courses
Standard teaching certificates -- the type of licenses issued after 1999 -- require 150 continuing education hours to renew for another five years. Professional certificates issued before 1999 are lifetime certificates and do not need to be renewed, but professional teachers and administrators must have 200 hours of continuing education every five years. If you want to take continuing education courses from home, you can choose distance learning or e-courses -- some of which are free. Use the Texas Education Agency's Continuing Professional Education Information website as a resource for approved providers. Also check with fellow teachers and your principal and district officers to learn when local CPE options come up. Keep track of your CPE hours using the TEA's CPE Tracking Worksheet. According to TEA, agency officials won't necessarily ask for proof of your hours when you apply for renewal, but you are responsible for keeping track in case you're audited. The TEA sends you a reminder email six months before your certificate expires. When it's time to renew, submit the renewal application and pay the fee.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.
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