Photo of teacher and student California State University Teacher Preparation Program Wordmark
March 2009
Volume 1 - Issue 4

Photo of teacher attending workshopMaking Effective Use of Intern Teachers

When critical teacher shortages hit a district (think science, math, English, special education), finding an effective alternative is very important. Intern teachers are an effective staffing solution under those circumstances. 

Advanced preparation, planning and timing are the keys to finding the best interns.  The new calendar year is the starting point for most school districts to determine their anticipated teacher requirements for the next school year.  It is when they learn that certain hard-to-fill positions will be a reality.  One of the best resources for finding intern teachers is the teacher preparation programs at the colleges and universities that serve your region. There you can get guidance if you need it regarding new requirements for insuring that your interns are NCLB compliant.

To receive an Intern Credential, a teacher will have to have met the 120 hour pre-service preparation requirement.  Early recognition that an intern may be the best solution to complete a school’s 2009-10 faculty needs can put you ahead of the game.  First, a credential program may be able to identify viable intern candidates from among students already in the credential program. That means you will be hiring an intern with some preparation already completed. Second, early identification this spring could allow a new credential candidate to complete the required preservice program during the summer.

Timing IS everything, but the Commission on Teacher Credentialing does provide a back-up alternative; CTC authorizes a Provisional Internship Permit (know as a PIP) that allows a district to employ an intern candidate while s/he completes the necessary 120 hours of pre-service, thus providing the necessary time to become a credentialed intern and meet the Highly Qualified Teacher standard of NCLB.

Planning ahead to address those known or expected shortages can help solve the 30-Day substitute dilemma.  Your Board will be happy, parents will relax, and students will certainly benefit.

CalStateTEACH is willing to help on this count in any region of the state. We invite you to call the nearest regional center.