Persistence pays off

Although I have no current plans to return to teaching full-time, I heeded the advice of several folks to renew my current educator certificate one last time. It gives me options should I need to return to work in the future. There’s absolutely no doubt it will be converted to a retired educator certificate at the next renewal!

Believe me when I say it’s much easier to renew if you are employed by a school district at renewal time. They upload your application, along with an employer’s assurance that you’ve met the state requirements for professional development during the preceding 5 year period. The GaPSC then usually renews your certificate within 24 hours. I filed my application on 3/3 and the certificate was renewed today (4/20). Seven weeks!

My initial application was put on hold, pending a form the certification evaluator requested. This meant I had to get my former employer to fill out the form. Everything is done via email now. The issue is that many organizations automatically send any email to SPAM that’s not from within the organization itself. My request sat in SPAM purgatory for an extended time while I tracked down an actual human who could assist. My request was then sent to yet another person to fill out and return to me.

If the state places your case on hold, you have 45 days to complete any requirements or your case is automatically closed. This means you have to apply again and pay another fee. I reached out to the certification office to ask what would happen if my former employer didn’t fill out the form in time. I also reminded them that I had actually completed my ESOL endorsement during the time period in question. Wouldn’t this count as meeting the PD requirements?

After a second review by a certification evaluator, they determined that yes I did meet the PD requirements when I earned my ESOL endorsement. Certificate was renewed. Good thing, ’cause I’m still waiting on that form from my previous employer.