Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Tennessee offers the Adjunct License for part-time teaching.
The Adjunct License is a one-year license issued to candidates who hold at least a bachelor's degree and "have verified knowledge of the teaching content area." Candidates are also required to complete a pre-service preparation program approved by the state.
Applicants working under the Adjunct License may not teach more than three classes. The Adjunct License can only be used in a critical shortage subject area. The license can be renewed up to nine times.
Tennessee Administrative Rule 0520-02-04-.02 (p)
Require applicants to pass a subject-matter test.
Tennessee is commended for offering a license that increases districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position. Although this license is designed to enable individuals who have significant content knowledge to teach, Tennessee should still require a subject-matter test. While the state does require "verification," only a subject-matter test ensures that teachers on the Adjunct License know the specific content they will need to teach.
Ensure that pre-service training addresses the immediate needs of an adjunct teacher.
While Tennessee is commended for providing teachers on this license with training before they enter the classroom, the state should ensure that this training is streamlined and geared toward immediate needs, such as classroom management. Excessive pre-service requirements may be a disincentive for individuals to pursue this license.
Tennessee recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.