Online Teacher Eligibility and Requirements
Prior to teaching a course through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN), online teachers must be
- Texas certified in the course subject area and grade level taught, and
- Have successfully completed approved professional development.
The district or open-enrollment charter school, education service center, or higher education institution providing courses (course provider) through the TxVSN is responsible for verifying the eligibility of its teachers.
Professional Development Requirements
Each teacher must:
- Successfully complete a professional development course or program approved by TxVSN; or
- Have a graduate degree in online or distance learning;
- Have two or more years of documented experience teaching online courses for students in Grades 3-12; and
- Successfully complete continuing professional development specific to online learning every three years.
It is the responsibility of each online teacher to obtain documentation for any of the professional development options and maintain copies for their own records.
Teachers should be aware that individual TxVSN Provider Districts may have additional policies and requirements when hiring online teachers.
Quality professional development for online teachers is important to ensure quality teaching and learning. Research demonstrates that a teacher’s skill in face-to-face teaching does not necessarily transfer to an online environment because in online instruction the teacher must combine both instructional and subject-area knowledge with a working knowledge of rapidly evolving online tools for communication and collaboration, content management, and assessment.
For this reason TxVSN-approved professional development for online teachers emphasizes the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Teaching. Participants in this standards-based professional development learn research-based strategies for online course content development and adaptation, instructional design, technology tools, assessment strategies, and course management.
Providers of TxVSN Approved Professional Development
*Organization delivers professional development with the experience and capacity to serve teachers at a local, regional or statewide level.
TxVSN Provider Districts are responsible for:
- Ensuring teacher credentials;
- Ensuring mastery of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Teaching; and
- Requesting and maintaining documentation of certification and professional development for any teacher teaching a course through the TxVSN regardless of the teacher being an employee, contractor, or other professional. All credentialing and professional development records shall be made available to the Texas Education Agency and the TxVSN upon request.
TEC, Chapter 30A, State Virtual School Network and the TxVSN Professional Development Policy.