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Pennsylvania was named the 5th best state for K-12 teachers according to WalletHub’s recent state-by-state analysis. This ranking is especially impressive since the state received 11th place in the 2016 analysis.

The quality of teachers’ work environment and annual salary were two major factors in determining Pennsylvania’s high ranking. Only three other states offer better annual salaries than Pennsylvania, according to the report.

As school leaders throughout the state continue to implement changes and improvements that reflect the respect and appreciation educators deserve, now is the perfect opportunity for individuals who have considered becoming teachers to make the rewarding career change.

“I wanted to make a difference for our future and decided to go into teaching,” said Rebecca Gelwan, a Pennsylvania teacher and military veteran. “I get to bring that perspective that it’s okay to not know what to do after high school…but I have a life and I’m successful. Everything society has told them they can’t overcome, I’ve done.”

Starting a new career is intimidating, especially when that career requires additional education, certification, and thousands of dollars to pay for it all. Thankfully for Gelwan and others who want to become life-changing teachers, the U.S. Department of Education created a nonprofit to provide an affordable path to teacher certification.

That path is offered by American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. American Board recruits career changers with years of real-world experience to bring their knowledge, experience, and passion to the classroom and inspire students.

Principals report American Board certified teachers perform better than or equivalent to traditionally trained teachers across 95 percent of 20 teacher qualities measured, according to a recent Drexel University study.

Between the quality work environment Pennsylvania has worked to provide for its teachers and American Board’s mission of empowering qualified individuals to become great teachers, this could be the beginning of ending Pennsylvania’ s teacher shortage.

To learn how American Board helps future teachers in Pennsylvania become certified educators, click here.

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