Teachers are responsible for our most valuable asset, our children. Although parents, guardians, mentors, and the like play a predominate role in influencing children, teachers are also a very significant part of their molding. In a classroom, children can begin to develop not just letters and numbers, but also their concept of morality, boundaries, consequences, justice, and more. As such, it is vital that we feel good about those entrusted to educate our children.
No doubt, the job of a teacher is a difficult and commendable career choice which is owed a great deal of respect. Nonetheless, it is almost impossible not to escape stories in the news about the few teachers who have engaged in inappropriate and even illegal conduct with their students. Thus, while we respect the vast majority of teachers struggling to educate the young, the pasts of the teachers may be something to consider. Public records can help in the aspect.
While much information is available for public access thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), there are still many safeguards in place to protect the privacy of individuals. As much as our government values information, they also value privacy. As such, public records searches can be performed without too many concerns of crossing that valuable line of privacy. Many people use public records to perform background checks and in particular focus on records such as criminal records, sex offender registries, vital records, and court credits. These can all provide useful information. For example, through vital records, you could confirm someone’s place and date of birth. However, there are public records databases created for the specific purpose of providing access to records about teachers.
Through certain resources you can verify whether the teacher is licensed and/or the status of their teaching certificate or license. There are certain databases that are available only through registration however, there are also those that can be accessed by the general public. You can typically find this information from the Department of Education in a particular state. There is also a national recourse with the National Department for Professional Teaching Standards. However, the exact location of state specific public records on teachers can vary.
In some cases, you may even be able to locate teacher records online. In cases where online records are available, they may even describe the exact certification. For example, a teacher may only hold a certificate to substitute teach. You can even find information on the type of school they hold a certificate for (i.e.: Elementary, Secondary, High School) as well as the issue date and expiration date of their certificate. Searches can typically be performed by providing the name of the teacher you wish to obtain records on. To find state and national resources for teacher certification databases, visit The Free Public Records Directory. This site provides links to public records resources nationally or by state.