Student Loan Debt

Q: ​How will my student loans be impacted by the CARES Act?
A: ​The CARES Act, the stimulus package enacted in March, includes relief for student loan borrowers. Under this law, no payments are required on federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2020. In addition, the interest on these federal student loans will automatically drop to zero percent between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2020.

Q: ​How will my private student loan or NJCLASS loan be impacted by Covid-19?
A: ​Unfortunately private student loans, federal student loans not owned by the Education Department, or loans from the state including NJCLASS loans are not covered by the CARES Act. There is a chance that these student loan borrowers will be included in future phases of stimulus packages.

edTPA

Q: ​How am I expected to submit my edTPA if I am a student teaching virtually?
A: ​This is a concern we have been discussing with the Department of Education since virtually teaching began in mid-March. We are still awaiting guidance on how student teachers are to manage portfolio submission while completing their student teaching virtually. We expect the DoE to issue guidance that will favor student teachers. Please keep in contact with your professors and NJEA Preservice for the most up to date guidance.

Q: ​What happens if I miss my submission deadline because of a school closure?
A: ​Two additional submission dates have been added to the 2019-2020 submission and reporting schedule to support candidates impacted by school closures due to Covid-19.

  • Submit by June 18, 2020, to receive scores on July 9, 2020.
  • Submit by August 20, 2020, to receive scores on September 10, 2020.

Q: ​Can I still complete my portfolio while teaching virtually?
A: The edTPA program has a “Virtual Learning Environment” option available to candidates who prepare and provide instruction to students in virtual learning environments. This option is currently accessed through an alternative arrangements process. More information is available on the edTPA website for Candidates Impacted by School Closures

Student Teaching

Q: ​Should I continue student teaching while my placement is conducting classes virtually?
A: ​This guidance should come from your college/university and cooperating teacher. We believe that you should continue working with your cooperating teacher to teach remotely to the best of your ability.

Q: ​How will virtual student teaching impact my placement hours?
A: ​This guidance should come from your college/university. We believe that you should receive the same credit that you would have had you student taught in person.

Entering the Profession Full-Time

Q: ​How will I apply for a job if schools remain closed through the end of the year?
A: ​Job searching may be more difficult than usual this spring and summer but school districts will still have positions to fill for the fall of 2020. Your unique experience as a preservice educator teaching remotely may make you a more desirable full-time teacher.

Q: ​How do I include virtual teaching on my resume or speak about it in an interview since I didn’t have a full clinical experience?
A: ​Virtual teaching will provide you with insight and skills that will make for quality interview discussion. Consider some of the positive opportunities that virtual teaching has provided you with – increased use of technology, student social-emotional needs, and communication skills are just a few examples. Be sure to highlight these skills and experiences on your resume and in potential interviews.

Q: ​What resources are available to prepare for interviews? Where can I find job openings?
A: ​NJEA Preservice has worked with njschooljobs.com for many years. This website provides resources for job seekers in New Jersey. Working with NJEA Preservice, NJ School Jobs will host a webinar, “Landing Your First Job” on April 28. You can register ​HERE​.

Q: ​What happens if I have an interview for a job and it is being held digitally?
A: ​Prepare for a virtual job interview the same as you would for an in-person interview. Be cognizant of your background when interviewing. You should also dress as you would if your interview was being held in-person.

Q: ​What resources are available if I have questions about earning my teaching certificate?
A: ​The Department of Education has provided ​Educator Preparation Programs and Certification guidance as well ​updates and FAQ​. 

Other

Q: ​How is the Praxis exam impacted by Covid-19?
A: ​The ​ETS testing website ​has been updated to provide information on test cancelation and rescheduling. Right now, it does not appear that an online test option is available.  

Q: ​How can I obtain substitute teaching credentials to prepare for student teaching?
A: ​The New Jersey Department of Education provides information about obtaining substitute teaching credentials on ​their website​.

Q: ​Should I continue to take my classes online or wait until my school reopens?
A: ​This is a personal decision and should be based on a conversation with your college advisor. Failure to take online classes at this time may delay your graduation. Check your  college/university’s policy on remote classes.

Do you have other questions or concerns? Please email preservice@njea.org.

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