December 12, 2017

Teacher Certification

Whether you are currently taking courses to obtain your degree in education or you have already earned your degree, you might be wondering how you become certified to teach. Normally, before you graduate, you will begin part of the certification process to become a teacher. Learn more about teacher certification programs in this article to discover how you can obtain your teaching license.

Requirements for Teacher Certification

The first part of the teacher certification requirements is the completion of a bachelor’s degree in education. In some states, you are even required to maintain a certain grade point average in college to be eligible to teach in that state. While you are enrolled in your teacher preparation program, you will be required to complete a certain amount of time as a student teacher. This helps you gain more understanding about how to manage a classroom and plan lessons.

Once your student teaching requirements have been met, you will then take a teaching certification assessment test. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will take an assessment in general teaching strategies as well as in any subject area you are qualified to be licensed to teach. We will talk about the different types of assessments later in this article.

After you have passed the tests that are needed for your subject area and grade level, you will then apply for your teaching license in the state you wish to teach in. It is important to know where you would like to seek employment so you can complete the necessary license requirements for that particular state. Most states want a copy of your college transcripts, teaching assessment scores and a fee to process your license.

If you seek a job in a state in which you are not licensed, you will want to be sure to complete that state’s requirements or check whether or not your state has reciprocity with another state. For example, if you are licensed to teach in Ohio but wish to move to North Carolina for a teaching job, you have already completed the necessary certification requirements since Ohio and North Carolina are reciprocal. This means they share the same certification requirements. The only step you will have to take is to apply for a North Carolina teaching license either before or once you are hired. Most states also require a background check before you are allowed to teach. Check with the district human resources department to find out more information on teacher certification and other requirements needed for employment.

Types of Teaching Assessments Related to Teacher Certification

There are two main types of teaching certification assessments in the United States. One company is called the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS offers the education professionals assessment known as the Praxis tests. Pearson is the second type of test. While the tests from Pearson are tailored to the specific state that uses the test, the Praxis tests are the same from state to state.

What makes the Praxis the main choice for most states as it allows the teacher to obtain certification more easily from state to state is the fact that they are standardized. This means the tests are exactly the same in every state that uses this test. There are two types of Praxis tests. Praxis I measures the basic skills of the future teachers in writing, math and reading. According the Educational Testing Service site, he Praxis I is often used as a placement test for entry into a teacher education program. The Praxis II test assesses the teachers on general teaching information as well as content area knowledge. Praxis II tests are the most common assessment requirement for teaching certification.

Each state has a different qualifying score you must earn on the Praxis II to be eligible for teacher certification. Some states even offer their own type of testing. For instance, in Georgia, a teacher must pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE). Praxis tests are not a requirement in the state of Georgia for teachers at this time except for in speech and language pathology.

It is important to research the state teacher certification requirements before you seek employment. If a Praxis or similar test is needed, you can study for these assessments in several ways. There are many study guide books you can purchase that offer sample test questions, tips on the most important information and practice tests you can take. You can also find study guides online and teacher candidate workshops you can attend that will help you better prepare for the tests.

Alternative Teacher Certification

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all states offer alternative teacher certification programs. These candidates are those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-education related field but wish to teach in that state. They will begin a teacher education program either before they are allowed to teach or while they are teaching. After they complete the program, they will be given full teaching certification and often times a master’s degree.

Tips on Obtaining Teacher Certification

1) Complete the teacher education program to earn your bachelor’s degree in education

2) Take the state required teaching assessments

* Research the required test for the state you wish to teach in

* Prepare for the test with classes, study guides or online study programs

3) File the necessary paperwork

* Official college transcripts

* Testing scores

*  License application fees

Once you have completed the steps above and have earned your teaching certification, you are now eligible to be a teacher. Remember to bring a copy of your teaching license with you to your interview. It’s important that you have this proof of teacher certification so you can move onto the next step of the interview process.

 

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