8 Steps To Getting Your Teaching License
Teaching is a noble profession that requires dedication, patience, and passion. If you aspire to become a teacher, whether you're coming from a different field or just graduated, one of the first steps is to obtain a teaching license. A teaching license is a requirement for anyone who wants to teach in public schools in the United States. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to get a teaching license.
- Research the requirements in your state
The first step to getting a teaching license is to research the requirements in your state. Every state has different requirements, so it’s essential to know what you need to do to become a licensed teacher in your state. You can visit your state's Department of Education website or contact them directly to get information about the requirements. Keep in mind, you can also check out page 75 of the 2023 Job Search Handbook for Educators which includes a listing of certification and licensure offices for all U.S. states and territories.
- Complete a bachelor's degree in education
Most states require candidates to have a bachelor's degree in education or a related field. The degree program should be from an accredited institution. The coursework in the program should cover topics such as curriculum development, teaching methods, classroom management, and child development. Some states may also require candidates to complete a certain number of hours of student teaching.
- Pass a basic skills test
Most states require candidates to pass a basic skills test, such as the Praxis Core or the CBEST. These tests evaluate a candidate's skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Candidates must achieve a passing score to be eligible for a teaching license.
- Pass a content knowledge test
In addition to the basic skills test, candidates must also pass a content knowledge test. The content knowledge test evaluates a candidate's understanding of the subject they wish to teach. For example, if you want to teach history, you must pass a history content knowledge test. Each state has its own content knowledge tests, so it is essential to check your state's requirements.
- Complete a teacher preparation program
Most states require candidates to complete a teacher preparation program before they can obtain a teaching license. The teacher preparation program is designed to provide candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to become effective teachers. The program includes coursework, fieldwork, and student teaching. The program must be from an accredited institution.
- Pass a background check
Candidates must pass a background check before they can obtain a teaching license. The background check is designed to ensure that candidates do not have a criminal record that would disqualify them from teaching.
- Apply for a teaching license
Once you have met all the requirements, you can apply for a teaching license. The application process varies by state, but it typically involves submitting an application, transcripts, test scores, and a background check.
- Maintain your teaching license
Once you have obtained your teaching license, you must maintain it by meeting the renewal requirements. Renewal requirements vary by state, but they typically involve completing continuing education courses and demonstrating that you are still competent in your subject area.
In conclusion, obtaining a teaching license is a process that requires dedication and hard work. It is essential to research the requirements in your state, complete a bachelor's degree in education, pass basic skills and content knowledge tests, complete a teacher preparation program, pass a background check, and apply for a teaching license. Once you have obtained your teaching license, you must maintain it by meeting the renewal requirements.
It’s important to remember that teaching is a noble profession that requires a passion for education and a commitment to helping students reach their full potential. Beyond all these requirements, passion is what gets you through the tough days.