Here’s What You Need to Know Before Getting Your Teacher’s Certification in Your State

Are you interested in becoming an educator for a dream job of yours? Do you wonder what you need to do to become a licensed teacher in your state? All roads lead to accomplishing your teacher certification.

However, to do so, you need all of the necessary teacher certification requirements. If you’re planning on becoming a teacher, then there is no way around it. You need to learn about your state’s requirements before you start down this path.

See below for several things that you need to know before you set out to get your teacher certification in the state you reside in.

What Is a Teacher Certification?

Whether you realized it or not, all states require their teachers to become certified before they can pursue an educational profession. More importantly, most states have certain requirements that you need to meet.

No matter what state you reside in or are hoping to get a job in, all states require their certified teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. In fact, there are a growing number of states that are requiring their educators to have a master’s degree.

If you find out that your state requires a master’s degree, then you might still be in the clear. Most states allow you to get a teaching position while pursuing a master’s degree, with the expectation that you’ll receive it within the first five years.

Make sure that you learn about your state’s requirements as soon as possible. It can help you plan your educational course of action moving forward.

This can also help you plan for the type of teaching certification that you’ll pursue. For example, Missouri offers two types of teaching certifications: an Initial Certificate and a Career Continuous Certification. The former lasts for four years, the latter is permanent.

What Are the Steps for Obtaining a Teacher Certification?

As previously stated, every state is different. Using the example above, Missouri only requires that you have a Bachelor’s Degree when applying for a teaching certification.

In that state, you’re required to first receive an Initial Certificate (which lasts for four years). After that four years is up, you can choose to renew for another four-year certificate or apply for a Career Continuous Certificate (permanent). These offers differ from state to state.

As far as the steps to obtain said teacher certificate, you should expect to follow a path similar to this one:

  1. Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree– This is a requirement of any US State. You need to complete four years in a bachelor’s program.
  2. Fulfill a Teacher Prep Program- It’s one thing to study the subject you wish to teach. Preparing for what awaits you in the classroom is a whole different beast. Taking the teacher preparation course will ensure that you’re ready for what lies ahead.
  3. Learn of Your State’s Requirements (and Complete Them)- Each state is different. Be sure to educate yourself (pun intended) of your state’s requirements, then accomplish them.
  4. Complete or Pursue Your Master’s Degree– Understand the requirements that your state has for completing your Master’s Degree (if they require it). Some require you to have it before becoming certified. Others allow you to get certified and complete your Master’s Degree within the first 5 years.
  5. Take and Pass Your State’s Teaching Exam- Before applying for certification, you must pass the teaching exam that your state requires. Odds are that you will be taking the Praxis® test. These are the most commonly used test among all US States.
  6. Apply for Certification- Almost every state offers at least two types of certifications for you to apply for, one being short term and the other being a permanent certification. Often, you can only apply for the permanent certification after initially completing the short term option.
  7. Renew Certification When the Time Comes- Even if you’re able to apply for permanent certification, it would be advantageous to take the short-term option the first time around. Teaching isn’t for everyone. Make sure you enjoy the work and lifestyle before committing to a permanent certification.

What Does a Teacher Do In My State?

It’s important to understand the duties and responsibilities that a teacher has within your state. Each state has expectations and goals for its certified teachers.

For example, the state of Arizona has certain priorities for their teachers such as:

  •    •  Performing classroom management.
  •    •  Developing long-term and short-term lesson plans.
  •    •  Providing instruction for all students. 
  •    •  Evaluate student progression with school administrators.

Compare that to a state like Texas, where their priorities for teachers are along the lines of:

  •    •  Delivering lesson plans that abide by Texas’ state and district curriculum.
  •    •  Working with both school administration and parents to set goals and projections for each student.
  •    •  Place a heavy focus on identifying students who are struggling with emotional stress, mental health, or behavioral difficulties.
  •    •  Identify any students who are potentially struggling with ADHD.

As you can see, different states have different priorities. As a teacher in that state, you have to understand and abide by those requirements and regulations.

Use This Information While Identifying Teacher Certification Requirements

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to get your teacher certification, as well as the teacher certification requirements, be sure to use it to your advantage.

Be sure to visit this page for even more information on how to receive your teacher certification and the steps to help you achieve it.

If you are ready to start your search today, click here to find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.