If you’re thinking about switching to a career in education and pursuing your dream of becoming a teacher, you’re likely researching what education and training is required of you.
Like all states, Texas has its own set of education and training requirements in order to earn a standard teaching certificate for grades K-12.
Here’s a breakdown of what education and training components are required to become a teacher in Texas, as well as how you can ensure you find the right program to assist you through this process.
Education Needed To Become A Teacher
The state of Texas requires an individual to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in order to get a teaching certificate in most circumstances. However, that bachelor’s degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in the field of education.
In the state of Texas, you must complete an approved educator preparation program in order to become certified as a teacher, according to the Texas Education Agency.
While 34% of new teachers to the Texas education system are prepared through undergraduate programs that include this preparation program curriculum, nearly 49% of all new teachers are prepared through alternative programs.
In other words, many who complete an undergraduate program in a field other than education go on to earn a teaching certificate through an alternative teacher certification program. This is especially important for aspiring teachers who are changing careers, heading back into the workforce after retirement or stepping away to raise children, or transitioning from a career in the military to a new challenge.
As mentioned above, although an aspiring teacher is required to have a bachelor’s degree, there is on exception to this rule. Those applying for Health Science Technology and Trades & Industrial Education teaching certificates are exempt. However, these applicants must still fulfill the requirement of completing an educator preparation program.
To be accepted into a program, Texas requires that an applicant for one of these certificates have the following wage-earning experience in these fields:
Two years experience over the past 10 years in the field to be taught if you have an associate’s degree
Five years experience over the past 10 years in the field to be taught with no degree program completion
Training Needed To Become A Teacher
For those thinking about becoming a teacher, the good news is that the training needed to become a teacher closely aligns with the education that is required by the state of Texas.
Once an intern is enrolled in a teacher training program, the state requires individuals to have 300 hours of online and/or in-person training in order to receive a standard teaching certificate.
These 300 hours of training are designed to prepare an individual on the requirements and demands of a teacher in the classroom. Of these, 30 must be dedicated to observation of a certified teacher in the classroom environment. This is often called “field-based experience.”
It is important to note that these are the training requirements for a standard certificate. If you are choosing a path that is more specialized, such as if you are working toward becoming an ESL teacher, additional training may be required of you.
Even individual school districts may have requirements for becoming a teacher in their districts. Once you have earned your certification and have begun the job huntingprocess, it is important to check with any districts you may be interested in to inquire about additional training requirements, such as CPR certification.
Where To Get The Right Education And Training
If an alternative teacher certification program makes sense for your current circumstances, it is important to choose the right program for you to ensure you get in front of the classroom as quickly as possible and with the best possible training to help you be successful.
The best alternative teacher certification program will offer a combination of both online and in-person training. This provides you with a high degree of flexibility while allowing you to build relationships and have access to a vast network of resources.
Great programs will also help ensure you are taking the right content area tests specific to the subject area that you wish to teach. Once you are enrolled in an education preparation program, you must take at least one content test. The test you choose to take may depend on what grade level you wish to teach or if you are planning to enter a specialized field in education, such as bilingual education or science education.
The best programs will also prepare you for the highly anticipated PPR exam, or Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility exam. This test is a required assessment for all individuals who wish to become a Texas teacher and is designed to assess whether a person has the needed knowledge and skills to be successful as an entry-level educator.
This certification exam is one of the final steps you will take to earn certification.
Knowing how to navigate your individual timeline to become certified can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to reach out to a trusted and experienced alternative teacher certification program who can work with you every step of the way.
Scott is the Deputy Executive Director and Program Consultant. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Texas Women's University and a Master of Education from Texas Women's University. Scott has extensive experience in both the classroom and as an administrator in districts in North Texas.
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