If you’re a teacher living outside of Texas and thinking of moving to the Lone Star state, we have good news.
The Texas Education Agency permits those who hold valid teaching certifications in another state the opportunity to become certified to teach in Texas.
The timing couldn’t be better. The outlook for elementary teaching jobs in Texas is bright considering the state’s population is expected to rise by nearly 6 million residents in the next decade. Certain disciplines, such as special education and English as a Second Language (ESL), are also in need of teachers across all grade levels.
The state recently boosted teachers’ salaries as well thanks to a new bill signed into law in 2019.
Whether it is the positive job outlook, the boost in minimum salaries or simply looking for a fresh start that is attracting you to Texas, you can become certified to teach thanks to reciprocity agreements.
However, reciprocity agreements can be complicated, which is why it’s important to do your due diligence in researching any requirements you must meet before you can become certified to teach in Texas and before you begin searching for open positions.
Below we’ll go over how to find teaching jobs in Texas, beginning with how to become certified in Texas if credentialed in another state.
Step 1: Begin The Certification Process
If you hold a standard teaching license from another state and wish to teach in Texas, you must apply for a review of credentials.
In order to do this, you will need to first create an online account on the TEA website. Once you create an account, the next steps for applying for a review of credentials are:
Complete an application
Pay a non-refundable fee
Submit official transcripts from college
Submit copies of any out of state standard certificates you have
Submit proof of oral English language proficiency (only if you earned your degree outside the United States)
Once you have completed this process, keep an eye out for results by email. The TEA notes that this email will include whether you are eligible for a one-year, non-renewable certificate and if there are any required tests you must take for the specific standard Texas certificate you are seeking.
During this year of eligibility, you are certified to teach in Texas. That means you can officially begin your job search and accept a position.
However, also during this year, you must submit any documentation that would approve you for exemption of the required tests, such as out-of-state scores, or complete the tests required to earn the standard certificate.
Before the end of that one-year time frame and once all of these requirements above are met, you must apply for a standard certificate, which is good for five years before you must renew.
Step 2: Get Your Ducks In A Row
It’s important to be well organized before embarking upon any job search, especially when you are searching for a job in a new state.
Make sure your resume is up to date. First impressions are important, so you will want to make sure your resume clearly spells out that you are legally employable, especially since much of your experience likely comes from teaching in another state.
Gather any additional materials as well, including a list of references, your academic history including transcripts, proof of your one-year Texas certificate and a cover letter. You will want to tailor your cover letter to the school district you are applying to, but it can be handy to have a rough outline or template available.
Lastly, if you have a specific area where you plan to live in Texas, it can be helpful to create a list of potential districts where you may want to teach. Include the principal’s name or human resources manager and contact information on your list. Also, it can be helpful to start a list where you keep track of districts you’ve applied to and what correspondence you have heard from those districts.
You may not need all the materials outlined above, but having these items easily accessible can make the application process go more smoothly.
Step 3: Search The Web
Job search sites specific to teaching positions can be helpful tools when searching for opportunities. Many times, these sites allow you to narrow down specific criteria, such as geographic locations or teaching discipline.
Popular sites that specifically feature teaching positions include:
ECAP can also help you determine whether you meet the necessary qualifications to teach in Texas and which exams you must take if you want to become certified in a different area than the certification areas you hold from another state.
Getting your teaching license in Texas requires following a series of steps, but is possible thanks to reciprocity agreements.
Whether you’re just beginning your teaching journey or are an educator looking for a new opportunity in a new state, searching for the right job can be an overwhelming experience.
Alternative certification programs like ECAP can provide you with the tools and connections necessary to make your job search less stressful and more productive so that you can begin the next chapter of your teaching career in Texas.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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