Passing the appropriate content exam(s) is a major part of earning your teaching license in the state of Texas. The best teacher training courses include preparation for these important tests.
Selecting an alternative teacher certification program that offers test preparation training is now more important than ever. Earlier this year, the state of Texas changed its rules involving when you can take content exams.
Knowing when to take the TExES exams, how to prepare for them and understanding how this change impacts the certification process just became a little more complicated.
Working with a program that is knowledgeable of the ever evolving state license requirements and that prepares you for what to expect is key to ensuring your teacher training course has you are on the right path for success.
Help With Your Timeline
Prior to Jan. 27, 2020, applicants took the appropriate content exam before officially enrolling in a program like ECAP.
Now, applicants whose college transcripts do not meet the minimum GPA requirement or do not contain sufficient coursework must take a TxPACT exam that is used for program admission. Those who do not meet the standards above can be accepted without the TxPACT exam.
This change in timeline also means program interns must now wait to take the TExES exams until after they have completed ECAP’s coursework.
These new rules the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has implemented for new first-year teacher candidates can include a substantial amount of information to digest. This includes knowing if and when you must take the TxPACT and when to take the TExES PPR exams. There are also practice tests available that can be taken as part of the preparation process.
The best teacher training courses assist with this part of the test preparation, including helping you determine when you should take the exams and which exams to take.
The best alternative teacher certification programs offer preparation for TExES exams as part of their programs … not as costly add-ons.
Although what training entails may differ among the various preparation programs, training should include everything you need to pass the TExES. At ECAP, for example, training includes practice tests, videos and online and in-person courses.
In fact, at ECAP, we realize the importance of preparing for this test and we are expanding our test training curriculum to include summer courses. This training is open to anyone who is scheduled to take the TExES, no matter if you are an ECAP intern or not.
A Full Circle Approach
ECAP’s alternative teacher certification process includes training, testing and teaching. All three components are essential for success, and all individuals enrolled in our program work on these components simultaneously.
While some training must be completed prior to testing and student teaching, other parts of an intern’s training must be completed while in the classroom as a teacher of record. The full circle design takes a comprehensive approach to learning and allows interns to complete a program more quickly, including any test preparation training an intern takes advantage of.
Think of it as if an intern’s journey includes three teaching rings. Training, testing and teaching each has its own ring. In one school year, a teaching intern will need to complete 300 hours of training, a pedagogy exam and teaching experience.
As you move closer to completing each area, which can be done simultaneously, the ring begins to close. As part of the pedagogy exam ring, the proper preparation helps an intern move toward the goal of successfully completing this ring, or portion of the requirements for teacher certification.
An Overwhelming Process, Made A Little Easier
Understanding the content exam process can feel overwhelming itself, not to mention the stress associated with taking any sort of exam that can impact your success at becoming certified to teach in the state of Texas.
It is important to reach out to an alternative teacher certification program for assistance if you have any questions about the examination process, timeline and proper preparation to ensure you stay on the right track toward fulfilling your dream of teaching.
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.
Connect with ECAP
7166 Baker Blvd., Suite B · Richland Hills, Texas 76118 Phone 817-284-7731 | Fax 817-284-3396