Teaching is a noble career that is considered a vocation by everyone, considering the amount of passion and dedication you have to put in just to be able to impart knowledge to young minds. That is why there are certain standards expected in a teaching career, to make sure that you are doing the proper things in educating the children. Most states are a bit lenient with issuing certification to teachers, while some are more strict about it. Depending on your state, the following are the steps in acquiring teaching certification:
- Secure information from accredited institutions about Master’s programs with certification or simple certification programs. Before you can apply for teaching certification, you have to secure at least a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in education (or some states only require a teacher certificate), depending on the state you’re in. Contact educational institutions in your state and inquire about teaching programs, then apply for at least an educational certification program.
- Call the state department of education. Depending on your state, you need to contact your state department of education before proceeding with the application to be sure of all the requirements.
- Fill out application forms. After clarifying the requirements with your state department of education, fill out an application form available at the department’s office, or download one from their official website online. Again, depending on your state, there may or may not be a processing fee for this form.
- Get fingerprint cards and give consent for criminal background review at your local police station. So that the state is sure that you do not have any past or pending criminal case in your file, you need to secure fingerprint cards and undergo criminal background review at your local police station. This is simply standard procedure.
- Take the Prospective Teachers Exam. After that, you have to take the prospective teachers exam. The name varies depending on the state you’re in, but the point is you have to at least receive passing scores in this exam. Find out the passing scores for the exam by checking information on the examiner’s websites, depending again on your state.
- Send requirements to the certification office. After you’ve completed and passed the exam, prepare your materials to be sent to the certification office. This would include credentials certification in the form of transcripts of records, application packet, processing fee (again, price varies depending on the state you’re in), fingerprint cards, test scores that will be sent directly by the testing organization, and an institutional recommendation by someone from the university where you have completed your teacher education. Send this to the certification office of your state; check their website for the address.
- Relax and wait. After you’ve sent all your requirements, sit back and relax. In a few weeks’ or months’ time, depending on the state of bureaucracy in your state, you will have received your teaching license from your certification department.
Your teaching certification is renewable every few years, again, depending on your state. Ask your state department of education about the validity period of your license.