Teaching is a very noble profession. Teaching programs offer degrees in education starting from preschool, grade school, middle school, high school, and university and graduate studies. To become a teacher, you have to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Education. Once you have your college degree, you have to pass the exam for the National Teacher Certification. This organization will grant your teaching license. To get the national certificate for teaching, you have to submit a portfolio of classroom work. You also have to pass a written examination and the overall evaluation of your teaching experience.
The teaching certificate will ensure that you have passed the standards set for a particular subject field. Some states require their teachers to have more than just a teaching certificate. You should also complete the teaching credentials, which allow you to teach a specific subject area. The teaching credential can be classified according to students' age groups and specialization. The certificate varies depending on the teaching credentials. Grade school teachers can teach all subjects, but the higher levels have to stick to their field of expertise.
These are the education certification requirements for specific teacher certificates.
- Early Childhood. The Early Childhood Certificate is granted to individual who would like to teach preschool students up to Grade 3. For you to get this certificate, you have to pass the regular requirements for certification. Plus, you also have to finish an accredited early childhood education program, which comprises of 32 semester hours. You also have to pass the exam for early childhood education and the early childhood education Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT).
- Elementary Certificate. The Elementary Certificate must be accomplished in order to teach a class of kindergarten students up to Grade 9. It also requires the usual requirements for certification. You must also pass any accredited elementary education courses. An aspiring teacher must pass the elementary education content-area test and the elementary education Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT). Aside from that, you also must have middle grade endorsement or middle grade requirements.
- Secondary Certificate. The Secondary Certificate is awarded to applicants with a secondary education degree, which includes 32 semester hours for endorsement. They also take the content-area tests for secondary education and the Assessment of Professional Teaching. You must also carry an endorsement for your field of expertise and other additional requirements set by the state.
- K-12 Certificate. For teaching Grades K-12 students, an aspiring teacher must complete the standard requirement for certification. You must also finish the accredited K-12 program along with its 32 semester hours. Likewise, you must pass the content-area examinations and the special K-12 Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT). The K-12 certificate can be replaced with an elementary certification or a secondary certificate.
- Special Education. Finally, the Certificate for Special Preschool through Age 21 is solely used for teaching special education. Once again, you must pass the requirements set for general certification. You must be a graduate of an accredited special education program, which includes 32 semester hours for specialization. You must pass both the content-area exams and the Special K-12 Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT).
If you are contemplating any of the above degrees or certifications, contact the Department of Education in the state you plan to work and get verification of that state's requirements.