Florida: Teacher Credentialing in Florida

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The Florida Department of Education has laid out a very specific plan for individuals who wish to become certified teachers within the state. The process involves a very specific course of action, starting with education, then completing preparation work, and finally testing. In order to teach in any public school in the state, you must have a valid teacher certification. More so, in order for you to work in any parochial or private school, you may need additional training and education, as defined by that school. The following is a description of what must be accomplished by the student to become a teacher in Florida.

Necessary Coursework

In the state of Florida, individuals must obtain the necessary education before they can become a teacher certified through the state. You must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in education. However, in the state of Florida, you must meet specific undergraduate credit hour requirements. These requirements are specific based on the type of education you will be receiving. For example, to become an elementary teacher, you must complete 30 semester hours in elementary education including specialized areas. Each subject area has a minimum requirement and a list of what specific courses must be obtained as part of that educational program.

Teacher Preparation

Once you have completed the necessary coursework (and it must be completed through an accredited education program), the next step is to obtain teacher preparation. The state of Florida has a number of these programs available; however, the most common is the Education Preparation Institute. You will find most of these teacher preparation programs through local colleges and universities.

This program includes two steps. It involves the teacher learning specific foundational knowledge and skills that will help them to perform within the classroom. This includes learning how to research and develop a particular curriculum and lesson plans. It also includes a program of student teaching. It is a requirement of the state that each prospective teacher spend some time student teaching, for at least a semester. This on-the-job training is performed under the supervision of a certified teacher.

Teacher Testing

The next step in becoming a teacher in Florida is to sit for the necessary testing. All students must sit for the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations including the Florida General Knowledge Test. In addition, the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations of Florida Subject Area Examinations must also be completed for any areas of specialty you wish to teach in.

Once you have completed all necessary testing and have passed those tests, you can then apply to become a teacher within the state. This application process is done through the Florida Department of Education and requires a formal application, submission of all documentation, and an application fee to be paid. There is a requirement for drug screening and background checks to be completed as well at this point. Once you have performed all of the necessary duties, you will be able to obtain your actual teacher certification for the state.

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