Illinois: Teacher Credentialing in Illinois

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To become a teacher in the state of Illinois, students will need to obtain the necessary education and preparation, and then pass state required testing to obtain a teaching certificate. This certificate is a requirement of anyone who will teach within the state's public, private, or parochial schools. It is important to note that some private schools may have higher expectations than the state required minimums listed below. These vary from school to school and you should contact that school to determine if there are additional requirements. In addition, the requirements for becoming a teacher in Illinois may change from time to time.

Teacher Required Education

The first step in becoming a teacher in the state of Illinois is to complete all required coursework. Students must enroll in an accredited school. They must complete the requirements of that school to obtain at least a bachelor's degree. However, there are additional requirements for students in Illinois.

The state requires the student to take on specific undergraduate credit hours in specific courses, as determined by the type of education you hope to specialize in. There are additional requirements for elementary education, secondary English/language arts, secondary math, secondary history/social studies, and secondary science education. Those who wish to teach in other areas may also need to obtain these specific education requirements. Most university and college degree programs for these educational diplomas will include all state required undergraduate course requirements.

Teacher Required Preparation

To become a teacher in the state of Illinois, the next step is to obtain the necessary teacher preparation. This may be performed through the school you are obtaining your degree from or another state approved teacher preparation program. The goal of this program is to provide teachers with the education they need to work within the classroom itself. They will learn how to research and develop curriculum as well as lesson plans for the students they will teach. They will work under the guidance of a certified teacher.

Once this has been completed, the student will then student teach, which means that they will take on the role of a teacher and teach their developed curriculum to the students. This process is also monitored by a certified teacher. The underlying goal here is to ensure that the teacher has the necessary on-the-job experience to manage a classroom, to teach children, and to accomplish specific goals. A semester or more may be required for student teaching.

Teacher Required Testing

The Illinois State Board of Education mandates that those who have completed the above level education requirements and preparation will need to sit for one or more tests to display their skills. The Basic Skills Test required is the Illinois Certification Testing System Basic Skills Test or ICTS. In addition, most teachers will also take the ICTS Content Area Test, which is based on the specialization in an area of study. Completion of these tests satisfactory will lead to the ability of the student to formally apply to obtain their teacher's certificate.

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