Oklahoma: Teacher Credentialing in Oklahoma

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The average salary for a teacher in Oklahoma is $37,879 ranking it 48th for average teacher salaries in 2005. One should not be so quick to pass judgment as there are many factors that may affect the salaries of teachers, and this does not indicate that there is any less emphasis on education than there is in any other state. In fact, teaching salaries actually increased by eight percent from the previous year while the average increase in state salaries nationally was only 2.5 percent.

Oklahoma's licensing and certifications for teachers utilize a system based on competency. What this means is that teachers must not only complete an education program, but they are also required to pass a series of competency examinations if they want to become an educator in the state of Oklahoma. You are permitted to obtain certification through traditional means or you can use alternative means to obtain your certification.

If you choose to be certified through the traditional method, you will need to complete a teacher education program within the state of Oklahoma. This program will involve you obtaining a bachelor's degree as well as training and education that are directly related to a career in teaching. At the completion of your education you will need to prove you are qualified and skilled enough to become a teacher by passing all of Oklahoma's required examinations for competency.

On the other hand, if you are attempting to transfer credentials from another state, the only thing you need to do is request teaching credentials in equivalent areas of expertise. Another way you may be eligible for certification in Oklahoma is when there is a contract with another state that provides Oklahoma with a reciprocity agreement with the state from which you currently hold a certification. There may be other requirements for those teachers who are attempting to change their certification upon moving to Oklahoma.

Teachers from other states may also qualify for certification in Oklahoma in other situations as well, mostly in those cases requiring previous experience. Those teachers who already hold a certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will be issued certification in Oklahoma immediately. Any teacher who is coming to Oklahoma from another country is required to undergo an analysis of his or her transcripts and credentials by an evaluation service. This evaluation will be performed on each individual course. Oklahoma also requires all teachers applying for certification to undergo a current criminal history investigation from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and also adhere to a fingerprint background check.

Oklahoma has a total of 530 different school districts, though none of them are substantially large in size. The lack of large districts doesn't restrict job opportunities by any means, and you can find large populated areas in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman, and Lawton. The Oklahoma State Department of Education operates a website that has a listing of teaching jobs in Oklahoma. Keep in mind that once you have a teaching license in Oklahoma you will need to complete some professional continuing education. The amount you will need to complete will depend upon your position and the level of your license.

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