How to Become a Teacher in Florida

Teaching requires a lot of skill and hard work. The process to become a teacher is not easy, either. This article discusses the steps for becoming a teacher in the state of Florida.

Teachers Need a College Degree

The minimum education requirement for a teacher in the state of Florida is a four year degree. The degree must be from an accredited institution. Most prospective teachers major in Education, although some major in the area of study that they wish to teach in, such as mathematics, science, or English. Education majors will take courses in educational psychology, classroom management and assessment, but will have less content area training. Those who major in a subject area will receive extensive training in that area, but less in the other areas that teachers need to be successful in the classroom.

Most school districts in Florida offer an alternative program to assist people who are non-education majors to transition into the teaching process. An individual in this situation should contact the school district in which they are seeking employment to find out about this program.

How to Get a Florida Teaching Certificate

There are arguments for and against each educational approach, but where it will make the difference is during the initial certification process. In order to get a teaching certificate in Florida, candidates must pass the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE). For each graduate, this consists of three parts. Everyone takes the Florida General Knowledge Test and the Professional Education Test. Then candidates take the Subject Area Examination in the area(s) that they want to teach in, such as Elementary Education, math, science, etc.

According to the Florida Department of Education, graduates of approved teacher education programs can apply for a professional certificate as soon as they pass the FTCE, complete the application and have their fingerprint check cleared. The professional certificate is valid for five years, is renewable and is the highest teaching certificate offered in Florida.

Non-education majors must apply for a temporary certificate first. A temporary certificate is valid for three years and is nonrenewable. This option gives the applicant an opportunity to complete the requirements for the professional certificate, such as completing a district alternative certification program and passing the subject area exam. Applicants who take this route can also use two semesters of full-time college teaching experience as part of their qualifications. After the applicant completes all requirements, then they are eligible to apply for the professional certificate.

Renewing a Teaching Certificate

In order to keep their teaching certificate current, Florida educators must uphold a strict ethical code. Ethics violations can lead to disciplinary action against a teaching certificate, up to and including having it revoked. Educators must also take continuing education courses. When it is time to renew their certificate, they must submit a renewal application and evidence of their continuing education.

There are a lot of steps involved in becoming a teacher in Florida. Those that complete the process are on their way to being a part of a noble profession.


Related Posts