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Your 4-Step Guide to Florida Teacher Certification in 2017

Do you have a passion for education?
Do you want to be a great role model to children while helping them learn?

Florida Teacher Certification

Congratulations – you are cut out to be a teacher!

But where exactly do you start?

If you live in Florida, our educator preparation institute, Florida Teachers, will help you every step of the way!

Teacher Shortage Areas in FL

Like other states affected by the teacher shortage across the country, Florida is in high need of certified teachers. According to US Department of Education, the shortage is likely caused by the following:

  • Not enough students graduating with an Education degree
  • Increased teacher retirements by baby boomers
  • Increased number of school aged children in Florida

teacher shortage areas

Based on a report published by US Department of Education, these are the subject areas that have the highest demand for teachers in Florida*:

  • Mathematics
  • General Science
  • Physical Science
  • Language Arts
  • Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages

How to Become A Teacher in Florida

Get certified at home

To become a professional educator in Florida, here’s a summary of the steps you need to go through:

Step 1: Have a bachelor’s degree and other mandatory coursework.

Step 2: Complete a state-approved educator preparation program.

Step 3: Pass required Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) for teacher candidates.

Step 4: Submit your application for Florida Teaching Credentials.

Getting Your Florida Teaching Credentials

Levels of Teacher Certification in Florida

Florida awards two levels of certification for teachers depending on their competency and years in service:

  • Temporary Teaching Certificate – For new teachers
  • Professional Teaching Certificate– For experienced teachers who have completed competency requirements of the state

Steps to Florida Teacher Certification

There are two ways to become certified to teach in Florida  – complete a bachelor’s degree in an education program or complete an alternative certification route.

The Florida Department of Education has a more comprehensive list of prerequisites on its website; but in general, teacher candidates are required to have the following depending on the subject they wish to teach:

  • Elementary School Teachers – 30 semester hours or a major in Elementary Education
  • Secondary School Teachers – 30 semester hours of subject area teaching  or a major in Secondary Education

In the absence of coursework to demonstrate subject matter expertise, a passing score on the Florida Subject Area Subject Examination will suffice to be eligible for a Temporary Certificate.

In addition to undergraduate coursework and state-required tests, you need to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program in order to earn your teaching credential.

A Faster Route to Teaching: Alternative Florida Teacher Certification

Have a bachelor’s degree? You may be eligible to join an alternative certification program. These programs combine live or online curriculum with on-the-job training and expert mentoring.

How does alternative teacher certification work?

 

Become eligible.

 

Alternative Certification combines training, test strategies, and everything you need to get a job and have a successful teaching career.

Educator Preparation Institutes such as Teachers of Tomorrow offer guidance and resources needed for state test preparation, including Subject Area Exams, the Professional Education Test, and the GKT – which only has a 30% pass rate right now. Programs come in either 100% online (like Florida Teachers), fully live or blended format (50% online, 50% face-to-face training).

Once your Subject Area Test is passed, you will be eligible for a Temporary Certificate, which will be issued once you begin teaching.

 

Start teaching.

With your Temporary Certificate, you will be the Teacher of Record in your classroom.  You must teach for a minimum of one semester full time. The good news is, you earn full salary and benefits throughout your internship. Also, a field supervisor, and program advisor will be assigned to provide ongoing support as you work your way to completing the teacher preparation program.

 

Get certified.

Once you’ve successfully completed the program requirements and your internship, you will be will earn your Professional Certificate.

Florida Educator Preparation Institutes

EPIs (Educator Preparation Institutes) are an alternative certification method applicable for non-education majors and professionals who want to begin teaching. You can enter the EPI program if you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.

Teachers of Tomorrow is an Educator Preparation Institute, having been approved by the Florida Department of Education in June of 2016

Florida requires all teachers pass the Florida Subject Area Examinations, General Knowledge Test, and Professional Education Test before issuance of the Professional Certificate.

To earn your Professional Certification, you must then take the FTCE Professional Education Test.

The standardized tests for aspiring teachers in Florida:

 

General Knowledge Test

The state requires that the General Knowledge Test be passed by the end of the first year teaching on your Temporary Certificate. The GK Test is a basic skills achievement exam and contains four different subtests:

  • English Language Skills – 40 items, multiple choice
  • Essay
  • Mathematics – 45 items, multiple choice
Subject Area Exams

Commonly drafted in multiple-choice format, these exams are used to determine the knowledge of a teacher per content area.

  • English 6-12, English 5-9, French K-12, German K-12, and Spanish K-12 – with additional exam in essay format
  • Spanish K-12 and French K-12 – Given in a language lab
  • German K-12 – comes with an interview
  • Speech 6-12 – Includes a videotaped exam

Teachers working on their Professional Certificate and those who want to add another subject area to a Professional Certificate must pass the certification exam in the new subject area.

Professional Education Test

The Professional Education Test is taken to earn your Professional Certificate. The exam analyzes a teacher’s knowledge of pedagogy and teacher practices in general. The PEd Test is normally 120 items in length.

Moving through the Florida Teacher licensure process is a little complex. At each step there are different requirements and your best option is calling your Florida Teachers advisor so we can walk you through what you need to do.

To apply to become a teacher with the Florida Department of Education you must complete an initial application.  This application will be analyzed by the team at the FL DOE to determine what you need to do to earn your license. For the application you will provide:

  • CG-10 application form with complete personal information
  • Processing fee for each requested subject
  • Transcripts with complete list of degrees and college credits
  • Copies of teacher preparation certificate(s) you hold from U.S. states or other territories (if there are any)
  • Ensure that your Social Security Number is listed on all documents sent to the DOE.

As we’ve mentioned above, you need to complete a minimum of one semester of teaching on a Temporary Certificate in either elementary or secondary school in Florida.

After your application, the Florida DOE will issue you your SOE.

Statement of Status of Eligibility (SOE)

This document will be presented to you after your application has been received and evaluated. The statement is valid for three years. There are two uses for the Statement of Status of Eligibility:

  1. To officially declare your eligibility (or otherwise) to gain a teaching certificate, temporary or professional, in your chosen subject area.
  2. To provide you a complete list of requirements to accumulate in order to qualify for full state certification.

In order to make sure you are ready to teach, you should begin working through an educator preparation program in advance of securing a teaching position.

 

Fingerprinting

Florida requires its teachers to submit their fingerprints through school’s office of personnel. Even educators in private schools are obligated to submit their fingerprint cards. Together with a processing fee, this card will then be submitted to the school admin and kept on record.

Teachers are also subjected to background checks, which are normally administered by the FBI and Department of Law Enforcement.

 

Three-year temporary certificate (non-renewable)

To be issued a Temporary Certificate, valid for 3 years, you will use your eligible Statement of Eligibility to be hired as a Teacher of Record with a public or private school. Once hired, you are able to get your Temporary Certificate from the FL DOE.

 

Five-year professional certificate

After you successfully complete your program with your Educator Preparation Institute, pass your all state-required tests and completed all other requirements listed on your Statement of Eligibility, you can apply for your Professional Certificate, good for five years.

Becoming a teacher is not easy.  You are being trusted to help Florida students succeed and thrive. So while the process of becoming a teacher may seem daunting at times, in the end you can become that great teacher that inspires his or her students to reach their full potential!

Florida Teacher Certification Information & Links

 

*Disclaimer: Statistics, certification requirements, and other data presented here can change without prior notice. Teachers of Tomorrow strives to make content as relevant and accurate as possible; however, it’s important to note that the data from Florida’s education department should be the official resource for information.

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