An Oklahoma-certified teacher provides guidance and education to students of all ages. In order to obtain your first teaching position, you will need to complete your education and receive a teaching certification in Oklahoma. Read on to discover all of the criteria you’ll have to meet to start teaching.
Requirements for certified teachers in Oklahoma
If you want to teach in Oklahoma, you’ll have to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. You are also required to complete a teacher education program that has received approval from the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation. Also, you pass a criminal history background check from the state as well a similar background check from the FBI.
Part of the process of becoming an Oklahoma-certified teacher involves testing. The Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation has developed a series of three tests which every prospective teacher must pass. The first of these is the Oklahoma General Education Test. This exam measures the candidate’s basic reading, writing, and mathematics abilities. Prospective teachers must also take the Oklahoma Subject Area Test. This test relates to the candidate’s knowledge of a specific subject area that they wish to teach. Lastly, you must also pass the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination, which is an exploration of your classroom management skills and your understanding of the philosophy of the teaching profession.
Occasionally, some students are also asked to complete the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test in order to gain entry into a state-approved teacher education program. However, this varies from one school to the next and may not be required for you, depending upon where you decide to enroll.
Oklahoma jobs for licensed teachers
Most teachers in Oklahoma work with a Standard Certificate that must be renewed every five years. The certificate includes approval for any subjects for which the teacher has taken the appropriate Oklahoma Subject Area Test. It is possible to add further subjects to your license by taking different Subject Area Tests during the course of your career.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Oklahoma for the 2014-2015 school year:
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education
- Foreign Languages
- Physical Education/Health
- School Counselor
- School Psychologist
- Social Studies
- Special Education
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Oklahoma
In some states, licensed teachers are granted some level of reciprocity based on licenses issued by other states. This is true in Oklahoma, where teachers who have been certified in other states will generally find that their existing license allows them to teach in Oklahoma. The existing license must be valid and unexpired. Additionally, the teacher must meet all requirements set by the State Board of Education. The Professional Standards Board may review the individual teacher’s credentials if there is any question of their equivalency with Oklahoma’s requirements.
If you meet these standards, then you will be issued a five-year provisional teaching license. During that initial five year period, you will be required to pass all three of the required tests for teaching in Oklahoma. This requirement can be challenged if similar tests were completed in another state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.