Texas Teaching Certification Overview: Become a Certified Teacher

Each state in America sets their own requirements for teacher credentialing. That’s why it’s important to gather information that pertains specifically to the state in which you intend to teach. As in most states, there is more than one route to becoming a certified teacher in Texas. The information contained here should make it clear which route will be the right one for you.

Requirements for Certified Teachers in Texas

A Texas teaching certification is available to individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree and have completed teacher training. In Texas, there are no colleges or universities that offer a degree in education. Instead, if you are attending undergraduate school in Texas, you select the major that best represents the subject matter you would like to teach. Many undergraduate programs allow you to study your major while also taking teacher training courses.

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you may take a state approved teacher training program to become eligible to teach. The majority of such programs can be completed within one year, and while you are completing the program you can hold a paid teaching position in a public school.

Teaching candidates must also pass the appropriate certification tests for the grade level and subject matter they want to teach. The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards, or TExES, are multiple choice question assessments of educator knowledge. The TExES tests are available in a wide variety of subject matter, so test takers must choose the test that is most appropriate for the subject matter they’d like to teach.

If you are applying for certification in Texas for the first time, you will be required to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check.

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Texas Jobs for Licensed Teachers

Teachers in Texas may acquire several different types of certifications in order to teach the subject matter that interests them. Most teachers start out with the standard certification that allows them to teach in one subject. Teachers in Texas may also take examinations to earn additional certifications in other areas. If you would like, you may test for more than one additional certification at a time. This means you will be qualified to teach a variety of classes. Teaching certificates in Texas must be renewed every five years. As part of the renewal process, you must complete between 150 and 200 hours of Continuing Professional Education coursework.

For each academic year, the U.S. Department of Education determines whether or not there is a Teacher Shortage Area in each state. In Texas, the Department of Education has declared shortages for the 2012-2013 school year in the following subjects: special education, science, bilingual/English as a second language, foreign languages and mathematics. If you want to teach in Texas, and you decide to teach in one of these areas where there is a teacher shortage, then the government may provide you with incentives like student loan forgiveness or scholarships and grants that allow you to continue your education.

As an additional incentive, the Teach for Texas program provides grants to prospective teachers who promise to teach in the state’s public schools for a specified time period.

Teaching License Reciprocity in Texas

Reciprocity for teachers who hold certificates from other states or countries is a simple process. Most qualified teachers are only required to pass the appropriate TExES certification test for the subject matter they wish to teach. Like other certified teachers in Texas, these individuals are also eligible to take additional certification tests for other subject areas.

Some teachers who are certified somewhere outside of Texas may be able to waive the TExES test requirement if the state board of education determines that the certification testing the candidate has already undergone was sufficiently similar to that provided in Texas. 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.

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