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If you want to become a teacher in Arizona, the first thing to do (after reading this article) is research the specific requirements of the state's Department of Education, which you can find on their website. Depending on the grade level you would like to teach, the following are steps you must typically take in order to become a teacher:

  1. Complete a bachelor's degree in education or in the academic subject you wish to teach.
  2. Complete a teacher training or preparation program that has been approved by the Arizona Department of Education, or fulfill a certain number of semester hours of accredited education courses in the field of education you wish to teach.
  3. Take and pass Arizona's teacher certification test. For certain fields of education, additional certification tests may be necessary.
  4. Apply for teacher certification.
  5. Pass a background check.

Areas of Specialization for Teachers in Arizona

Outside of the standard grade-level specialties, described below, teachers in Arizona may also choose to specialize in arts, adult, JROTC, Native American Language and other areas of practical concentration.

Early Childhood Education

Teachers in early childhood education in Arizona can teach children from preschool age to grade 3, according to the Arizona Department of Education. Preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers educate children ages 3 to 5 and 5 to 8, respectively, on the fundamentals of reading, writing and math.

Elementary Education (grades 1-8)

Elementary school teachers build off of the fundamentals children are taught in preschool and kindergarten, instructing their students in reading, writing, math and science through instruction, hands-on projects and tests.

Secondary Education (grades 7-12)

Middle and high school teachers teach their students more advanced skills and knowledge in the fields of reading, writing, math, science, foreign languages and several other subjects. Unlike preschool, kindergarten and elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers tend to specialize in a particular subject, as middle and high schools usually have students rotate through different periods to receive instruction on separate academic areas.

Adult Education

Teachers in adult education teach individuals ages 16 and over who are not enrolled in traditional school. Topics covered in these classrooms tend to focus on literacy, writing, math and science. Adult education teachers help their students prepare for the workforce or transition to post-secondary education.

Arizona Teaching Licensing Requirements

The Arizona Department of Education has different education and certification requirements for teachers at different levels. However, the basic steps to earning a teacher's certification in Arizona typically start with a bachelor's degree and one of the following:

  • Completion of a teacher preparation program specific to the subject or grade one wishes to teach (ex. early childhood education, elementary school education, high school math, etc.). This program must be either accredited or approved by the Arizona Board of Education.
  • Completion of a certain number of semester hours in one's area of education, as well as a minimum number of hours of fieldwork/internship work. The number of required hours can differ depending on the grade or subject one wishes to teach.
  • A valid early childhood education certification/license from a different state.

Further, you can expect to need a passing score on one or more exams provided by Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA). These exams are related to the grade level and subject one wishes to teach. For example, an elementary school teacher will need to take the NES (National Evaluation Series) Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary, while secondary teachers need to take the NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary, as well as a subject test in their area of study.

As with most states, as a potential educator, you can usually expect the requirement of needing to pass a background check.

Alternate Paths to Teaching in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Education also allows individuals to earn their teacher's certification through an alternative pathway, the Teaching Intern Pathway to Certification. This route exists for individuals who would like to make a career change and become a teacher after earning a degree and/or working in a field unrelated to education.

Furthermore, teachers who have received an educator license or certification in a different state may be able waive the teacher training program requirement described above.

For more information about these program, as well as other requirements to become a teacher in Arizona, visit the Arizona Department of Education's website.


Sources:

  1. "Required Arizona Educator Exams," azed.gov, Arizona Department of Education, http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/az-ed-exams/
  2. "What Tests Do I Need to Take," aepa.nesinc.com, Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments, http://www.aepa.nesinc.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_WhatTestsDoINeedToTake.html
  3. "Educator and School Excellence," azed.gov, Arizona Department of Education, http://www.azed.gov/hetl/
  4. "Educator Preparation Programs," azed.gov, Arizona Department of Education, http://www.azed.gov/hetl/epp/
  5. "Teaching Certificates," azed.gov, Arizona Department of Education, http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/certificate-requirement/teaching-certificate/

Teaching Schools in Arizona

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Arizona
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MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders
  • Earn an NYU degree from anywhere in the country using our state-of-the-art online platform. You’ll attend live online classes, complete self-paced course work, and gain hands-on clinical experiences at field sites in or near your community.
  • Personalize your education based on your interests and goals with our diverse curriculum. Our clinical externship experiences and electives are designed to provide you with a comprehensive learning experience. We also offer all necessary foundation courses for admitted students who need to complete them before beginning the graduate-level courses.
  • Complete courses taught by expert NYU faculty who have diverse research interests and expertise in a variety of areas. As practicing clinicians who are highly active in the field, our faculty members apply real-world experiences to the classroom and act as supportive mentors to our students. 
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Masters of Science in Education – Educational Administration

• Students may choose from over 60 majors and minors in business, sciences, human services, and more, as well as 6 fully online bachelor's programs.
• Small classes sizes and a 16:1 student-teacher ratio allow faculty members to give more personalized attention.
• Ranked #36 among the 2017 Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
• Designated as a Military Friendly® Schools: Gold award recipient in 2017 by Victory Media.
 

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Doctor of Management – Higher Education Teaching and Learning
  • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
  • Its online MBA program was named by the International Graduate Forum as a top 10 Online MBA Program in 2012.
  • Listed as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine in 2014.
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Ed.S. Education Degree Specialist in Director of Special Education
  • Students can choose from more than 150 degree programs in a variety of subject areas, including business, education, engineering, nursing, and more.
  • The average class size is 29 students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1.
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