The steps required to become a teacher in Florida largely depend on which subject and educational level you want to teach. In Florida, like other states, there are multiple options for teachers, from teaching preschool to teaching grad school. Alternative routes to the classroom exist as well.
Though there are a few different ways to get a teaching certificate in Florida, a common path is through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Plus, for out-of-state educators, Florida offers a way to become credentialed in the state.
Areas of Specialization for Teachers in Florida
You'll likely need to specialize in one or two areas of interest to become a teacher in Florida. Unless you're working with preschool or elementary level students, to which you may teach a larger variety of subjects, you'll likely need to specialize. This may mean earning a college degree in a certain subject and then teaching only that subject at a middle school, high school or college. Or it may mean specializing in a few related subjects, such as:
- Exceptional Student Education
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Gifted Education
Regardless, unless it's a private school or college, you'll likely also need to take education courses in addition to studying your desired subject. For more information on specializations, you can learn more on the educator certification page on the Florida Department of Education website.
Florida Teacher Licensing Requirements
To become certified as a teacher, a common route is to earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and achieve passing scores on the General Knowledge Test, Subject Area Examination and the Professional Education Test.
Requirements depend on what and where you want to teach. Private schools often have more lenient requirements, while colleges usually require a graduate degree when hiring teachers. If you are focused on a specific subject, you will likely need to demonstrate that knowledge through an undergraduate or graduate degree and a passing test score.
There are two reciprocity routes for out-of-state educators who want to earn a certificate to teach in Florida: One is for people who have been issued a teaching certificate by a state other than Florida, and the other is for those who have had their teaching certificate issued by the NBPTS. Educators will then have to complete a CG-10 application form, and send in copies of all their transcripts, as well as a copy of their current teaching certificate. For more information, you can visit the alternative and traditional certification page on the Florida Department of Education website.
Alternate Paths to Teaching in Florida
There are multiple alternative routes to become a K-12 teacher in Florida. One way is through teaching two semesters of full-time college and having passing scores on the Subject Area Examination. Another is by having 15 credits in education courses, an approved Professional Education Competence (PEC) demonstration, one year of full-time teaching and passing scores on the three tests mentioned above.
Becoming a professor or college instructor often requires a master's or Ph.D. in a specific subject. It depends on what you want to teach and where, but more information can be found with a bit of browsing on the alternative and traditional certification page on the Florida Department of Education website.
- "Florida Certification Subjects," Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/subjlist.asp
- "Educator Preparation," Teach in Florida, http://www.teachinflorida.com/Preparation/tabid/60/Default.aspx
- "National Board for Professional Teaching Standards," http://www.nbpts.org/
- "Routes to a Florida Professional Certificate," Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5423/urlt/Routes2014Chart.pdf
- "Alternative and Traditional Certification," Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pathways.asp