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How to Become a Teacher in Alabama: Teacher Certification

Teachers are vital to the continued education and improvement of our society, and the teachers of the Yellowhammer State are no exception. If you're interested in carrying on the torch of this enriching career, read on to learn more about how to get started and how to improve your career outlook as an established teacher.

There are many paths to becoming a teacher in Alabama, and most begin with getting the proper education. People who wish to teach in this state must earn at least a bachelor's degree in education or a related field, as well as complete a student teaching program. Aspiring teachers must also submit a completed application for a teaching license or credential, including a background check, fingerprints and passing scores on competency exams.

Although Alabama does offer reciprocity with most other states, licensed teachers moving to Alabama should look into the guidelines to ensure that they have met all requirements for teaching positions in the state. There may be additional tests or education required, if the candidate's current professional certificate does not meet certain criteria.

Curious about teaching salaries in Alabama? Learn more about them here.

Types of Licenses Available in Alabama

So you want to earn your Alabama Teacher Certification? Here are the three certificate options available in Alabama:

  • Class B is designed for those who have earned a bachelor's degree.
  • Class A is for those who have completed a master's degree program that includes 30 credit hours. Any courses taken while earning a Class B license do not count toward this goal.
  • Class AA is for those who have taken a sixth-year program of at least 30 credit hours. As with the class A license, any courses taken to earn credit for a lower level license do not count.

Educators who want to work at the preschool through secondary school level can earn any of the three certificates, depending upon the depth of their education. Individuals who want to work in a specialized field, such as special education or adult education, are required to earn certifications in additional teaching fields. For more information, please read the Rules of the Alabama State Board of Education published on their official website (www.alsde.edu).

Traditional Approach for the Alabama Teacher Certification

  1. In order to earn a teaching certificate, Alabama requires aspiring teachers to earn at least a bachelor's degree in education or a related field, as well as complete a state-approved teacher education program.
  2. Teacher Preparations: This may include teacher prep courses, student teaching, and other types of internships. In order to receive an Alabama Teacher Certification, you must have some experience in teaching, even if it is unpaid.
  3. Schedule an appointment to speak with one of the representatives at the Alabama Department of Education (334) 353-8567 about earning a Alabama Teacher Certification.
  4. Pass your Basic Skills Test exam APTTP
  5. Complete the Subject Area Competence assessments for your desired area of instruction Praxis II
  6. Submit the following:
    • Completed Application
    • $30 check/money order payable to Alabama State Department of Education
    • $51.40 fingerprint fee
    • Official transcripts, degrees, and school credits
    • Fingerprint cards, release form, and background check form
    • Copies of all test scores
    • Mail to:
      Teacher Education and Certification Office
      5215 Gordon Persons Building
      P.O. Box 302101
      Montgomery, AL 36130-2101
      (334) 353-8567
  7. *Do you want to renew your Alabama Teacher Certification?*

Alternative Approach for the Alabama Teacher Certification

There are several different approaches to earning an Alabama teaching certificate. An emergency credential is available for people who have earned only a bachelor's degree, but the credential only lasts for a year and is not renewable. Educators from outside the country may ask for their credentials to be evaluated in order to ascertain whether they have met the requirements to be licensed in Alabama. People who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than that of education, have earned a career or technical license in a particular field, have been admitted into a state-approved program or have expertise in an education-related field such as library media, speech or language impairment or school counseling can apply for alternative licensing paths to an Alabama teaching certificate as well.

Sources:

  • Alabama Administrative Code, Alabama State Department of Education, Dec. 9, 2010, https://www.alsde.edu/sec/tc/Alabama%20Administrative%20Code/Forms/AllItems.aspx
  • Teacher Certification, Alabama State Department of Education, https://www.alsde.edu/sec/tc/pages/home.aspx

Teaching Schools in Alabama

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