As a graduate, you may find that your career is not rewarding, or you simply need a change. The thought of becoming a teacher and helping others learn often crosses a person’s mind. Texas allows highly educated individuals to earn their Texas teacher certification through alternative methods. Even if you didn’t attend schooling to become a teacher, you will still be able to become certified.
Texas teachers are in high demand. Whether you’re in Dallas or Austin, there are a variety of teaching jobs that can be secured. One of the best routes to take is that of alternative certification. This allows a person to:
- Obtain certification.
- Receive mentoring.
- Learn the basics of being a teacher.
- Obtain appropriate supervision.
- Obtain the required, one year internship.
There are also subject areas and strategies that will need to be put into action to ensure that you are able to receive your certification and legally teach within the state.
SBEC Teacher Certification
Before discussing how to become a teacher, you’ll need to understand what an SBEC teacher certification means. This certification is rather new and was first enacted in 2009. What this means is that the State Board of Education Certification must approve a course.
Since you’re going the alternative route, the school of your choosing must be SBEC-approved. If the school does not have approval, your certification will not be deemed valid within the state.
Joining a Program
There are a variety of programs to choose from, including South Texas Transition to Teaching and Texas Teachers among several others. These programs are all approved and will be able to help you obtain the certification needed.
Being a teacher is a major commitment. Educating the youths of America is a demanding job and you must meet stringent criteria before stepping foot into an alternative certification program.
The following will be needed:
Every school has their own requirements. Typically, you’ll need to meet at least the following to be accepted into a program:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Have a GPA of at least 2.5.
If you’re a senior and will be graduating at the end of the semester, you are able to apply for most programs. This will ensure that there is little to no time lost in securing the proper teaching credentials.
Ideally, you’ll use your current education to your advantage. If you have received a degree, you will find that one of the sixty available subjects taught within the state are a perfect fit for you. It is easier to receive a Texas teacher certification if the subject chosen is closely related to the degree you currently hold.
Most schools will work with you during this selection. The goal is to:
- Find relatable subjects.
- Match your skills to your interests.
The best subject will be one that you are passionate about and have a firm grasp of.
There needs to be a strategy put in place so that you can have a streamlined path to certification. There may be some courses that you need to take as well as various methods to ensure that you’ll be a marketable asset that any school would love to have.
If you are diligent, some certification providers state that you can receive your teaching certificate in just 12 weeks. The strategy devised by your school will allow you to take a fast-paced approach to certification and ultimately get you into a classroom faster as a result.
Perhaps you are already employed and cannot miss three months of work to get your certification. Thankfully, there are three training options offered by most certification providers. Neither is better, but some learners do find that one of the three routes works best for them.
Maximum flexibility can be found with online learning. These are courses available night and day that will allow you to work at your own pace to complete certification requirements. A few of the benefits provided with this method are:
- Access to courses at all times of the day and night. You can choose to make your own schedule as long as assignments are turned in by the designated time.
- Some schools do not have timelines or deadlines that need to be met.
Online learning is great, but you need to be dedicated. Lack of supervision is not for every student and may prolong the learning experience in some cases.
A traditional classroom setting is also available. This is the same setting that most people are used to in either college or high school. This will require you to go to a physical location to meet all of your certification requirements.
A few of the benefits of a physical classroom are:
- Controlled timeline to certification.
- Hands-on experience during the learning process.
- You’ll have access to teachers that you can ask question to as well as counselors.
Physical classrooms may be more demanding in terms of time and less flexible, but having a teacher that is physically present is often the preferred model.
The one learning environment that seems to be picking up steam is the blended learning environment. This mixes online and traditional classrooms. Some learning will take place face-to-face, and other portions of the learning experience will be fully online.
There are a lot of benefits to this learning environment, including:
- Students get to learn at their own pace for many classes.
- Teachers are accessible face-to-face for a lot of the learning experience.
The blended environment is all about flexibility, and students that are on a stricter time schedule may find that a blended environment works best for them.
All training options will lead to your ultimate goal of a Texas teacher certification, but the chosen environment is ultimately up to you. The costs are normally the same regardless of the environment chosen.
Once you are done with your certification requirements, you will be placed on a one year probationary period. Since you have taken the alternative route, you will be under scrutiny during your first year of teaching. This should not worry you as you will have help along the way.
The probationary period will last for 2 full semesters, or one school year.
During this period, you will still:
- Receive full benefits as all teachers do.
- Receive full wages just as other certified teachers do.
This period is deemed an internship. As such, you will have to ensure that your performance is top notch and that you can tackle the duties as a teacher. Thankfully, the certification course taken will provide you with the tools needed to excel at this time.
After a successful internship, you will be given full certification. This is the same certification that is given to all teaching majors in the state. Now, you can proceed with your career as normal.
A Texas teacher certification program may help you locate a job, but there is never a guarantee of employment. As with all fields, it may take some time to find an opening in your desired district. With Texas being one of the states in dire need of teachers, you will find that employment within the state is much faster to find as a result.