The Tennessee Teaching and Certification Resource

Are you interested in teaching in Tennessee?

This guide provides an overview of the requirements and processes for obtaining a Tennessee teaching certificate.

Learn about approved teacher preparation programs, testing requirements, background check procedures, substitute teaching, and average teacher salaries in the state.

With the right resources and preparation, you can become qualified and pursue a rewarding career in education.

Requirements for Becoming a Teacher in Tennessee

To become a certified teacher in Tennessee, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements and pass the necessary assessments for licensure. This includes having a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and completing a teacher preparation program approved by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Applicants must also pass the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam and content-area exams.

Alternative pathways to licensure are available for those with a bachelor’s degree who have not participated in a Tennessee teacher certification program.

Additionally, a criminal background check must be completed before a teaching license can be issued.

These requirements ensure that only qualified individuals are certified to teach in Tennessee.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Tennessee

Finding an approved teacher education program in Tennessee requires confirming accreditation and Partnership Agreement status with a Tennessee K-12 school district for clinical practice or internships. It is important to ensure the program is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and has regional accreditation with one of the six regional accreditation agencies overseen by the US Department of Education. Additionally, certification by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is highly recommended.

Program Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Teacher preparation program approved by the Tennessee Department of Education
  • Partnership Agreement with a Tennessee K-12 school district for clinical practice or internships

Accreditation Requirements:

  • Regional accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation agencies overseen by the US Department of Education
  • Certification by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Additional Resources:

  • A list of approved educator preparation programs can be found on the Tennessee Department of Education website
  • Instructions for completing the background check are available on the Tennessee Department of Health website

Tennessee Teacher Testing Requirements

Passing scores on the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam and content-area exams are required for initial instructional certification in Tennessee. The applicable tests for endorsement areas can be determined through the Praxis website. In addition, teacher preparation programs will not recommend a candidate for a license before successfully passing these exams. The following table provides an overview of the required exams:

Exam Description Score
PLT Principles of Learning and Teaching Varies
Content Area Content knowledge for the intended teaching field Varies

These exams ensure that teachers are knowledgeable and have the skills necessary to be successful in the classroom. It is important for teachers to research the various tests available and to be prepared for them.

Additional Tennessee Teacher Certification Requirements

Completing all additional requirements is essential for achieving a teaching license in Tennessee.

All applicants must undergo a background check, which includes a state and federal criminal background check by submitting fingerprints via IdentoGO.

Additionally, a valid teaching license cannot be issued without passing all required tests, such as the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam and content-area exams.

For substitutes, each district sets its own requirements, which typically include professional references and at least 60 credit hours of education from an accredited college or university.

Becoming a Substitute Teacher in Tennessee

Although becoming a substitute teacher in Tennessee requires meeting individual district requirements, it is a great way to gain experience in the classroom. Generally, candidates need professional references and at least 60 credit hours of education from an accredited college or university. Some districts may require a bachelor’s degree and/or teacher licensure.

Requirement Districts Bachelor’s Degree
Professional References Yes No
60 Credit Hours Yes No
Teacher Licensure Optional Optional

Tennessee Teacher Salaries

Typically, Tennessee teachers (excluding special and career/technical education teachers) earn an average of $52,830 per year. However, salary can be impacted by factors such as:

  • School Location:

  • Urban, suburban, and rural schools often offer different pay scales.

  • Regional differences in cost of living can also affect salary.

  • Teacher Qualifications:

  • Teachers with advanced degrees, certifications, and/or additional experience may be offered higher salaries.

  • Special and career/technical teachers may be offered higher salaries to compensate for additional education requirements.

These factors can make a significant difference in a teacher’s salary. Therefore, it is important to consider all of the variables when researching Tennessee teacher salaries.

Conclusion

In conclusion, becoming a teacher in Tennessee requires the completion of a variety of steps, including finding an approved teacher education program, passing Tennessee teacher tests, and satisfying additional certification requirements.

Furthermore, substitute teachers in Tennessee can earn competitive salaries.

With the right resources and preparation, individuals can pursue a rewarding career in education in the state of Tennessee.

About Jessica Phillips
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