If you want to become a teacher in California then you’ll need to make sure that you have the following:-
A bachelor’s degree
Been through an appoved teacher education program
Passed the PPST and 2 Praxis II exams
1. Earn your Bachelor’s degree
To become a teacher in California you need to have completed your bachelor’s degree. The degree doesn’t necessarily need to be in education or in the subject that you are choosing to teach – although this may obviously help with your application when applying for jobs.
The advantage of doing an education degree is that you won’t need to go through an approved teacher education program after graduation – you’ll be immediately eligible to apply for a job in California as a fully qualified teacher. You can also choose to take a degree subject other than education that includes teacher training as part of the course – again, in this instance, upon graduation you won’t need to go through an approved teacher education program so it’s the preferred route for those who know that they want to be a teacher before they enroll in university.
2. Go through an Approved Teacher Education Program
As I mentioned in the paragraphs above – if your university degree included teacher training then you don’t need to worry about going through an approved teacher education program. However, a lot of trainee teachers have a bachelor’s degree that doesn’t include any element of teacher training – these people will need to go through a State Approved Teacher Education Program.
These programs are designed to teach you all about the science of Pedagogy – how to manage students, how to present material in the most effective way for efficient learning and so forth. For people who are perhaps already in a career and wish to change their job to become a teacher the most commonly used route to go through an approved teacher education program is to become alternatively certified.
The alternative certification process involves going through teacher training and any content preparation for the final certification exams. There are many companies, schools and other establishments that offer alternative routes to certification and each have their own benefits and disadvantages. Some are held completely online which means that you can study to become a teacher even if you have a full time job. Others place emphasis on helping you get real teaching experience under your belt to help you find a job easier.
Generally speaking, an alternative route to certification will cost between $1500 and $6000 and take around 8-10 months to complete. Often there are attractive financing options available for those who can’t afford to pay the full fees up front – usually you can pay a small deposit up front and then pay the remaining balance back on a monthly basis as and when you become a full time teacher.
3. The Certification Exams
Once you’ve got your bachelor’s degree and been through an approved teacher education program , then the last step is to pass the certification exams. You’ll need to pass the following:-
PPST (Pre-professional Skills Test) – This is a basic skills exam designed to test basic literacy and numeracy ability.
Praxis II: Subject test in your specialist area – This is the exam that tests your knowledge and competency in the subject that you want to teach
Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching – This is the exam that is designed to test your understanding of teaching, classroom management and styles of learning.
Having passed these exams you are then fully eligible to teach in the State of California. The next thing you need to do is to find a teaching job in your state!