Being a teacher in Florida is a rewarding career path. Each state has requirements for becoming a tutor, but the Sunshine State has the following prerequisites.
1. Earn your teaching degree
To be a teacher in Florida, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree in an accredited college. This degree must be in education or a related field with a professional education component approved by the State Board of Education. If you already hold a degree in another field but wish to switch, you will likely have to complete a teacher education program. This can take up to two years to complete.
2. Complete the required testing
All teachers in Florida must pass two exams before earning their teaching certificate. The first is the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE). This exam covers professional education, general knowledge, and subject area expertise. You must also pass a subject area exam specific to the grade level and content you wish to teach. For example, if you want to teach elementary school math, you would take the Elementary Education Mathematics Test (EEMAT).
If you, unfortunately, fail the certification exams, you are allowed to retake them. You must wait 30 days in between each attempt, and you can only take the test three times in 12 months.
3. Apply for your certificate
After you have completed all the required coursework and exams, it is time to apply for your teaching license. The Bureaus of Educator Certification and Preparation and Information System manage the licensure process in Florida. You will need to create an account on their website and submit your fingerprints for a background check. The application fee is $75.
From here, you are all set. You can start looking for a job. The Department of Education’s Office of Professional Practices Services (OPPS) can help you with this process by providing information about vacancies, salaries, and benefits. They also offer job-seeking assistance to individuals who are new to the state or transitioning from another career.