How to Become a Teacher in Florida
Public school teachers in Florida are required to obtain teacher certification before leading a classroom. In order to be eligible for certification, the Sunshine State requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher education program. Furthermore, candidates must complete the content examinations appropriate to the subject and grade level to be taught.
If you completed a bachelor’s degree but did not complete an approved preparation program in education, you may receive a Temporary Certificate while you complete the remaining requirements to attain a Professional Certificate. A temporary certificate requires candidates to pass subject area knowledge exams or meet subject specialization requirements. This type of certificate is valid for three years while teachers complete the remaining requirements for full licensure. To be eligible for a Temporary Certificate, candidates must be employed within a Florida school district.
Florida Professional Development Certification Program (Alternative Certification Program (ACP))
Florida offers the Alternative Certification Program for alternative licensure, which makes use of technology and teacher expertise to prepare non-educators who have subject-area expertise for a career in the classroom. Through this alternate route, eligible candidates can complete a teacher preparation program online in the field of education. This innovative route to certification allows qualified professionals to begin their teaching careers while simultaneously pursuing highly effective and convenient professional development.
Testing Requirements for Florida Alternative Certification
All candidates for teacher certification in Florida must pass the same set of exams, known as the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE). These tests assess the candidate's knowledge and readiness to teach Florida's public school students. The three parts of the exam are:
- The Subject Area Exams, specific to the content area(s) in which the candidate desires to teach
- The General Knowledge Test, which measures knowledge and skills in essay writing, the English language, reading and mathematics
- The Professional Education Exam, which measures pedagogical knowledge such as lesson planning and the selection of appropriate evaluation instruments
Once all exams have been successfully passed and all other requirements have been met, the candidate may be eligible for a Professional Certificate.