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Florida does not regulate private schools. Depending on the school, and the education requirements that each individual school has set up, you may be able to earn more as a teacher at a private school than you would as a teacher at a public school. Often private schools have a specific philosophy they subscribe to and anyone who works at the school should feel comfortable following those teaching methods. If the school is accredited, it usually only hires a teacher with valid teacher certification from the state of Florida.
Requirements by Non-Accredited Private Schools
The state of Florida does not require that teachers be certified or meet specific guidelines to teach at private schools. If you teach at a school that has chosen not to be accredited, you may not have any education or certification requirements. However, most schools do require that you at least have a bachelor’s degree in the subject you will be teaching. Some private schools have more rigorous requirements for teachers including higher levels of education, but generally these schools are accredited.
Teacher Certification by State of Florida
The easiest way to become certified is to enroll in an approved teacher education program in the State of Florida. This program will take you through the classes required to teach in your subject of choice and give you the minimum education requirement of a Bachelor’s degree. For example an English education program will give you the classes required to be an English teacher or an elementary education program will take you through the classes to teach courses in elementary school. The program will also take you through your required student teaching. Once you have graduate from the program you will need to take the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and pass to qualify for a certificate. Finally submit a certificate application at the State Board of Education along with your fingerprints.
Alternative Route to Teacher Certification
Florida offers an alternative route to teacher certification for professionals who want to make a career change. This program requires that you already have a bachelors or master’s degree in the field you are interested in teaching. The program allows you to begin teaching while completing the required courses in education. The program begins with intensive training before you begin teaching, so you are prepared to enter the classroom. It also involves mentoring while you are working your first few years. To qualify for the professional certificate you must also pass the FTCE.
License or Certification Transfer for Out of State Teachers
Teachers who have a valid teaching license from another state can also qualify for a teaching license in the state of Florida. If the license is a standard license, not a temporary or license issued to new teachers you can qualify for a reciprocal license without completing the FTCE. The subject qualifications on your current license must match those for the teaching license you apply for in Florida. If you have completed the certification program to qualify for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards license, it will transfer over as well.
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Miriam C has been writing since 2007. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University. Among her many jobs, Miriam C has taught middle-school students. She's written for Families.com and other clients on finances, family and education.