Becoming a Spanish Teacher in Florida

Find out how to become a Spanish teacher in Florida. Read about educational requirements, FTCE testing, the application process, and when to start applying for positions.

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Florida is a diverse state that has approximately 4 million Spanish-speaking residents. Anyone passionate about the Spanish language should consider teaching in the Sunshine State. Here, we explore the steps needed to become a certified Spanish teacher in the state of Florida.

Florida Spanish Teacher Salary Statistics and Educational Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Florida (2016)* $47,610 (Elementary), $48,840 (Middle), $51,610 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Spanish with an education emphasis
Testing Requirements 3 FTCE Exams: General Knowledge, Professional Education Test, Spanish K-12

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

First, future Spanish teachers in Florida need to complete an approved teacher preparation program in education and the Spanish language. There are many approved programs of study to choose from, and the Florida Department of Education keeps an updated list of all options on their website.

The coursework of each program varies slightly, but most programs of study will include classes about cultural and historical foundations, Spanish speaking and writing, and educational strategies. According to World Language standards set forward by the Department of Education, a prospective teacher should take at least 30 credit hours of Spanish classes that fit into the following categories: history or culture of native Spanish speakers, Spanish literature, and applied linguistics. Some classes students take may include using technology into the classroom, child and adolescent development, learning theories and methods, teacher planning and classroom management, Spanish civilizations, and Spanish grammar. Students will also be required to complete student teaching internships to gain experience in the field before graduation.

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Step 2: Complete All Required Testing

The Florida Department of Education mandates that all prospective teachers regardless of subject must pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) General Knowledge test or have earned an acceptable score on the GRE before becoming certified. This FTCE exam includes math, reading, English language skills (ELS), and writing components to ensure that all applicants have a basic understanding of general topics. The exam takes approximately 4 hours and costs $130 for the first attempt or $150 for a retake. The math, reading, and ELS subtests are 40-45 multiple choice questions each, and each requires a minimum score of 200; the essay requires the candidate to earn a minimum of 8 out of 12 points.

Spanish language educators will also take the Spanish K-12 FTCE over the course of 150 minutes. The exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions, 6 oral responses, and 1 written response. Test takers will receive a score between 1 and 6 on the speaking portion and a score of 1 and 5 on the written portion. This test costs $200 to take the first time and then $220 for subsequent retests.

The last required FTCE is the Professional Education Test, which measures a test-taker's understanding of pedagogy and professional practices. This assessment contains about 120 questions in a multiple-choice format and costs $150 for the first attempt and $170 for a retake. A minimum scaled score of 200 is required.

Step 3: Submit Certification Application

Future Spanish teachers are ready to apply for their Initial Florida Teaching Certificate once all preparation programs and testing are finished. First, students need to first submit an application form called a CG-10. Once that has been turned in, they must provide a $75 processing fee and all official transcripts. After successful evaluation, applicants will receive their Official Statement of Eligibility from the state, which is valid for three years. This important document shows that the applicant is ready to be certified.

Then, Spanish education candidates must secure employment in school with a state-approved professional education competence program. This should be a simple process, as Florida schools typically hire from among those who are eligible for certification. Once a teacher finds a position, he or she will be fingerprinted and may need to pay a fee determined by the school districts or service providers. Finally, applicants will be awarded their Initial Certificates.

Certification Resources for Future Florida Spanish Teachers

If you have any questions about the structure of a particular FTCE or what to study, there are resources that can help. Click through these detailed guides and prepare for future exams with the following resources.

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