Some reading teachers would like to specialize in one area of literacy. For teachers interested in teaching students with dyslexia, this article will explain the necessary steps to become a certified teacher in Texas.
Requirements for Texas Dyslexia Teachers
|Average Salary for Teachers in Texas (2017)*||$34,800 (Preschool), $56,670 (Elementary School), $56,670 (Middle School), $57,830 (Secondary School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Required Field||Reading, Literacy, English|
|Testing Requirements||TExES Reading Specialist (151), Knowledge and Practice Examination for Effective Treading Instruction (KPEERI) (optional)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete the Education
The minimum requirement to become a teacher in Texas is a bachelor's degree. This is also the minimum that you will need to take any certification exams. However, if you want to teach something as specialized as dyslexia, you may want to continue your education. Consider beginning your education with a bachelor's degree in reading or literacy education. After that, several Texas schools offer master's degree and graduate certificate programs that specifically focus on working with students who have dyslexia. These programs will look at dyslexia and related reading disabilities. You'll take courses in reading fluency, early language development, morphological and syntactical awareness, the cognitive structure of written language, and the education of learning disabled students. It is important to note that many of these programs are approved by the Teacher Education Agency (TEA) as education preparation programs (EPP), which is a requirement for teacher licensure. These programs must also include teaching practicums.
Step 2: Complete Any Exams
While there are a few options for reading teachers, the TExES that works best for reading teachers would be the reading specialist exam. This literacy-specific exam looks at four categories:
- Instruction and assessment: components of literacy
- Instruction and assessment: resourced and procedures
- Meeting the needs of individual students
- Professional knowledge and leadership
The majority of the test, 57%, will be on the components of literacy. You have five hours to complete 100 multiple-choice questions on the computer.
Another exam you may want to consider is specific to teachers who want to focus on dyslexia. The Center for Effective Reading Instruction has a national certification exam called the Knowledge and Practice Examination for Effective Reading Instruction (KPEERI). It was formerly known as the Certification Examination for Effective Reading Instruction, and you may see its acronym - CEERI - commonly used by school districts. The test costs $150, and all 100 multiple-choice questions can be completed on the computer. This exam tests you on recall, application, and analysis. Once you have passed, you will then be a Certified Structured Literacy Teacher nationally. However, it is important to remember that this whole certification is optional.
Step 3: Be Fingerprinted
The final step to become a dyslexia teacher is to be fingerprinted. St up an account on the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) website and pay a $39 fee for a background check by the TEA, Department of Public Safety (DPS), and FBI. On the ECOS site you will set up an appointment with a MorphoTrust location to be fingerprinted. There is a $10 fingerprinting fee.
Texas Dyslexia Teacher Certification Resources
While there are a few exam options for reading teachers, we have provided links to some helpful sources to prepare for those exams. Be sure to pay extra attention to the reading specialist link.