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How to Become a Chemistry Teacher in Florida

Jan 02, 2019

Becoming a chemistry teacher in Florida means earning the appropriate degree and passing a series of certification exams. Follow the detailed steps presented here to start your chemistry teaching career in the Sunshine State.

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To become a chemistry educator in Florida, candidates are required to become proficient in their field by completing a teacher education program with an emphasis on chemistry. Learn more about the curriculum of these programs as well as the three state-required exams.

Requirements for Certification as a Florida Chemistry Teacher

Average Salary for Florida Teachers (2016)* $51,610 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Education- Chemistry
Testing Requirements Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) General Knowledge (GK) Test; FTCE Professional Education (Prof Ed) Test ; FTCE Chemistry 6-12

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Pass the General Knowledge Exam

All teacher candidates who wish to gain acceptance into a teacher preparation program in Florida must first pass all four sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) General Knowledge (GK) test. The essay section requires a score of at least 8 out of 12 possible points, while the English language skills, reading, and mathematics sections require at least a 200 on each. The entire exam can take about four hours for test-takers to complete.

Composed of a single essay assignment, the essay portion of the GK test will analyze your understanding of tasks that include composing a clear introduction and thesis statement, providing textual support, utilizing proper grammar, and using diverse sentence patterns. Next, the English language skills subtest includes 40 multiple-choice questions that cover topics mostly related to the conventions of the English language, such as the appropriate use of commas, correct sentence structure, and standard capitalization rules.

On the reading test, examinees answer roughly 40 multiple-choice questions that involve analyzing arguments and inferences within a text, following main ideas, and synthesizing the claims of more than one author. The mathematics section is made up of 45 multiple-choice questions that explore concepts including real and rational numbers, operations, proportions and ratios, algebraic equations, graphs, and statistics.

Step Two: Complete a Secondary Education Program

To earn your certification as a chemistry educator in Florida, you should complete a chemistry education program at a state-approved accredited university. After passing the GK exam and gaining acceptance into a program, you may take classes in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry along with other science courses such as biology and physics. Of course, you may also have courses in learning theory, legal issues in schools, content reading, and classroom management. Some universities will require you to earn a minimum GPA of 2.5 in your major classes. Programs include a semester-long internship, also called a student teaching experience, where students are placed in a working classroom and given a chance to plan and teach lessons with the support of a mentoring teacher.

Step Three: Pass all other FTCE Exams

Another exam prospective Florida educators take is the FTCE Professional Education Test, which can take two and half hours and includes approximately 120 multiple-choice questions. This test will evaluate your grasp of assessments, instructional resources, culturally-aware lesson plans, classroom management, and literacy strategies. It also covers professional development and teaching English language learners. A score of at least 200 is required.

To teach chemistry in Florida secondary schools, prospective educators must also pass the FTCE Chemistry 6-12 exam. This test also requires a score of at least 200, and examinees get another two and half hours to complete the roughly 100 multiple-choice questions that are on it. During this exam, you will demonstrate your knowledge of matter, including mixtures, volume, mass, and chemical versus physical properties. Other possible topics include forms of energy, thermal dynamics, reactions, bonds, and types of molecules.

Step Four: Undergo a Background Check

To work with students, candidates in Florida will have to submit to background checks. You will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement so they can complete a statewide check of your criminal record. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will look over your federal records.

Links for Florida Chemistry Teachers

The following links may help you study as you prepare to take the various FTCE exams required by Florida.

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