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How to Become a Elementary Teacher in Oregon

Discover what the Department of Education in Oregon requires future elementary teachers to do in order to get licensed. Read about what kinds of classes you might take, how to fulfill all testing requirements, and when to start the application process.

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The state of Oregon prioritizes personalized learning experiences and a diverse learning experience for students. Elementary teachers can help to do this if they pursue their Preliminary Teaching License.

Oregon Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Elementary Teachers in Oregon (2017)* $65,640
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Elementary Education
Testing Requirements Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment, Elementary Education ORELA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree from an Oregon School

Any student who wants to become an elementary teacher in Oregon can start by pursuing their bachelors degree and completing an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. Many colleges and universities in the state offer elementary teacher-specific teacher preparation programs. There's a comprehensive list available online at the Department of Education's website. These programs will all offer similar courses, including variations on:

  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Psychological Foundations of Education
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Assessment and Evaluation of Teaching and Learning

Another important component of the preparation program is the student teaching portion, usually completed toward the end of the degree program. This section of the program helps ground students in educational principles and give them a better idea of what to expect in the classroom.

Step 2: Take All Required Tests

Future Oregon teachers need to take both a civil rights exam and all applicable subject exams. The civil rights exam is called Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment. It is used to make sure that all prospective teachers are up-to-date on Oregon's learning standards. The test is 90-minutes long and made up of 60 multiple-choice questions taken on the computer. Teachers need to score at least a 240. A fee of $95 is required to take the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment.

Next, teachers will take the ORELA Elementary Education Subtests. There are two subtests, and each subtest is 75-questions long. The first subtest centers on reading and language arts and social studies. The second covers math, science, and the arts, health and fitness. Teachers need to score at least a 220 on each subtest. Together, the subtests cost $95.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

After the tests are finished, teachers can begin the application process for the Preliminary Teaching License. The Preliminary Teaching License is available to new teachers who have completed all required educational steps and tests, so this is the time for teachers to prove their accomplishments. The license lasts for three years, and requires proof of the bachelors degree, teacher preparation program, and test scores. Teachers will also need to pass a background check and get fingerprinted for $55. The application itself is $140. When all the appropriate information has been submitted, teachers will receive a Preliminary Teaching License.

Resources for Future Oregon Teachers

Preparing for the ORELA subject exams is easy with the many preparation materials online. Take a look at the guides below to get a better idea of what to expect on the Elementary Education test.

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