In Florida, history is included in the social sciences, so prospective history teachers will have a wide variety of topics to cover in the classroom. Here, we explore the steps needed to become a certified social science teacher for grades 6-12 in the state of Florida.
Florida Social Science Teacher Salary Statistics and Educational Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Florida (2016)*||$51,610 (High School)|
|Degree Field||Social Science Secondary Education|
|Testing Requirements||3 FTCE Exams: General Knowledge, Professional Education, & Social Science (6-12)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Future teachers in Florida need to complete an accredited bachelor's degree and approved initial teacher preparation program in social science secondary education. There are many approved programs 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 economics, geography, modern world history, and US history. Students also take some general education classes in addition to social science classes and educational foundation classes. 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
All prospective teachers must pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) General Knowledge test (or have earned an acceptable score on the GRE before becoming certified). Approved teacher preparation programs generally require this test to be passed prior to admission. 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.
Social sciences educators will also take the Social Science (6-12) subject exam, which is made up of 120 multiple choice questions. Test-takers have 150 minutes to complete the exam, and they must achieve a score of at least 200. The first attempt costs $200; the retake costs $220.
The Professional Education Test is the last required FTCE. The exam measures a test-taker's understanding of pedagogy and professional practices to help prepare them for the classroom. 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
In order to apply for an Florida Professional Certificate, candidates need to first submit an application form called a CG-10. When that has been turned in, applicants must submit all official transcripts and provide a $75 processing fee for the social science secondary education endorsement. Upon evaluation of all materials, applicants will receive their Official Statement of Eligibility from the state, which is valid for three years. This document shows that the applicant is ready to be certified, and it also provides each student with a personalized list of requirements that still need to be met.
The next step for all candidates is to secure employment in a 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 district or service providers. If the applicant's fingerprints do not bring up any background issues, he or she should receive the Initial Certificate within 30 days. Applicants with a criminal record will be contacted by the Professional Practices Service for more information. After fingerprinting is complete, applicants will be awarded with their teaching certificates.
Certification Resources for Future Florida Teachers
If you have any questions about the structure of a particular FTCE, there are many resources that can help. Click through these detailed guides to find out what to study and prepare for future exams: