How to Become a High School Science Teacher in Florida

Feb 22, 2018

Florida high school educators are required to hold a secondary education degree. Here, readers will learn about the specific degree science teachers carry, as well as the exams they must take for certification.

Science teachers in Florida have access to toolkits through the Department of Education that can help them plan lessons on topics like cells, genetics, and ecology. Those aiming towards a secondary teaching degree in Florida can learn all about the curriculum they will experience during their secondary science education degree and the scores required on the various exams they will eventually take for certification.

Certification Requirements for High School Science Teachers in Florida

Average Salary for Florida High School Teachers (2016)* $51,610 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/ Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Science Education
Testing Requirements Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE): General Knowledge Test (GK); FTCE Professional Education Test (Ped); FTCE Earth & Space Science 6-12; FTCE Biology 6-12; FTCE Chemistry 6-12; or FTCE Physics 6-12

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Complete a Science Education Degree

To gain the knowledge required for teaching science to Florida high school students, future teachers have to enroll in and complete a secondary science education program from a university or college. Education students can learn about classroom management, teaching strategies, assessment, and content area literacy. Of course, they will also be exposed to lessons in biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus. A typical part of a science education program is a 15-week internship, also called a student teaching experience, where students spend time in an established science classroom with an experienced educator to guide them. Some institutions require students to earn a C or better in all their education courses, and official transcripts that reflect this education must be submitted by teacher candidates when they apply for certification.

Step Two: Score Well on All Required Exams

The first test is the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE): General Knowledge Test (GK). This test requires a 200 score on each subtest except the essay portion, which requires a score of eight out of a possible 12. It takes about four hours to complete the entire test. During the essay section, test-takers will prove their understanding of an audience, basic organization by main ideas, and thesis statements among others. Some of the topics which the English language skills subtest covers are sentence structure, confused words, and parts of speech. Examinees will also be tested on their knowledge of textual evidence, supporting ideas, and claim analysis during the reading subtest. On the other hand, the math subtest includes operations, geometric shapes, algebra, and probability.

The second test Florida teachers must take is the FTCE Professional Education Test and they also must get a score of at least 200. Test-takers are given two and half hours to finish the 120 multiple-choice questions. These questions cover topics such as instructional design, student-centered instruction, subject matter expertise, assessments, and professional development.

The final exam that prospective high school science teachers are required to pass is a subject area test. This could be the FTCE Earth and Space Science 6-12 exam, the FTCE Biology 6-12 exam, the FTCE Chemistry 6-12 exam, or the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam. These tests all take about two and half hours, and a score of 200 is also required on each. Additionally, though all these tests are composed of multiple-choice questions, the number of questions range between 90 and 120. Which test a candidate takes will depend on what their emphasis and interest are.

FTCE Resources for Future Florida High School Science Teachers

Florida requires four certification exams for its educators, from basic skills to specific subject area exams, here are the links to some resources which may help you pass the FTCE.

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