How to Become a Math Teacher in Iowa

Jul 03, 2020

The state of Iowa requires all prospective math teachers to have a bachelor's degree, or higher, from a teacher preparation program offered through an accredited university or college. Applicants must also pass all required Praxis examinations before being considered for licensure.

Iowa Math Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Iowa (2019)* $53,950 (Elementary School Teachers, except Special and Career/Technical Education); $55,250 (Middle School Teachers, except Special and Career/Technical Education); $56,570 (Secondary School Teachers, except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education with a mathematics endorsement
Testing Requirements Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge, or Middle School Mathematics (Endorsement 142, Grades K-8), or Mathematics: Content Knowledge (Endorsement 143, Grades 5-12); Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Pedagogy test or the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT); Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

College and university students studying to become a math teacher in the state of Iowa will need to earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution. Students attending an Iowa institution must complete the state-approved teacher preparation program. Those graduating from a non-Iowa school must have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program that includes pedagogy classes, student teaching/internship experience, and mathematics courses. This usually includes around 24 semester hours of math-related courses. Most teacher preparation programs include an in-field student teaching experience as well as coursework in education theory, classroom skills, human relations, and working with exceptional learners. Some programs allow students to create an education plan that will fulfill licensing requirements while simultaneously earning their bachelor's degree.

Step 2: Pass the Required Examinations

To receive an initial math teacher license in Iowa, there are a number of exams that must be taken and passed. Tests are delivered and administered electronically at approved testing centers. Teachers in the K-12 range must take a content knowledge test specific to the grade level and content they wish to teach. Then teachers must pass a grade-specific pedagogy test and a performance assessment. Specific tests and qualifying scores are listed below:

  • Content Knowledge in one of the following areas:
    • Elementary Education: Content Knowledge (Endorsement 102, Grades K-6), qualifying score of 152
    • Middle School Mathematics (Endorsement 142, Grades K-8), qualifying score of 151
    • Mathematics: Content Knowledge (Endorsement 143, Grades 5-12), qualifying score of 135
  • Principles of Teaching and Learning (PTL) Pedagogy test; one of the following:
    • Early Childhood, qualifying score of 158
    • Grades K-6, qualifying score of 167
    • Grades 5-9, qualifying score of 165
    • Grades 7-1, qualifying score of 166
    • Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT), qualifying score of 32

In lieu of the Praxis exams, some programs require the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) assessment. There is a Grades K-8 exam and a Grades 5-12 exam; both have a qualifying score of 41.

Step 3: Apply for an Iowa Math Teaching License

After passing the necessary examinations, applicants may complete either an in-state application for licensure, if their education and preparation were completed in the state of Iowa, or an out-of-state application, if requirements were completed in another state. All associated application fees are to be mailed, along with your application and required documentation, to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. This initial license will be valid for two years and requires at least two years of teaching experience in the teacher's endorsement area before it can be converted to a standard license.

A standard license is valid for five years. To renew an expiring license, teachers must attend mandatory reporter training as well as complete six renewal credits. Teachers may also earn a master educator license, valid for five years, which requires at least five years of successful teaching experience and a master's degree in a field related to their area of concentration. License renewals can be made by mail or completed online through the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website.

Iowa Math Teacher Licensing Resources can help aspiring teachers prepare for their Praxis Exams. Please follow the links below for study guides and more in-depth testing information.

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