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How to Become a Spanish Teacher in Oklahoma

Individuals interested in teaching Spanish in Oklahoma can prepare for a career in K-12 education by earning a bachelor's degree from an approved program and passing required exams. Read on for details on the certification process.

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The Oklahoma State Department of Education presents standards for world languages that emphasize the importance of equipping students with language skills and cultural awareness to prepare them for our increasingly globalized world. Prospective educators with an interest in Spanish language and culture can support this objective by becoming certified to teach Spanish. To begin a teaching career, Spanish teachers must complete a bachelor's degree and a state-approved teacher education program and pass three state-sponsored exams.

Oklahoma Spanish Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Oklahoma (2017)* $40,530 (Elementary); $42,040 (Middle School); $41,880 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree and completion of approved teacher education program
Degree Field Education, Spanish Education
Testing Requirements OGET, OPTE, OSAT

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Step 1: Earn Your Degree and Complete Teacher Preparation

In Oklahoma, Spanish teachers must hold a bachelor's degree and complete a teacher education program that is approved by the state's Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. The state of Oklahoma maintains a list of institutions offering approved teacher education programs. Degrees in Spanish education typically require core courses in the liberal arts including English, math, science, and history. Degree programs leading to licensure include education classes covering education theories and methods, classroom management, and assessment techniques.

To prepare educators to teach Spanish, approved programs also include coursework specifically related to teaching foreign languages. For example, they may cover theories on how individuals acquire second languages or particular instruction methods that work well for teaching world languages. Additionally, Spanish education programs provide intensive instruction in Spanish language, and they also investigate the history, culture, and literature of Spanish-speaking countries. Some teacher education programs require that students maintain a minimum GPA or earn minimum grades in their education classes. In the later years of study, students typically engage in internships, classroom observations, and student teaching in elementary or secondary schools.

Step 2: Take Exams

Once prospective Spanish teachers have completed their degrees, they must pass three exams. First, the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) covers general education and critical thinking skills. It requires a passing score of 240. The second test, the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE), focuses on professional knowledge. The OPTE has a version for grades K-8 and a version for grades 6-12. A passing score for each version is 240. Finally, to be certified to teach Spanish, educators must pass the Oklahoma Subject Area Test in Spanish with a score of at least 240.

Step 3: Get Certified

After passing these exams, future Spanish teachers must be fingerprinted and clear criminal history checks through both the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They must also submit a completed application to the state's department of education. The application packet must include payment of a processing fee and official transcripts showing the completion of a state-approved bachelor's degree.

Oklahoma Spanish Teacher Certification Resource:

For educators preparing for Oklahoma certification exams, the following resource on the OGET may be helpful.

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