How to Become a Spanish Teacher in Tennessee

Jan 02, 2019

Spanish teachers must be highly proficient in reading and speaking Spanish and be able to plan lessons and activities that encourage Spanish language acquisition. In common with other educators, Spanish teachers must be organized, patient and have a passion for helping others learn. To become a Spanish teacher in Tennessee, it is necessary to obtain licensure and Spanish teaching endorsement. Here, the steps that need to be followed to qualify for Spanish teaching certification are described.

Spanish Teaching Certification Requirements in Tennessee

Average Salary for Teachers in Tennessee (2016)* $50,320 (Elementary), $50,060 (Middle), $51,390 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Spanish
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core), Principles of Learning and Teaching (Pedagogy), Spanish: World Languages (PreK-12, 5195)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Here are the steps that need to be followed to become a Spanish Teacher in Tennessee.

Step 1: Earn a Degree

To acquire a teaching license in Tennessee, candidates must obtain a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. Additionally, while completing a degree, candidates should undertake an educator preparation program approved by the State Board of Education.

Candidates who wish to obtain Spanish as a primary endorsement, should pursue a major in Spanish, and ideally a minor in education. A suitable program would include classes in subjects such as Spanish grammar, conversation and literature.

Step 2: Pass all Required Testing

Spanish teacher candidates must pass three tests which are all administered by ETS. These tests consist of basic skills, pedagogy, and Spanish exams. The specific tests are as follows:

  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators - basic skills
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching - pedagogy
  • Spanish: World Language

The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam must be successfully completed in order to gain entry into an educator preparation program. This exam assesses the basic skills which are necessary for being an effective teacher. The exam is divided into three sub-tests that can be taken all at the same time or separately:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (code: 5712, minimum passing score - 156)
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (code: 5722, minimum passing score - 162)
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (code: 5732, minimum passing score - 150)

The Principles of Learning and Teaching is a pedagogy exam that can be taken at around the time of graduation from an educator preparation program and is compulsory for all teaching licenses. There are four versions of this exam, and the one(s) which a teacher candidate will take will depend on the grade levels they aspire to teach. These exams and their associated minimum passing scores are as follows:

  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood (code: 5621, minimum pass score - 157)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 (code: 5622, minimum pass score - 160)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 (code: 5623, minimum pass score - 160)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 (code 5624, minimum pass score - 157)

The Spanish PreK-12 exam (code: 5195) assesses whether candidates are qualified to be Spanish teachers. The minimum passing score is 163.

Candidate preparation programs will not recommend candidates for a license to the Board of Education until these exams have been completed successfully.

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Teaching License with Endorsement

Once the education, experience and testing requirements are satisfied, candidates may apply for an initial teaching license in Tennessee. The application form should be marked differently depending on the candidates' background and submitted by an approved Educator Preparation Provider through TNCompass:

  • Candidates should indicate that they are applying for an Initial License if the Tennessee licensure requirements have been successfully completed. The first license is known as an Apprentice License and allows holders to apply for teaching jobs in Tennessee.
  • Candidates who hold a teaching license from a different state should indicate that they are applying for an Out of State License.
  • Candidates who wish to add an endorsement to an existing license, should mark 'Amendment to Add Endorsement Area' and indicate that the endorsement being sought is 'Spanish PreK-12'.

Official college transcripts and proof of ETS test scores should be submitted with the completed application.

Spanish Teacher Certification Resources

Please follow the link below to access our resources for helping Spanish teacher candidates study for their certification exams in Tennessee:

Praxis Spanish Exam (5195): Practice & Study Guide

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