How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Florida

Jan 02, 2019

Find out how to become an elementary school teacher in Florida. Read about educational requirements, FTCE testing, the application process, and when to start looking for the job of your dreams.

Florida is a diverse state that is looking for talented teachers. Students passionate about working with children might consider becoming certified elementary school teachers in the Sunshine State. Here, we explore the steps needed to become a certified elementary teacher in the state of Florida.

Florida History Teacher Salary Statistics and Educational Requirements

Average Salary for Elementary Teachers in Florida (2016)* $47,610
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Degree Field Elementary Education
Testing Requirements 3 FTCE Exams: General Knowledge, Professional Education Test, Elementary Education K-6

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The first step to becoming a certified elementary school teacher in Florida is completing an approved elementary teacher preparation program. The coursework of each program varies slightly, but most programs of study will include human development, reading, mathematics, and classroom management strategies. Students will also be required to complete student teaching internships to gain experience in the field before graduation.

Step 2: Complete All Required Testing

The Florida Department of Education mandates that 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. This ensures that all applicants, regardless of preferred grade level, have a general understanding of important topics. The FTCE exam includes math, reading, English language skills (ELS), and writing components and takes approximately 4 hours and costs $130 for the first attempt. The math, reading, and ELS subtests each require a minimum score of 200; the essay requires the candidate to earn a minimum of 8 out of 12 points.

Elementary educators will also take the $200 Elementary Education K-6 FTCE, which consists of four subtests: language arts and reading, social science, science, and mathematics. All together, this test consists of 220 multiple choice questions, and test takers need to score at least 200 points per subtest.

The required Professional Education Test measures knowledge of pedagogy and professional practices. This assessment contains about 120 questions in a multiple-choice format and costs $150 for the first attempt. A minimum scaled score of 200 is required.

Step 3: Submit Certification Application

Future elementary school teachers are ready to apply for their Initial Florida Teaching Certificate once all preparation programs and testing are finished. Students need to first submit an application form, called a CG-10, then hand in a $75 processing fee. Be sure to turn in all official transcripts at this time, as well. Once all of these steps have been completed, applicants will receive their Official Statement of Eligibility from the state, which is valid for three years and is required to show that applicants are in fact ready to receive their certificate.

The next step for elementary education candidates is to secure employment in school with a state-approved professional education competence program. Florida schools are required to hire from among new teachers, so there should be many opportunities. Once a teacher finds a position, he or she must be fingerprinted and pay the $75 fee. At that point, all requirements have been met for the Initial Certificate.

Certification Resources for Future Florida Elementary Teachers

If you have any questions about the structure of the FTCE or what to study, there are many resources that can help students prepare. Click through detailed guides and prepare for future exams with these resources.

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