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How to Become an Elementary Teacher in Texas

Elementary school can be a magical time for young children as the world opens up and they learn about all new subjects. If you'd like to be a part of that education in Texas, consider the following article for requirements and resources.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 155,610 elementary (including kindergarten) teachers in Texas during the 2017 school year. To learn the certification route you'll need to take to become a Texas elementary teacher, continue reading.

Requirements for Elementary Teachers in Texas

Average Salary for Elementary Teachers in Texas (2017)* $56,760
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Elementary Education or Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-6)
Testing Requirements TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160) and TExES Core Subjects EC-6 (291)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Bachelor's Degree

Elementary education teachers can study education for a general degree program. Completing a bachelor's degree program in elementary education will hone your teaching skills for younger children. You'll also learn how to better reach younger students, while understanding the child development and psychology that go along with pre-pubescent students. One thing you'll want to look for is a degree program that includes interdisciplinary studies. In fact, some Texas universities offer degree programs in interdisciplinary studies with a grade-specific focus, such as early childhood to grade six. Elementary teachers need to be knowledgeable in all subjects, including math, reading, science, and social studies. Many elementary teachers may need to have a solid background knowledge in music, art, and PE, depending on the school district.

Step 2: Complete an EPP

While many education degrees include an educator preparation program (EPP) as part of the program, not all do. If you have not completed the necessary requirements that will allow you to test for the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam all teachers must take, you'll need to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate or degree program that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency. These programs provide courses in education and pedagogy that will be useful in the classroom. These programs also include student teaching internships, meeting any requirements for experience and/or skill building you still need for certification.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Step 3: Complete TExES Exams

The first test to take is the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12. This exam costs $131 to take, but is a requirement for all Texas teachers. This exam covers the teaching skills you'll need to be a successful teacher of any grade level. It encompasses 100 multiple-choice questions, and you'll have five hours to complete it.

The TExES Core Subjects EC-6 prepares you to teach at a number of levels, including preschool. Elementary school is typically grades k-5 or 1-5, so this exam will endorse you to teach at any of those grade levels. This is one of the largest exams, with 267 multiple-choice questions. You'll have the standard five hours to complete this computer-based test that looks at five core subjects: English, math, social studies, science, and arts/health/PE. The final section encompasses the fine arts.

Step 4: Complete a Background Check

The FBI and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) run a background check on all Texas teachers. This is to guarantee that there is no criminal history that would affect a teacher's ability to perform his/her duties in the classroom and work with children of various ages. In this case, it is very essential since many parents want to feel secure sending their young children to a new environment. You can apply for a background check on the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) for $39. You will need to be fingerprinted at a Texas MorphoTrust location, which costs an additional $10.

Texas Elementary Teacher Certification Resources

Because chemistry teachers can teach at either the middle school or high school level, you'll need to study for the corresponding exam. The following links provide some helpful resources for studying.

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