Idaho allows those with no previous teaching certification to gain alternative authorization in areas that need teachers for specific subjects. We explore in more detail the required education program, as well as the necessary exams.
Alternative Certification Requirements for Idaho Teachers
|Average Salary for Idaho Teachers (2016)*|| $49,410 (Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education);
$47,140 (Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education);
$52,390 (Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education);
$46,730 (Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education)
|Degree Field||Any teachable field|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects or a Praxis content exam in a specific subject|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Previous Education and Teacher Preparation Program
Alternative teacher candidates, or content specialists, in Idaho should have completed a bachelor's degree before applying for alternative authorization. Based on this previous education, demonstrated when candidates provide their official university transcripts, the district will decide whether or not a person is qualified to teach the content in their subject area. After an individual gains this authorization, they are required to show professional development progress by completing set goals, which includes gaining a teacher education.
These future teachers must then complete an accredited teacher education program. This is completed as the individual teaches in a classroom. To reach the requirement of eight to 16 weeks of education courses within the first year of alternative authorization, teachers can take courses in elementary or secondary education. Some courses candidates may encounter while enrolled in an elementary education program may include: literature for children, developmental psychology, and mathematics for elementary teachers. Those admitted into a secondary education program will take courses such as content literacy, assessment, and teaching diverse students.
Depending on the content area and position the content specialist will be filling, candidates may have to take either the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects or a Praxis content exam in the subject they will be teaching in secondary classrooms. This exam must be taken before they start teaching.
The Praxis Elementary Education exam will permit candidates to teach kindergarten through grade eight and actually consists of four subareas. Examinees must receive at least a 157 on the reading and language arts and mathematics subtests, while a 155 is required on the social studies subtest. Finally, the science subtest requires no less than a 159.
The 80 questions that comprise the reading and language arts subtest cover topics like: literacy development, textual analysis, the connection between text and images, types of writing, the developmental stages of writing, and engaging oral presentations. The 50 questions on the math subtest explores place values, rational numbers, fractions, percentages, algebraic equations, linear equations, and geometry. Next, the social studies exam is made up of 55 questions, which cover topic like: colonization, American history, geography, and world history. Finally, the science subtest has 50 questions, and these focus on earth systems, life functions, and chemical reactions.
Those seeking secondary education authorization are required to pass a Praxis content area exam, which will allow them to teach grades five through nine, grades six through twelve, or kindergarten through grade 12. The specific content may include: government, geography, mathematics, chemistry, and many others. The score required for these exams range from 129 to 167.
Required Background Check
In Idaho, anyone working closely with young people are required to pass the State Department of Education's three-part background check. First the Idaho Police Bureau of Criminal Identification will check the candidates' state-wide criminal record. Next, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will complete a national check of their crime database. Finally, the identification of all future teachers, even those on an alternative path, are subjected to a statewide sweep of the sex offender registry to ensure they have never been charged with harming a child.