Alabama does not have any state regulations for private school teachers; it is up to the schools to decide what they require from their teachers. Since there can be such drastic difference from school to school, it's best if you consider gaining full teacher licensing to expand all job opportunities.
Requirements for Teachers in Alabama
|Average Salary for Teachers in Alabama (2017)*|| $25,930 (Preschool)
$49,040 (Elementary School)
$49,630 (Middle School)
$49,790 (High School)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Testing Requirements|| Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams
Praxis Principle of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam
Praxis Content Knowledge exam
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Your Education
As mentioned before, there are no specific requirements for private school teachers. However, the state of Alabama does require its public school teachers to have a bachelor's degree. This can be in almost any subject, so long as it has been approved by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) as an educator preparation program. If you complete a bachelor's degree that has not been ALSDE-approved, you'll need to continue your education to finish this. It is best to check with the ALSDE website or your college to see if your degree program is approved. These preparation programs include student teaching practicums that get you in the middle of a classroom of real students under the mentorship of a licensed teacher.
Step 2: Pass Required Exams
Praxis is the company that Alabama uses for its teacher exams. For traditional public school teachers, there are typically three exams that must be taken: the cores skills exams, the PLT exam, and a content knowledge exam. Depending on the age and subject you wish to teach, you'll take that content knowledge exam. While this may not be necessary for private school teachers, it's best to consider it for job mobility.
The Core Academic Skills for Educators exam is made up of three subtests. These assess your basic understanding of math, reading, and writing. Both the reading and math tests are made up of 56 multiple-choice questions. You must score no less than 156 on the reading exam and 150 on the math exam to pass. The writing portion gives you a bit more time, 100 minutes, because you'll have 40 multiple-choice questions and two essays to complete. To pass this subtest, you need to score 162 or above.
The PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching) exam tests the foundations and theories of teaching at different grade levels. There are two offered for Alabama: grades K-6 and 7-12. Depending on the school grade you'd like to teach, the exam you take will vary. For some grades (4-8), you need to pass both exams. In either case, both exams are made up of 70 selected-response questions and four constructed-response questions. You'll have two hours to complete each exam, and you must earn at least a 145 for the grade k-6 exam and 153 or higher for the 7-12 exam.
Step 3: Complete a Background Check
This is one area where you will not vary from public school teachers. All teachers who work with students must agree to a background check. This background check is completed by both the FBI and the ABI (Alabama Bureau of Investigation). You must first be fingerprinted to have the background check run. You do not need an appointment to have your fingerprints taken, but you do need to be registered through the Cogent system. The cost for the fingerprinting is $46.90 and should be made out to Gemalto Cogent.
Alabama Teacher Certification Resources
Though you may not choose to take the traditional public school teaching path, you may find yourself in need of some study guides at some point for an exam. Here, we've included a few links to help out.