How to Get a Temporary Teaching Certificate in Florida
In The Teaching Shortage in America, we examined the alarming teacher shortage that exists in America today. According to the Learning Policy Institute, the country faces a shortage of at least 110,000 teachers. Such a dilemma forces many school districts to hire uncertified teachers who lack necessary training and experience. (A study by Gallup reported that the main concern among public school officials is finding and keeping skilled teachers in the classroom.)
To combat the teacher shortage, many states are able to fill their vacancies by hiring temporary teachers with a bachelor’s degree. During the first few years of their employment, the teacher must complete a state-approved education program and pass the state teacher certification exams.
TEMPORARY EDUCATOR CERTIFICATE IN FLORIDA
With 3,500 teacher vacancies, Florida faces significant hiring challenges. If you have a bachelor’s degree and have been offered a teaching position in a public school, you may qualify for temporary certification through the Florida Department of Education. To get a temporary certificate, you need to complete the application paperwork and pass the appropriate Florida subject area exam for the subject you will be teaching. In some cases, you may need to meet additional subject specialization requirements. Your temporary educator certificate is only valid for three years and cannot be renewed. During this time, you must complete the requirements for a Professional Educator Certificate.
FLORIDA TEMPORARY CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
1. Employment in a Florida school district
2. Bachelor’s degree in any subject area
3. Demonstration of subject area knowledge by passing the FL subject area exam, or completion of subject specialization requirements
SUBJECT SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS
Master-level Subject Areas
These areas include: Educational Leadership, Guidance and Counseling, Reading K-12, School Psychologist PK-12 and Speech-Language Impaired PK-12.
1. Complete the required degree and the content courses according to the Florida State Board Rule for the subject.
2. Earn a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the subject area.
3. Pass your certifying subject area FL teacher certification exam.
Select World Languages
1. Pass the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) test in place of the Florida subject area examination, OR
2. Pass the Defense Language Proficiency (DLPT) test in place of the Florida subject area examination, OR
3. Complete the Basic Program of the Defense language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC).
FLORIDA SUBJECT AREA TEACHER CERTIFICATION EXAMS
There are a total of 39 subject areas in which a teacher can be certified in the state of Florida. The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) provides a detailed list of all competencies and skills that the exam covers for each subject area. In addition, you will find practice tests, guide books, scoring methods and suggested study materials. If you don’t pass your subject area exam on your first try, you can retake it after a 30 day waiting period.
Florida, like many states, recognizes the urgency to find creative ways to hire dedicated teachers, especially during a time when certified teachers are in such short supply. There are many promising teachers with potential and passion for their subject who can make great impact for students with the right training and credentials. The urgency brought about by the diminishing pool of qualified teacher candidates has opened the door for this new wave of teachers ready to take their place in the classroom.