3 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Illinois

Want to become a teacher in the great state of Illinois? If so, you have come to the right place. Below you will find a short article that lists the steps to becoming a teacher in Illinois.

Step 1: Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

To teach in the U.S., educators must hold at least an undergraduate degree. The state of Illinois also requires students to complete a state-approved teacher education program to receive certification. A list of accredited teacher education programs in Illinois can be found on the Illinois Department of Education website.

Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curriculum and field experiences. The curriculum includes typically instruction on teaching foundational skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching), and preparing students to research, create and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Field experiences often include field observations, internships, student teaching, or a combination of all three. Check with your teacher education program or the Illinois Department of Education for more information about specific requirements.

Step 2: Complete the Required Exams

Illinois uses its own assessment system and requires the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency and the ILTS Content-Area Test in your desired subject. Illinois has a total of 3 levels of certification: Initial (4 years), Standard (5 years, renewable), and Master (10 years, renewable). Find out how to get your teaching credential by visiting the Illinois Board of Education Educator Licensure page.

Step 3: Submit an Illinois Teaching Credential Application

Finally, send a completed licensure application to get the show on the road! You can do this by making an Educator account on the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS). After that, you’ll need to send a non-refundable $100 or $150 application fee, depending on whether you completed your educator preparation program in Illinois. For additional information, contact the Illinois State Board of Education.

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