3 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Tennessee

Want to become a teacher in the great state of Tennessee? 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 Tennessee.

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 Tennessee also requires students to complete a state-approved teacher education program to receive certification. Tennessee does not list particular courses or semester-hour requirements, but every college or university teacher education program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher education program or the Tennessee Department of Education for more information.

Teacher education programs usually consist of two elements: curriculum and field experiences. The curriculum generally includes instruction on foundational skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching), and preparation for researching, creating, and implementing learning experiences in a field of study. Field experiences often include field observations, internships, student teaching, or a combination of all three. A list of accredited teacher education programs in Tennessee can be found on the state Department of Education’s website.

Step 2: Complete the Required Exams

To become a teacher in the state of Tennessee, you must successfully complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams, in addition to any relevant Praxis exams for Specific Licensure Areas. You can find a full list of exams that Tennessee teachers need to take on the Praxis website. To earn your Tennessee teaching license, you will have to complete the correct number of undergraduate courses and standardized exams, as well as an approved program. To learn more about obtaining your Tennessee teaching credential, visit the state Department of EducationRead more about getting your teaching licensure in general on the Teach and Certification Map websites.

Tennessee educators start out with an Apprentice Teaching Practitioner License, which is for the initial three years and may be renewed only once. After a minimum of three years of teaching experience, educators can apply for a Professional Teacher License, which is legally binding for six years and can be renewed an indefinite number of times. If you already hold a  teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your Tennessee credential through interstate reciprocity.

Step 3: Submit a Tennessee Teaching Credential Application

Have you finished your teacher preparation program, obtained at least an undergraduate degree, completed your student teaching experience, and completed all your tests? If so, you are ready to apply for educator licensure in Tennessee. This will be done by the educator preparation institution in which you attended.

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