The essential part of learning how to get a teaching job in Tennessee is to know the state requirements for issuing teaching certificates. As of August 2005, all newly hired teachers in this state must be highly qualified in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. By law all teachers must demonstrate competency in the content areas and grade level expectations for the areas in which they want to teach. This regulation applies to all teachers in the state, even those who have years of teaching experience. Those without the proper qualifications were expected to upgrade their credentials by the end of the 2006-2007 school year.
In order to get a teaching job in Tennessee, you must hold at least an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in conjunction withy an approved teacher training program. You can check with the state board of education to find a list of approved teacher-training programs in the state. You can also enroll in a teacher preparation course in another state, but this means you will have to follow a different route to obtaining certification. In Tennessee, there are regulations that apply to those trained at institutions in the state and those from outside the state. Even if you live in Tennessee and graduate from an university in another state, you will have to follow the regulations for out of state applicants.
As part of the admission process for teacher training programs, you do have to pass the Praxis 1Pre-Professional exam for teachers. This is a state requirement in addition to obtaining minimum scores on other Praxis exams to get a teaching job in Tennessee. There are different exams you must take depending on what you want to teach. For example as an elementary teacher, you have to pass the Praxis exam for elementary educators, through which you demonstrate competency in all the core subject areas of the elementary curriculum. For secondary teachers, there are specific exams for each content area. The same applies for teachers of special education or early childhood education.
If you have a teaching license and experience in another state, you will be considered a highly qualified teacher and get a teaching job in Tennessee. If you have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, but do not have the necessary teacher training, you can still get a license to teach in this state. The first type of permit is the Type 1 Alternative teaching license. This is issued to individuals who have an offer of employment as long as they complete a pre-eservice orientation prior to the start date of the employment. To qualify for such a license, you must have at least 24 courses in the subject you are hired to teach and verify that you have passed the Praxis exams for these areas. This license is valid for only three years, during which time you must meet the requirements for an Apprentice teaching certificate.
Once you do get a teaching job in Tennessee, you will be required to engage in continuing education and professional development in order to renew your teaching certificate every five years. You can also pursue a certificate that will allow you to apply for positions in administration or become a specialist in some area of the curriculum.