To become a Special Ed. Teacher in Ohio, you must first obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Then you must graduate from a teacher training facility and complete a program designed to teach you how to teach students with special needs. The Ohio State Board of Education has a list of approved programs that meet the needs of the state standards. In Ohio, in order to teach special education classes, you must also pass the state tests for teacher. The test you take depends on the grade level you want to teach. The Early Education of the Handicapped test will provide you with the license you need to teach these students, but there are designations within the certificate for special areas of the school system, such as pre-school, Kindergarten, Elementary and high School.
There are also several other Ohio teacher certification tests you can take to become a Special Ed. Teacher in the state. These are:
- Transition to Post School Readiness
- Adaptive Living Skills for Grades K – 3
- Adaptive Living Skills for Grades 4-6
- Adaptive Living Skills for Grades 7 – 8
- Adaptive Living Skills for Grades 9 –12
In addition to the specific license for a Special Ed. Teacher, you also need to have a general teaching certificate to teach in Ohio schools. Ohio is one of the states that accept the Praxis exams. For an initial teaching certificate, you must pass the Praxis 1 exams and then you must pass the Praxis 11 exams to obtain a professional teaching certificate. These exams are coordinated with the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession that include seven essential standards educators must attain and maintain throughout their teaching careers. Each of these standards is broken down into elements and there are indicators detailing what constitutes proficient, accomplished and distinguished teaching. Once you are hired for a teaching position, these are the points upon which you will be evaluated.
Ohio provides plenty of assistance to first year Special Ed. Teachers to help them transition from university to the workplace. This includes providing you with a mentor teacher who will give you support and guidance in all aspects of your teaching. There is also a chart you can access to see how you can incorporate the Educator standards into your first year or teaching.
When you apply for a position as a Special Ed. Teacher to one of the school districts in Ohio, you do need to clearly show that you are a highly qualified teacher. The documents you will have to submit with your application include your teacher certification along with the scores you received, your university transcript showing that you have attained a Bachelor’s degree, a transcript of your grades from the teacher preparation program and copies of reference letters from professors attesting to the fact that you are indeed a great candidate for the position. It is important that you have a high grade point average in your courses as your transcripts are carefully scrutinized to ensure you have the appropriate courses.