Many people devote their lives to the education of children. Becoming a teacher takes talent, determination and guts. Once you have completed your schooling, you will need to be licensed in the state in which you choose to live and work. While some state licensing requirements are fairly uniform, many states have very unique requirements. If you are planning to become a certified teacher in Kansas, here is an overview of that state’s licensing requirements.
Requirements for certified teachers in Kansas
In order to become a certified teacher in Kansas, you must obtain a valid teaching license. This license requires that you complete a state-approved teacher preparation course in the subject that you plan to teach. Elementary school teachers generally take an elementary education program. At the middle school or high school level, teaching programs must include the specific subject that you plan to teach, such as literature, mathematics, physical education or science.
The teaching program that you choose must be offered by an accredited college or university and must have been approved by the Kansas Board of Education. You may take university-level classes that lead to a bachelor’s degree, or, if you already hold one, additional coursework to meet the minimum requirements of the program. Once you have completed your education, you will be required to pass licensing tests in both teaching skills and in your content area as well. Both of these tests must be passed before you move forward with the licensing process.
The licensing criteria you will be required to meet to get teaching certification in Kansas includes a background check. You will need to submit a fingerprint card to both the FBI and the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI) for a background clearance report. If you allow your license to lapse, this process will have to be repeated.
The state of Kansas also requires its teaching applicants to pass a pedagogy assessment in general knowledge as well as each of the teaching areas in which you plan to specialize. You will also have to pass a teaching skills test called the “Principles of Learning and Teaching.” These tests are given by the Educational Testing Services and are part of the PRAXIS II testing series.
Kansas jobs for licensed teachers
The state of Kansas offers its teachers many different levels of licensing each with its own specific criteria. The licenses available to beginning teachers include initial, interim alternative, one-year nonrenewable, two-year exchange, and transitional. Experienced teachers can qualify for these as well as professional and accomplished licenses. Both beginning and experienced teachers can obtain substitute teaching certification in Kansas.
The state of Kansas also offers a paraprofessional licensing option. This is for applicants who would like to work alongside of teaching professionals but who do not have a bachelor’s degree. The requirements to become certified as a paraprofessional teacher in Kansas include a high school diploma, 48 course hours at an institution of higher learning, and passing a state approved test of reading, writing and mathematics skills.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Kansas for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Special Education
- Behavior Disorder
- Hearing Impaired
- Physical Therapy
- Severe Multiple Disabilities
- Visually Impaired
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Kansas
Kansas participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.