The SHARE Team August 8, 2014

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An Oklahoma-certified teacher provides guidance and education to students of all ages. In order to obtain your first teaching position, you will need to complete your education and receive a teaching certification in Oklahoma. Read on to discover all of the criteria you’ll have to meet to start teaching.

Requirements for certified teachers in Oklahoma

If you want to teach in Oklahoma, you’ll have to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. You are also required to complete a teacher education program that has received approval from the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation. Also, you pass a criminal history background check from the state as well a similar background check from the FBI.

Part of the process of becoming an Oklahoma-certified teacher involves testing. The Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation has developed a series of three tests which every prospective teacher must pass. The first of these is the Oklahoma General Education Test. This exam measures the candidate’s basic reading, writing, and mathematics abilities. Prospective teachers must also take the Oklahoma Subject Area Test. This test relates to the candidate’s knowledge of a specific subject area that they wish to teach. Lastly, you must also pass the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination, which is an exploration of your classroom management skills and your understanding of the philosophy of the teaching profession.

Occasionally, some students are also asked to complete the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test in order to gain entry into a state-approved teacher education program. However, this varies from one school to the next and may not be required for you, depending upon where you decide to enroll.

Oklahoma jobs for licensed teachers

Most teachers in Oklahoma work with a Standard Certificate that must be renewed every five years. The certificate includes approval for any subjects for which the teacher has taken the appropriate Oklahoma Subject Area Test. It is possible to add further subjects to your license by taking different Subject Area Tests during the course of your career.

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 Oklahoma for the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Art
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • Family/Consumer Science
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education/Health
  • School Counselor
  • School Psychologist
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education

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 Oklahoma

Oklahoma 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.

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