The requirements for becoming a certified teacher vary slightly between states. Accordingly, it’s important to learn about the requirements for applying for a teaching certification in Washington.
In the state of Washington, the teacher certification process is overseen by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). OSPI stipulates that anyone who applies for a teaching certification in Washington must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, you must also successfully complete a teacher preparation program that has been approved by the state. It is also possible to achieve certification through an alternative path preparation program for teachers.
If you are not a Washington resident, then you must verify that you have no fewer than three years of experience teaching. Additionally, you must hold a certificate from another state.
Out-of-state applicants may be issued a temporary permit. Within one year, you are required to pass the basic Washington Educator Skills Test, the WEST-B. The WEST-B is also administered to all students entering a teacher preparation program in Washington. The WEST-B test is an assessment of your basic reading, writing, and math skills.
An additional test, the WEST-E, may also be required for teachers seeking endorsements in specific subjects. Both out-of-state applicants and Washington residents are eligible to take the WEST-E if they would like to demonstrate their expertise in certain course content.
A fingerprinting background check is also required for all candidates.
If you want to become a Washington certified teacher, then it’s important to understand that several different teaching certificates are available. Your education, goals and experience will help to determine which certificate is the right one for you.
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 Washington for the 2015-2016 school year:
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Washington 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.
Categorized as: Teaching License