Become a Private School Teacher in Tennessee

Private school teachers in Tennessee can choose to teach at a variety of institutions, including those approved by the State Department of Education and those that are faith-based. The certification process varies depending on the type of institution. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Tennessee Private School Teacher Requirements

In Tennessee, prospective private school teachers will typically need a bachelor's degree to work at any institution. The general criteria and career facts are included below. Information about the five types of schools in this state is covered following the table.

Required DegreeBachelor's degree
Required Degree FieldEducation or other related field
Required TestsPraxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (requirement for some educator preparation programs) and Praxis content knowledge assessment for specific endorsement areas
License Renewal PeriodThree years for practitioner teaching license;
Six years for professional teaching license
License Renewal Requirements60 professional development points for the professional teaching license
Average Salary for Teachers in Tennessee (2018)*$52,610 (Elementary School Teachers)
$52,260 (Middle School Teachers)
$53,620 (High School Teachers)
Job Outlook for Teachers Nationally (2016-2026)*7% (Elementary School Teachers)
8% (Middle School Teachers)
8% (High School Teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Tennessee Private Schools

  • Category 1: Schools that are approved by the Tennessee Department of Education
  • Category 1-SP: Special purpose schools that offer pre-K programs or transient care facilities
  • Category 2: Schools accredited by a private school accrediting agency, such as the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools, that was approved by the Tennessee Department of Education
  • Category 3: Regionally accredited schools by an agency such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Category 4: Church-related schools
  • Category 5: Schools acknowledged for operation

Teachers working at Category 1 and 1-SP schools will need to complete an educator preparation program and meet the same requirements as public school teachers. Those at Category 2 and 3 schools must meet criteria established by the accrediting body, whole Category 4 teachers must meet association criteria. Finally, Category 5 teachers will need a bachelor's degree, but do not need to be licensed.

Educational Path to Licensure

Teachers who need a practitioner license must earn a bachelor's degree from an approved educator preparation program. Upon completing their degree, candidates must also obtain a recommendation for teacher certification from their educator preparation program.

Licensure Tests

Some educator preparation programs may require candidates to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators as part of the admissions process. Teachers who need a license must achieve passing scores on a Praxis content knowledge assessment for their specific endorsement area. Endorsement areas include early childhood education, elementary education, middle school education, and secondary education. Candidates can also become certified in all grades for subjects such as computer science, French, music, theatre, physical education, and art.

Practitioner Teacher License and Renewal Process

Teaching candidates will be able to apply for their initial practitioner teacher license after fulfilling the above requirements. The practitioner teacher license is good for three years and can be renewed once. Teachers must apply for renewal on or before their license expires. They will need to submit an online application for renewal via their TNCompass account. Teachers will be asked to provide verifying information if they are renewing their license instead of advancing to the next level of licensure.

Professional Teacher License and Renewal Process

The professional teacher license is valid for six years and is renewable. Teachers must complete sixty professional development points during the lifetime of their current license. Professional development activities for private school teachers will be approved by the Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation (OLEP). The renewal process for the professional teacher license also involves submitting an online application on TNCompass. Teachers will need to submit verification of their professional development points as part of the renewal application.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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