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Becoming a Teacher in Iowa

Becoming a licensed educator in Iowa has requirements that ensures a teacher is qualified to meet the needs of students. This article provides information on the requirements that a candidate must fulfill to become a teacher in Iowa.

Teacher Certification Requirements in Iowa

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (IBOEE) is committed to regulating the standards that qualified teachers should meet in the state of Iowa. To become a teacher in Iowa, a candidate must meet the standards set out by the board, by fulfilling the requirements detailed below. The process of becoming a teacher in Iowa focuses on the educator's preparation through a candidate's education and hands-on experience in the classroom.

Education/Experience Required' Bachelor's Degree
Exam Requirements Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam
Praxis Subject Assessment
Certification Renewal Period 2 Years for initial license
5 years for standard license
CEU Required for Renewal 6 credits for standard license
Average Salary $54,500 (Elementary),
$55,300 (Middle School),
$56,510 (High School) as of May 2018- Iowa Stats
Estimated Job Growth 7% Elementary, 8% Middle and High School (National Stats)

Education and Preparation

A teaching license candidate must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university and must complete a teacher preparation program that is approved by the IBOEE. The teacher preparation program is intended to give a candidate classroom teaching experience by meeting the requirements set by the clinical practice standard of the IBOEE. In addition to the teacher preparation program, the candidate must complete additional course work that is outlined in sect. 281 of the Administrative Code Listing. This course work focuses on being more aware of human interactions with people of diverse and cultural backgrounds and provides specialized training in identifying and teaching children with special needs, gifted and talented abilities, and English as a second language students. Most importantly, the additional coursework provides the candidate with the tools needed to create and implement curriculum while working with parents, administrators and the student.

Endorsement and Testing

Endorsement recommendations will be given in the subject area and grade the teacher completed their clinical practice in and will be provided by the teacher preparation program that was completed in the subject area in which the candidate has prepared for. Some endorsements may require additional training or courses depending on the subject area. The teacher license candidate will then be able to take the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam and the Praxis subject assessment.

Application

Candidates will first apply for an initial license that is valid for up to two years. If additional endorsement requirements are needed, the candidate must have successfully completed at least one of those requirements to apply for the initial license. This will allow the candidate time to earn the two years of classroom teaching experience as required by the standard certification and additional time to fulfill the endorsement requirements needed for the candidate's subject area. The initial license can be renewed twice to allow more time to complete requirements. Once all requirements are met, the candidate can apply for a five-year standard teaching license.

Get Fingerprinted

Issuance of a teaching license will be completed once the applicant can verify that they have not committed any acts of crime that would disqualify them from holding an Iowa teaching license. All applicants must go through a background investigation that will search both state and federal databases for criminal history of the candidate. The candidate must request a fingerprinting packet from the IBOEE, complete it and submit it before an educator's certification can be issued. The criminal history investigation will also include a thorough search through the sex offender registry and the Iowa courts public records.