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How to Become a Dyslexia Teacher in Texas

If you hold a bachelor's or higher degree and are interested in pursuing a teaching career in Texas to make a difference, becoming a dyslexia teacher may well be the right choice. Find out more about this career path as you read this article.

Dyslexia Teacher in Texas: A Road Map

To become a dyslexia teacher in Texas, you must follow all the steps towards obtaining a certificate for regular classroom teaching, including the completion of an approved educator preparation program (EPP). You are additionally required to complete a second educator preparation program specifically aimed at teaching dyslexic students. Education requirements, exam requirements, renewal requirements and other important details pertaining to dyslexia teachers are discussed in this article so please read on.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree, educator preparation program (EPP), dyslexia EPP
Exam Requirements Qualifying exam on special education
Certification Renewal Period 5 years
CPE Credit Hours Required for Renewal 150
Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Texas (May 2018) $57,770 (elementary school)*, $56,960 (middle school)*, $58,570 (secondary school)*
Estimated National Job Growth (2018-28) 3% (all special education teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Getting Your Initial Certification

This is your first step towards becoming a dyslexia teacher as you must obtain an initial certificate from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in order to be authorized to teach. To obtain this initial certification, begin by earning a bachelor's degree. If you have not yet earned a bachelor's degree, you may consider enrolling in a university-based EPP that allows you to work towards meeting certification requirements while working towards earning your degree.

Next, complete the remaining requirements as determined by the EPP, including student teaching or internships, and passing the appropriate examinations. You are now ready to apply for a standard certificate.

The Dyslexia EPP

Once you have earned your standard certificate, it is time to enroll in an EPP that prepares you to teach students diagnosed with dyslexia. It is important to choose a dyslexia EPP that is approved by the TEA. These EPPs are different from the general education EPPs in that they focus on multisensory teaching methods, linguistics, reading instruction, and other components identified and required by the TEA. They also have requirements that include daily teaching for a stipulated minimum number of days, demonstration classes, projects, and end-of-course examinations. On successful completion of the dyslexia EPP, you will receive a certificate from the program.

Adding Special Education to Your Standard License

Once you complete your dyslexia EPP, you must then add special education as a field to your standard license in order to be authorized to teach students with dyslexia. The process for addition of this field involves passing an exam. For dyslexia teachers, TExES Special Education EC-12 (161) is the appropriate examination. As qualifying exams are outsourced, you will need to register with the appropriate testing company in order to take the exam. You also must have approval to appear for the test, which should not be an issue as holders of bachelor's degrees with existing teaching certificates are authorized to test by default in order to add fields.

Renewing Your Certification

Your standard certificate is valid for 5 years after which it can and must be renewed for another 5-year period. 150 continuing professional education (CPE) hours are required for renewal irrespective of how many fields have been added to it. The CPE activities that may be undertaken are specified in chapters 232.11 and 232.15 of the Texas Administrative Code. Dyslexia teachers are required to undergo training on new research and practices in dyslexia education.

Salary and Job Outlook for Dyslexia Teachers in Texas

In May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that special education teachers in Texas were paid an annual mean salary of $57,770 in elementary schools, $56,960 in middle schools, and $58,570 in secondary schools. The state of Texas was in the top 5 states with the highest employment levels of special education teachers across all grade levels as of then. However, the nationwide job outlook for this profession over the period 2018-28 is slower than average with projected growth of 3% and some 13,600 jobs expected to be created, according to the BLS.