How to Become a Spanish Teacher in Florida: Certification & Requirements

There are specific steps involved in becoming a Spanish teacher in Florida. This article details the method of obtaining a certified license and the test and education requirements of a Spanish teacher in the state. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for Florida Spanish Teachers

To become a Spanish teacher in Florida, candidates must hold at least a bachelor's degree and achieve passing scores in the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE). The professional license is the highest educator certification in the state and is valid for five years. The table below details the test and license requirements and the expected salary of a Spanish teacher in Florida.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree and Spanish specialization
Exams Required FTCE - General Knowledge, Professional Education, and Spanish K-12 tests
License Validity Period Five years, can be renewed if needed
Renewal Requirements Six semester hours of college credit, which must include one semester hour teaching students with disabilities
Mean Salary (May 2018) $50,070 (elementary school teachers), $53,140 (middle school teachers), $54,120 (high school teachers)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 7% (kindergarten and elementary school teachers), 8% (middle and high school teachers)

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

Education Requirements

Candidates seeking to become a Spanish teacher in Florida must hold a bachelor's or higher degree, which can be earned through a state-certified educator program. The Florida Department of Education website has a list of colleges that offer this opportunity.

While these programs may vary, they typically focus on the linguistic and cultural heritage of Spanish speaking countries, as well as grammar, composition, and literature. The classes are often exclusively conducted in Spanish, which provides prospective candidates an opportunity to improve oral fluency in the language.

Test Requirements

Besides a bachelor's degree, applicants must also pass the FTCE examinations, which comprise the General Knowledge test, the Professional Education test, and the subject-area examination.

The FTCE General Knowledge test is a multiple-choice format with sections in English language skills (50 mins), reading (55 mins), mathematics (100 mins), and a written essay (50 mins). A passing score on this test is imperative to gain admission into any state-approved program.

The Professional Education test gauges the pedagogy and professional practices of prospective teacher candidates. It is two-and-a-half hours long and includes approximately 120 multiple choice questions.

For the subject area examination, candidates must pass the Spanish K-12 test, a two-and-a half-hour test comprising about 80 multiple-choice questions, an essay and five speaking assignments.

Employment and Fingerprinting Requirements

Teacher candidates in Florida are not issued the educator certificate until they obtain instructional employment. For more details on this, you can visit www.teachinflorida.com, which offers comprehensive information on employment for prospective teachers. Also, issuance of the certificate is dependent on the candidates clearing their fingerprint-based background screening. Typically in Florida, employers help new hires through this process.

Renewal Requirements

To renew teacher certification, candidates are required to earn six semester hours of college credit which must include at least one hour in teaching students with disabilities. All renewal requirements must be completed before the expiration of the current certificate. It is the candidate's responsibility to gather information on license renewal from the Bureau of Educator Certification. The professional educator license is valid for five years.

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