Requirements to Become a Spanish Teacher in California

Spanish teachers in California have to meet a number of requirements. These pertain to education, subject knowledge and passing of qualifying examinations. Find out more about the requirements to become a Spanish teacher in California in this article. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Become a Spanish Teacher in California

In order to become a Spanish teacher in California, you need to hold a Single Subject Teaching Credential in the subject area of Spanish. The basic requirement for obtaining this credential is a bachelor's or higher degree, while additional requirements include assurance of basic skills, competence in the Spanish language, and the completion of a teacher preparation program. Each one of these requirements is discussed in the sections that follow.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's or higher degree in Spanish, teacher preparation program, course on US Constitution
Exam Requirements Basic skills exam, CSET: Spanish exam, exam on US Constitution provisions and principles
Certification Renewal Period 5 years for preliminary credential
Renewal Requirements Teacher Induction Program or National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification
Average Salary for California Spanish Teachers (May 2019) $47,973 per year *
Estimated Job Growth nationwide (2016-26) for High School Teachers and
Elementary School Teachers
8%**
7%**

Source:

*Glassdoor.com, ** Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements for Prospective Spanish Teachers

A bachelor's or higher degree is mandatory in order to be issued the Single Subject credential in Spanish. You can find a variety of universities in California that offer Spanish degree programs at the bachelor's level. Several of these schools offer Spanish bachelor's programs approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, allowing you to fulfill subject matter knowledge requirements without taking an exam.

You must also complete a teacher preparation program. Such a program must equip you with English language skills, computer skills relevant to educational settings, as well as knowledge of health, well-being, and emergency response to medical needs of students.

Examination Requirements for Prospective Spanish Teachers

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires prospective teachers to possess basic skills in English and mathematics. Hence, you are required to pass a basic skills exam. There are a host of basic skills exams to choose from, including the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), the SATs, the ACTs, and basic skills exams from other states.

Your knowledge of Spanish will need to be verified through examinations if you earned a bachelor's program in Spanish at a non-Commission-approved university. Subject matter examinations are known as the CSET, or California Subject Examinations for Teachers. Prospective Spanish teachers must pass subtests 145, 146, and 147 of the CSET. These will test you on general Spanish linguistics, Spanish literature and culture, and your abilities to communicate in Spanish.

Requirement of Knowledge of the Provisions and Principles of the Constitution of the United States

California requires all teachers to have knowledge of the provisions and principles of the US Constitution. In order to satisfy this requirement, you may complete a course of two semester units or three quarter-units on these provisions and principles. If you choose to not pursue such a course, you need to pass an exam on this subject administered by a regionally-accredited college or university.

Clearing a Teaching Credential

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires that all Single Subject credentials be 'cleared' within 5 years of issuance. In order to clear your credential, you may either complete an approved teacher induction program or get certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

To earn an NBPTS certification, you need to have a bachelor's degree, a teaching credential, three or more years of teaching experience, and an official certified rating by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). You also need to submit a portfolio consisting of entries such as student work samples and video recordings of your time teaching in the classroom along with written commentaries, in addition to taking an assessment test.

Salary of a Spanish Teacher in California

According to Glassdoor.com, the salary of a High School Spanish Teacher in all of California was $47,973 per year as of April 2019. In Los Angeles, it was $50,782 per year as of March 2018. The salary of an Elementary School Bilingual Teacher was $47,263 per year in all of California and $57,019 per year in Los Angeles as of March 2019. Salaries for both types of Spanish teachers were reported to be above the national average in Los Angeles.

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