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South Carolina Elementary Teacher Certification

Teaching elementary school requires you to follow South Carolina's regulations for certified educators. Learn about the proper degree to earn and what kinds of exams you need to take before you can become a certified South Carolina teacher.

Career Information for Elementary School Teachers in South Carolina

You can become an elementary school teacher in South Carolina with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Afterward, you have a couple Praxis exams to pass before you can apply for your South Carolina initial certification. Professional development is required to maintain your status as a certified teacher. Take a look at the table below for a brief overview of certification in South Carolina:

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree and teacher education program
Exams RequiredPraxis Exams in Principles of Learning and Teaching and Elementary Education Subjects
Certificate ValidityThree years for initial certificate
Certificate UpgradePassing of ADEPT evaluation
Average South Carolina Salary (2018)$51,240 for elementary school teachers*
National Job Growth (2016-2026)7% for elementary school teachers*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

As an elementary school teacher in the Palmetto State, you can usually expect to be in charge of students from second through sixth grade. Younger students typically have all their classes in the same room, so you will expose them to many different subjects throughout the day. You might start the day with a refresher on spelling and grammar, break for lunch, and resume with social studies or science. You can create homework assignments to keep their minds active at home and quiz them on their knowledge with written tests throughout the year. Your students' parents can check in on their children's progress with parent-teacher conferences during the year.

Education and Training Requirements

Becoming an elementary school teacher requires you to earn a bachelor's degree. A Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education is a great choice, as it combines subjects from the general elementary curriculum with courses in education and specialized topics in elementary education. You could study subjects like children's literature, educational theory, and diversity. Before you finish your degree, you can have at least one student teaching experience, allowing you to gain practical work history with a certified educator as your supervisor.

Exam Requirements

Prior to beginning as a student teacher, you will need to pass a basic skills assessment. South Carolina utilizes the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. You will need to pass three separate subtests in reading, math, and writing, which you can break into multiple appointments or schedule to take all at once. To get your certification, there are two other tests you will need to take - the Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 exam, and the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects exam. Similar to the Core Academic Skills, you can choose to take the four subtests in the Elementary Education collection at the same time if you wish.

Certification Requirements

Once you have successfully passed a criminal background check and completed all of your educational requirements, you can apply for your South Carolina Initial Certificate. This is a one-time credential, and although it is not renewable, you may be able to make your case for an extension for up to five years. You must complete the ADEPT evaluation mandated by South Carolina's educational board if you want to continue your career as a teacher. After you receive your recommendation, the state will automatically upgrade your license to a Professional Certificate. This can be renewed every five years after taking professional development courses.