Tennessee Teacher License Renewal Requirements
There are different requirements for Tennessee teachers to renew their licenses, depending on the level or type of license they have. Find out more about the requirements and process of renewing these licenses.
Tennessee Teaching Certification Renewal Information
Teachers in Tennessee work with students from Kindergarten through 12th grade to help them learn and prepare for life outside of school. Those who wish to teach in Tennessee must complete a bachelor's degree program, and keep their teaching certification current in order to work with students. Read on to learn more about what a teacher should do to ensure their certification renewal process goes smoothly.
|Education Required|| Bachelor's degree in education; |
Teacher preparation program approved by Tennessee Board of Education
|Exams Required|| Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (for all levels); |
Subject-matter and level-specific exams*
|License Validity Period||Practitioner license valid 3 years; Professional license valid 6 years**|
|Renewal Requirements||Completion of 30 professional development points (Practitioner) |
60 professional development points (Professional).
|Mean Salary (2018)|| $34,410 (preschool);|
$62,200 (elementary school);
$62,030 (middle school);
$64,340 (high school)***
|Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide)|| 10% (preschool);|
7% (kindergarten and elementary school);
8% (middle and high school); ***
Source: *ETS, **Tennessee Board of Education, ***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Education and Training Requirements
Aspiring educators must complete a bachelor's degree program in education and be enrolled or have completed an educator preparation program, submit transcripts, and meet requirements of at least one endorsement area. They must also complete an appropriate Praxis exam for their teaching goals. All must complete the Principles of Learning and Teaching exam (the Early Childhood, Grades K-6, Grades 5-9, or Grades 7-12 exam, depending on the level one wishes to teach), and a content knowledge assessment for a specific endorsement.
Educator Preparation Programs
As part of the training process, aspiring educators must complete an approved educator preparation program. Those individuals may be required to complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (core) tests before admission to one of those preparation programs. The Department of Education maintains a list of approved educator preparation programs throughout the state.
Obtaining Initial Licensure
After completing a bachelor's degree program in education and the educator preparation program, aspiring teachers must submit their transcripts to the Department of Education. Once transcripts are submitted, they can apply for practitioner licensure through TN Compass. After three years of practitioner licensure, the next step is renewal or advancement to professional educator licensure.
License Renewal for Practitioner and Professional Licenses
A practitioner license, which is the initial license granted to new teachers, may be renewed once after issuance, per the Tennessee Education Association. With three years professional teaching experience and proof that they've earned 30 professional development points (PDPs), or the recommendation of the Director of Schools, a teacher with this license can advance to a professional license.
The professional license is valid for six years. Teachers must accumulate 60 PDPs and submit current certification documentation for the industry they teach about if their endorsement requires that.
Professional Development Points
The Tennessee Board of Education requires that educators earn professional development points throughout their career, and use those points to keep licenses current and active. The Tennessee Board of Education defines acceptable activities for PDPs in this way:
• Professional learning
• Continuing education (1 CEU=5 PDPs)
• College/university coursework (1 semester hour credit = 10 PDPs)
• Overall level of effectiveness rating (10-20 PDPs, depending on rating by the department)
• National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (Initial certification is 30 PDPs, renewal certification gives 15 PDPs)