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Teaching Programs in Texas

Due to this state’s sizable population, a large number of educational policies and materials are created in Texas, or with Texas in mind. This means that as a teacher you will have access to cutting edge curriculum that applies to Texas education.

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In addition, Texas has developed its own initiatives in the pursuit of excellence in education. The Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI), which has been implemented in Dallas school districts, has three goals:

  1. Define excellence: TEI defines excellence through the lens of teacher performance, student achievement, and student experience (through a student survey)
  2. Support excellence: TEI proscribes and requires professional development at every experience level.
  3. Reward excellence: TEI focuses on aligning teacher compensation with student performance.

Read on to learn how to become a teacher in this forward-thinking state.

How to Become a Teacher in Texas

Texas offers both a traditional and alternative route to becoming a teacher.

Traditional Route

The Texas Education Agency outlines five steps to getting a degree via the traditional path:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from a college or university: The college or university must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) or the U.S. Department of Education Database for Accredited Colleges and Universities (note that certification for health science technology and trades and industrial education do not require a bachelor’s degree).
  2. Complete an Educator Preparation Program: You must complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program. Programs are typically part of an education bachelor’s degree.
  3. Pass certification exams: Texas has developed its own testing for prospective applicants. See the licensure section below.
  4. Submit a state application: After the above requirements are met, you can apply for certification. Note that all first-time applicants are required to get a background check.

Through this route you will earn the standard certificate, which can be renewed every five years. 

Alternative Route

Texas provides alternative certification programs (ACPs) that allow you to teach while completing the requirements for the standard certificate. ACPs—also known as Educator Preparation programs—must be approved by the state of Texas.

This route is ideal for people who already hold a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher education program. In order to be eligible for this program, you will need to show content proficiency by taking the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT).

Once you pass the PACT, you can begin teaching with a probationary license while you complete an ACP. Programs typically take around one year. 

Licensure in Texas

In order to teach in public schools in Texas you need to complete requirements for standard certification. You can become certified in a number of subject areas.

If you take an alternative route to become a teacher, you can earn a probationary certificate. However, you must apply for standard certification within one to two years.
To apply for certification you need to take one of the following Texas-specific tests: Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT). For more information, refer to the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.

Paying for Your Education

There are many scholarships for education majors. The Texas Teacher Agency identifies a number of programs and grants that can help you fund your education.

    • Teach for America: Offers reimbursement for past student loans or awards money for future educational costs; applicants must be recent college graduates who commit to teaching in urban and rural public schools for two years.
    • Teacher loan forgiveness: A federal program that provides loan forgiveness—up to $17,500—for those teaching in low-income school or educational service agencies.
    • Grow-your-own programs: Some Texas school districts offer financial aid to students who agree to teach in the school district they graduated from.
    • Reimbursement for veterans: The Texas Workforce Commission has approved funding through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Texas Workforce Commission: This organization offers special programs to help candidates become and remain teachers.
    • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: Refer to their site to learn about grants, financial aid, student loans, or scholarships.

 Career Outlook for Educators in Texas

Texas is a fantastic place to become a teacher—predicted job growth for educators in Texas is nearly three times the growth predicated for the U.S. as a whole. CareerOneStop (May 2018) reports the following growth between 2016 and 2026:

Level/Subject Area Percent Growth Number of Jobs
Elementary School 20% 14,050
Middle School 21% 7,000
High School 21% 10,130
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle and High School 20% 1,000
Special Education, K­–12 20% 2,660

Post-secondary teaching positions are also seeing higher-than-average job growth.

2018 Median Teaching Salaries in Texas
  • Elementary: $56,520
  • Middle shool: $56,580
  • Secondary: $58,190
  • Post-Secondary*: $82,519

Statistics provided by the BLS

*Average of all individual post-secondary teaching salaries provided by BLS.

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