So How do I become a teacher?

Alright, I have always told myself that I wanted to teach, and my current situation would line up perfectly to start this next Fall.

I have a BS in Economics, and I would love to teach Government, Economics, History, or Math.

How do I do it? Do I need to get certified? Is there demand in the DFW for teachers? is the quickest and most streamlined program. They also have the least expensive start up fees out of all of the ACP programs I researched. You only have to pay something like $300 until you get hired.

The demand is always there for teachers that can become certified in mathematics or science. Visit to see which tests you would be interested in taking to become certified.
My wife went through a few summers ago and has been a teacher for 3 years now.
There are several ways and I'll try to outline all of them. With a BS in Economics, depending on the grade level and what classes you took in college, you might have to take a few classes. The next step is to get certified. Find an alternative certification program (ACP). There are several. is on. Sometimes you can find one through the specific districts. You will have to take a content test (TExeS) and pass in your desired subject. After that, you'll have to take some procedure classes. The ACPs should be able to explain it further...
So how long does the certification process take?

Is it possible that I could start teaching in the coming Fall semester?
[This message has been edited by AgentZero (edited 2/7/2012 11:03am).]
I don't want to discourage you either, but Agent Zero's post is pretty spot on. You need to enroll in a ACP NOW and sign up for a TExES exam immediately!

I did the A+ Texas Teachers ( program referred to above this past fall. I passed the Life Science grade 8-12 (Biology) test last October, and I passed the composite Science grade 8-12 exam early this month.

I have been looking for a teaching job since last October with no luck yet in a certification area (high school science) that is second only to Special Ed in terms of demand. Like Agent Zero states, the market is just really crappy right now for new teachers with no formal student teaching experience--and especially in areas like social studies (not knocking it, I'd love to teach that area also). I have applied to more than a dozen area school districts, and I have only been called in for two interviews. At both interviews, I got the feeling they were only having me come in to fill some type of interview quota. Both times, I was forewarned that breaking into the teaching profession can be difficult if you come from an ACP and have no formal teaching experience, versus people with any amount of experience (whether they are crappy teachers or not) or those who come from traditional university education programs.

So I'm basically down to either hoping that someone is desperate enough to take me or biting the bullet and driving an hour to some poorer, gigantic San Antonio school district for a year to break in and get that first year under my belt (which I'd prefer not to do).

[This message has been edited by aggie_2001_2005 (edited 5/22/2010 12:25a).]
Question for the teachers on this board:

We always hear there is a shortage of teachers...but I drive my the Plano admin building and there are no less than 5,000 candidates lined up outside for interviews stacked 3 abreast in line. Now I understand the advantages of a PISD over a DISD job but that still seems like a ton of candidates for not some many positions.

What gives? Do we have a shortage or not?
there are a shortage of teachers in the places where no one wants to teach. plano is probably one of the nicer districts in texas from what i understand. wealthier area = nicer district. the past two years have been kind of brutal for getting hired though. hiring has gone down while the number of job seekers has gone up.
My sister went through this the last couple years. Even getting an interview in the northern part of the DFW area was a challenge. She lives in Irving and put in for some in Irving, and some of the southern Dallas county districts. Going that route she got several interviews and offers.--She also went through one of the alternative programs.

As stated above, you may have to be willing to teach in south or east Dallas if you want want to play into the demand.
2000-2007 there were simply not enough teachers in Texas for the amount of jobs.

Then the economy hit rock bottom and thousands of workers that had left teaching (but still had a valid teaching certificate) came back to the field of education.

The teaching market was flooded. There are still high need teaching areas, but they are (in no particular order) Bilingual, ESL, Foreign Languages, Math, Science, and Special Education. Most of the math and science positions are high school.

Also, the school districts with the highest test scores and most money are the ones who are having the least amount of open positions.

As of right now, CFBISD, Frisco, and Plano are all on a hiring freeze which means they will only hire from outside the district when they have handled all internal transfers. Most likely in late June. The official numbers for the Fall aren't out yet, so most districts cannot fill open positions until they know they'll be getting money from the gov't and can afford the teachers they'll need.

Not enough money equals bigger class sizes. And with the way the economy is right now, districts are afraid to ask for a tax raise to supplement growing budget shortfalls.

Becoming a teacher right now is not easy.

To the OP, I would suggest you start a program right away and try to get into a school district any way you can. Teacher, Aide, or Substitute. I wish you good luck and hope that the economy bounces back quickly before we screw over another 2-3 years of students' educations with overcrowded classrooms and teachers that are only teaching because they have nowhere else to go...
Oh and to answer your original questions...

How to become a teacher in Texas?

1. Create an account with SBEC HERE

You'll get your TEA ID number that you'll need to register for the TExES exams.

2. Register for TExES exams HERE

You can see what exams are offered HERE as well as download the study materials for each test.

3. Get into an Alternative Certification Program HERE and Region 10 is Dallas and Region 11 is Arlington/Fort Worth.

4. Look for jobs anywhere and everywhere including District Web Sites (Human Resources) as well as Teacher Job Network HERE and most importantly...

KEEP TRYING!!!! Its tough to not only get a job, but for some teachers in some districts to even keep your own position open. Good luck and let us know if you need anything.
1. Any certification program/route will require that you have a minimum number of undergraduate-level credit hours in your proposed teaching field. The number will vary depending on your certification field (science composite will require more hours than history only) and may vary slightly from program to program.

2. Getting a Econ-only (or Econ/Govt) job is about as likely as riding a Unicorn to the end of the rainbow. You expressed an interest in Math, but with your educational background will likely need several hours of math coursework to qualify for certification. If you want the best possible shot at getting a job, do what it takes to get Math certified.

If you really want a shot at teaching Econ/Govt. you could try to get Social Studies Composite certified and then put in your time within a district until you get the shot to teach Econ/Govt. Those subjects usually go to A) teachers with seniority, B) coaches.

History-only certificates are not as desirable as the Social Studies Composite. SS composite means you're eligible to teach Geography/ American or World History/Government/ Economics

3. Note that several of the posters advocating some of the corporate alt. cert. programs are also telling you that they're having significant trouble getting jobs. This is the tightest ed. hiring market we've experienced in the past 15+ years. While everyone is competing in the same market, you'll find that those who were certified through University-based alt. cert. programs are having less trouble than the corporate programs (Texas Teachers, ITeachTexas, etc.) That being said A&M offers two different programs for secondary certification. Sam Houston has a program, etc. Typically, unless you know someone in the district who's pulling for you (non-University- based), ACP candidates' resumes go to the bottom of the pile.

[This message has been edited by Salome (edited 5/22/2010 3:16p).]

[This message has been edited by Salome (edited 5/22/2010 3:18p).]
for what it's worth.... the most in-demand teacher I've been made aware of this year is the person who can teach AP Physics & Chemistry. Math teachers are still doing well overall and getting hired (though not at the rates and with a pick of their preferred districts like we've seen in the past), but if you want to get snapped up quick - make sure you can teach and that folks know you want to teach the upper-level sciences. Same goes for Math.
[This message has been edited by AgentZero (edited 2/7/2012 11:03am).]
I got my certification though Texas Teachers last summer. I've subbed for about 6 months and worked as an aide the rest. I JUST signed a contract after applying to at least 50 jobs and 6 or 7 interviews.

The job I actually got I didn't even interview for. I just had to suck it up, do some crappy work and get out and prove myself.

Its TOUGH right now. If you can't afford to not have a job/work for pennies - don't do it...

I'm contemplating this move as well...Region 10 has a pretty good video overview of what you need to do.

Watch the Overview, Application, Admission and Coursework pieces. It's going to be pretty similar no matter where you go, but this is the best overview I have seen. In addition, Math and Science are critical needs areas and could provide you a better opportunity of being hired if you choose that route.
OP, do you have any desire to coach? If so, enroll in an ACP, take your TEXES exams (Composite is best), Join Texas High School Coaches Association and start calling coaches. It is a quicker route, but can be time consuming.
If you are looking for a HS biology teaching job within commuting distance of College Station and Austin, send me an email, and I'll give you more info.
E-mail me for an online book I can send you and what I have found to be the difference between applying for a job and actually getting an interview. It's surprising simple.

I don't have any info about Alt-Cert though as I was an Education major in school.

Let me know when you've sent it so I can take down my email.

[This message has been edited by jadame (edited 5/25/2010 2:12p).]
email sent.
and replied
Email sent!
Just got a call from a high school principal whose school (small 3A school kind of out in the middle of nowhere) has an opening for a Science Teacher 8-12.

He told me that he is swamped in applications / resumes from experienced teachers. He said if they called me in for an interview, they would be wasting my time because I wouldn't have a snowball's chance at getting the job. As I was already aware, he said that the job market for inexperienced teachers right now is nearly nonexistent. He encouraged me to keep my head up and keep applying for every opening I can find.

I can't say I was surprised by anything he said to me, but things are looking gloomy for me at this early point. I'm not even confident that my fallback option of getting on at one of the giant San Antonio school districts is going to work.
considering some of those districts are on hiring freezes as we speak it is a very good fall back
I'm thinking you meant that is "not a very good fallback."
I just went through this process in Region 13 (Austin area). It took me a little less than a year with an alternative certification program(ACP) called "Educators of Excellence." Your first step needs to be to research some ACP programs in your area. Make sure they are one of the recommended ACP's for your region. You can find that on the SBEC website. Apply to their program and from there they will guide you along. You'll probably take a short PPR prep course and then a more lengthy content course. You'll have to take the Early Childhood-12th grade PPR exam and some sort of content exam. Might I also suggest that you don't take the history exam or the govt or the econ exam. TAKE THE COMPOSITE SOCIAL STUDIES!!!!! Do both the 4-8 and the 8-12 composite social studies. Districts are starting to really prefer the composite certifications because it makes you more flexible. FYI: The 4-8 is really easy and the 8-12 is one of the harder tests but if you are certified for both middle school and high school you're going to be more hireable. If you have to spend a year or so at the middle school level, its no big deal. You'll have the chance to move up and just like with any profession you will likely have to start off doing something other than your ideal job. If you have any specific questions let me know. Like I said, i litterally just finished this process a few weeks ago.
Can someone post a link to the online book Jadame referenced or put their email on here to send me a copy? I can't see emails. Thanks!
ditto what aggiegirl said...
You won't have a problem if you're willing to teach middle school math in the inner cities. If you do that, I'll send you all of my resources, lesson plans, unit plans, and management strategies. BTW, any posters on here that want a lot of awesome 7/8 math stuff let me know. I lead Prof. Development for Teach For America DC and have tons of stuff that I can give away for free.
Actually, I apparently broke copyright by sending that book out. I didn't realize that I wasn't allowed to pass it on so I won't be sending it to anyone else....SORRY!
Malibu, you don't happen to have anything 7th ELA you want to get off your hands, do you?

OP: First of all, I teach in one of the bigger SA, eco dis, districts. I love it here, but if you aren't prepared for what it will be like, don't even apply. That being said, don't leave it as your "fall back plan" either. Most teachers without any experience will start somewhere like my district because the "nicer" districts are only going to hire you if you have at least one year of experience. So, I suggest you start looking into the bigger districts if you want a job in teaching for the next school year. Like someone else said before, right now they don't necessarily know what positions they'll have open (current teachers still have time before they must resign if they aren't coming back) or how much money they'll have to spend on teachers. Basically, be patient. I wouldn't expect you'd know anything before July. Try not to get discouraged either!

*I went though A+ Texas Teachers and was hired 4 days before school started in the Fall.

If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an e-mail:

Good luck in your search!

[This message has been edited by idreamnpink (edited 6/11/2010 12:36p).]
The best thing to do (if you are able) is to take an aid position for the first year. Pay sucks but the foot in the door is worth it. I got certified through texasteachers in special education, pe/health. I took a job as a special education aid in Northwest ISD. I was told to work hard and people will notice within the district. I took that advice and it paid off. I was offered a full time PE position within the district 2 days ago. Great job and school district. I took a step back financially that first year but couldn't be where I am now without doing that. I wish you the best of luck!!
I'm sciecne and special education. I have been looking for two years. I have had interviews but no dice yet. I am only looking with texas teachers for one more year. Then it doesn't matter anymore. I'm getting a master and certified at a the same time. I am not trying that hard right now.
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