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So You Want to Be a Teacher in California?

Teacher in California

Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers in the world. As a teacher, you will have the opportunity to make an impact on a child’s life using your talents, abilities, and values. Teaching is a personal job; you will have a chance to learn from your students as you teach them basic knowledge that will help them years to come. 

California draws professionals of all disciplines. There’s the natural beauty of the Pacific coastline, deserts, forests, and mountains. The major cities are beautiful and packed with arts and cultural opportunities. And, for some reason, the sun shines more brightly in California.

First, let’s talk about teaching. Then we’ll discuss teaching in California.

Benefits of Being a Teacher 

Being a teacher is one of the best jobs in the world. Below are some of the benefits of having a career in teaching: 

1. Variety - As a teacher, every day in the classroom is different. There will be constant changes in routine with school trips, sports days, holidays, and celebrations, interrupting your everyday schedule. This is the ideal career for anyone who is not interested in an office job. 

2. Teaching is fun - With a little creativity and confidence, you can turn your lessons into fun activities, especially if you’re teaching younger kids. Most teachers enjoy lessons that engage the students, such as dramatization of English plays or making a solar system. Using outdoor lessons to teach specific subjects can also be a lot of fun. You can also indulge in your interest and bring the kids along. 

3. It’s an active job  - When working with enthusiastic and energetic people, the energy will rub off on you and improve your moods. Working with children tends to put a smile on people’s faces.

4. You will have an opportunity to use your degree - Apart from medicine and law, most careers do not make use of everything that people learn in college. While most graduates end up finding jobs in their educational paths, it’s only as a teacher that you’ll pass on knowledge about your favorite subjects such as Greek mythology, history, and even mathematics. You will be paid to talk about topics you are passionate about. 

5. It is a challenging career - Working with children can sometimes be challenging. You are often forced to think on your feet and help them solve their issues. With changes in classroom sizes, budgets, and standards, teaching is an ever-changing career field. You will have an opportunity to challenge yourself both mentally and physically. 

Credentials Required To Be a Teacher in California

The two types of teaching credentials are certificates and licenses. While teaching certificates granted by national boards are optional, licenses are obligatory, especially if you are considering working in public schools. Below are some credentials that are required before sending out your resume: 

1. Bachelor’s degree - All elementary and high school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. Depending on your passions and preferences, you can earn a degree in education or the subject you want to teach. Ensure you earn your bachelor’s degree from an accredited learning institution. 

2. CTC approved teaching preparation program - The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) sets the standards on teaching credentials and licensing. In California, you must complete 600 hours of student teaching during the CTC program. However, the time you are spending in the classroom will determine the type of program you will take. 

3. Teaching certification tests - To be a teacher in California, you must take a certification exam. Your math, reading, and writing skills will be evaluated by the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST). Alternatively, you can take the three subtests of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), which includes writing skills and multiple subjects tests. Depending on the certificate you are pursuing, you must pass the corresponding assessment tests. If you want to teach various subjects, you must pass the Multiple Subject Exam by CSET. For some certification, most candidates must pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). Another option is the Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development--or CLAD certification, which gives you the background you need to become an English teacher. Additionally, you should also complete an American Constitution class and pass the exam given by an accredited university or college. 

How To Apply for Certification in California

After finishing an approved teaching program, the best way to apply for teaching credentials in California is through online. It's mandatory to get a recommendation from the program sponsor for the appropriate certification through the CTC online platform. After the submission of a recommendation, you have up to three months to complete the document. You have to answer professional fitness questions regarding your professional and criminal history. This questionnaire helps to determine your competence for the credentials you requested. 

You should also include fingerprint clearance from the FBI and the California Department of Justice in your certificate application. When applying through online platforms, you can submit proof of fingerprint clearance electronically through which you will receive your results.