How to Get a Temporary Teaching Certificate in Florida
Florida educators need a bachelor's degree including a teacher preparation program to qualify for a teaching license or certificate. But what about prospective teachers with a bachelor's degree who have not completed an educator preparation program? These educators may qualify for a Florida temporary teaching certificate.
Florida faces teacher shortages in many areas. The temporary teaching certificate helps Florida staff its classrooms. Temporary certification also benefits educators, since they can work while completing the temporary teaching certificate requirements. Our guide walks through how to get a temporary teaching certificate in Florida.
Questions About Florida Teaching Certificates
Do I need a certificate to teach in Florida?
Yes, educators wanting to work in Florida public schools need a teaching certificate. Many charter schools and private schools also require teacher certification.
How long does a temporary teaching certificate last in Florida?
A Florida temporary teaching certificate remains valid for three years. During that time, educators complete the temporary teaching certificate requirements.
What is the difference between a teaching license and a certificate?
Many states use "teaching license" and "teaching certificate" interchangeably. Teachers with a license or certificate qualify to work at public schools in the state.
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Florida?
Educators with a bachelor's degree can apply for a Florida temporary teaching certificate and begin working in schools immediately. While holding the temporary certificate, educators complete the requirements for a professional certificate.
What Are Educator Certificates?
Educator certificates let teachers work in public schools and other K-12 settings that require a teaching certification. Also called a teaching license, the state Board of Education typically issues certificates to educators meeting the requirements.
In most states, a teaching certificate requires a bachelor's degree and completion of an educator preparation program. These programs include student teaching experience, coursework in teaching methods, and content-area classes.
However, many states also offer pathways to certification for candidates in the process of completing these requirements. A Florida temporary teaching certificate lets bachelor's degree-holding applicants teach in public schools while meeting educator preparation requirements. The temporary teaching certificate remains valid for three years and educators cannot renew it.
Educators with a temporary certificate qualify to upgrade to a professional certificate. They must meet professional education competency requirements, which include passing Florida certification exams. Graduate training and teaching experience also meet the requirements.
What Are the Requirements for a Florida Temporary Teaching Certificate?
A temporary teaching certificate in Florida lets educators work at public schools while completing professional certification requirements. Florida offers multiple pathways to a temporary teaching certificate. For example, educators with a bachelor's degree who pass Florida's subject area examination qualify. So do those who majored in the content area they plan to teach.
Educators qualify for a temporary certificate by meeting coursework requirements with a minimum 2.5 GPA in the content area. A certificate from the American Board for Certification of Teachers fulfills the requirements as well.
Subject Area Knowledge
Florida measures subject area knowledge in several ways. Candidates meet temporary teaching certificate requirements with subject area examination passing scores, out-of-state teaching certificates, or board certification.
Most applicants show mastery through the state's subject specialization requirement, which requires a minimum 2.5 GPA in the subject.
When educators apply for a temporary teaching certificate, they list their subject area specialization. Florida temporary teaching certificate requirements include meeting any degree or course requirements for the subject area. Passing a Florida subject area examination or holding an out-of-state teaching license or board certification meets this requirement as well.
Subject Area Examinations
Florida temporary teaching certificate requirements include passing a subject area examination. Florida offers exams in 39 subject areas. Prospective teachers who do not pass the subject area examination can retake the test after 30 days. The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations website provides additional information.
Educators may add a subject or endorsement to their Florida temporary teaching certificate. After receiving a temporary certificate, educators submit an application package that shows completion of subject coverage or endorsement requirements. These typically include coursework and an examination in the additional area.
Teachers New to Florida
Teachers new to the state qualify to apply for a Florida temporary teaching certificate. Applicants without a valid teaching certificate issued in another state apply for a temporary teaching certificate in Florida. Those with a valid teaching license apply directly for a Florida professional certificate.
Steps to Earning a Florida Education Certification
Florida teachers begin the certification process by submitting an initial application. Whether applying for a professional certificate or a temporary teaching certificate in Florida, candidates must complete the following requirements. This section walks through each step to earn a teaching credential.
Complete Application Package
Prospective teachers must submit a complete application package. Florida requires a completed application form, official transcripts for every degree and college credit, and a processing fee. Applicants with a teaching certificate in another state submit a copy of their certificate.
Florida charges a different fee depending on a candidate's application. Receiving an initial certificate or upgrading from a temporary teaching certificate to a professional certificate costs $75. Adding subjects to an endorsement and renewing a certificate both cost $75 as well. Receiving a duplicate certificate, dropping a subject, or changing the name on the certificate costs $20.
The Department of Education evaluates completed application packages to verify candidates meet temporary teaching certificate requirements. Applicants then receive an Official Statement of Eligibility (SOE).
This statement remains valid for three years and lets educators complete the certification process. The statement lists the specific requirements applicants must meet to receive their teaching certificate, whether initially eligible or not.
Secure Employment in a School
With an SOE, educators qualify to apply for jobs at Florida schools. They cannot get a temporary teaching certificate in Florida unless they hold a job at a public school. Other schools qualify with a state-approved program that meets professional education competence requirements.
Florida's 67 public school districts hire candidates with an SOE. So do charter public schools, Florida virtual schools, and some private schools. After getting a job offer, candidates complete the certification process.
Educators must submit a fingerprint screening and background check to receive a temporary teaching certificate in Florida. Teachers employed in public schools, including charter public schools, complete the requirements through their district. If the fingerprint screen comes back clear, applicants receive a temporary certificate within 30 days. If the screen raises questions, the Professional Practices Services contacts educators to discuss their eligibility.
The state's fingerprint processing instructions provide additional information on the screening process.