Become a Teacher in Oklahoma
Oklahoma State Department of Educationhttp://sde.state.ok.us/
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599
Become a teacher in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Teacher Shortage areas
To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program.
If you already possess a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be able to earn your Oklahoma teaching credential through interstate reciprocity. Click here to learn more about earning your Oklahoma teaching credential.
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Teacher education programs from accredited colleges or universities prepare students to become teachers through a rigorous curriculum as well as practical fieldwork. Curricula most commonly emphasize foundational knowledge and skill, pedagogy, and educational technology. In addition, curricula seek to prepare students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Practical fieldwork allows students to apply what they have learned to a classroom setting through field observations, student teaching, and internships.
All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. There are some states that have requirements for coursework in particular subjects, or undergraduate credit hour requirements in order to be certified in specialty areas. Oklahoma does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information.Return to the top
In order to become certified to teach in a state, you must satisfactorily complete the Basic Skill Test and any Subject Area Competence assessments required for your state. Oklahoma requires the following tests for teacher certification:Basic Skills Test here about Oklahoma teacher certification exams. Read more about teacher certification tests. Return to the top
To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Oklahoma can be found here.Return to the top
Graduates of accredited colleges or universities who do not have a bachelor’s degree in education, and who have not earned a traditional teaching certificate, can receive alternative teaching certification by satisfying certain requirements. For the Alternative Placement Teaching License (available only for middle grades and secondary education), you must have a subject major that corresponds to an Oklahoma teaching certificate subject area. In your first three years in the program, you must complete 18 credit hours of professional education courses (12 if you have an advanced degree).
Oklahoma also officially recognizes certification from the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE). Teach for America and the Troops to Teachers program are additional options.Oklahoma Troops to Teachers program Return to the top
Oklahoma particpates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification’s (NASDTEC)Interstate Agreement. The state of Oklahoma will accept some teaching credentials from 46 other states. Certification reciprocity is somewhat complicated, so its best to contact the Oklahoma State Department of Education to inquire about specific details, or visit the Teach.com reciprocity page to learn more.Return to the top
Public school teachers are generally not required to have a Masters in Education in the United States, but educators across the country are realizing more and more the value of an advanced degree. It’s never a bad idea to go to graduate school, whether you’re pursuing a Master’s in Education or in another area. Since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, greater emphasis is placed on teacher performance, teacher qualification, and the results of teachers in the classroom. A Master’s degree carries a lot of weight in the teaching job market and those who have their Master’s are regarded as experts in their field. Teachers with a Master’s are more likely to be hired, promoted, and compensated for their work. In Oklahoma, teachers with their Master’s degree begin by making $1,200 more than teachers with a Bachelor’s.
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The state of Oklahoma does not provide any financial aid to prospective teachers through its Department of Education, however, many prospective teachers are eligible for several forms of federal aid. The TEACH Grant, for example, gives financial aid in return for teaching in a high-need school. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is the government’s program that allows teachers to teach in a high needs area in exchange for a deferment or cancellation of student loans. The school where you plan to attain your degree may also offer its own aid.
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Oklahoma ranks 42nd among states with an average public school teacher salary of $43,551, slightly lower than the regional average teacher salary of $45,172. The average public elementary school teacher in Oklahoma makes $42,450, while the average public secondary school teacher in Oklahoma makes $43,060. Teachers in Oklahoma earn 110% of the state average for all Oklahoma jobs. The state of Oklahoma publishes its salary schedule for teachers, which increases pay by years of experience and the degree held by the teacher. Learn more about teacher salaries.Return to the top
The Teachers’ Retirement System is responsible for retirement benefits for Oklahoma teachers. Additional benefits vary within the state, usually by district. For example, Tulsa Public Schools offer health insurance, life and disability insurance, and paid leave. Oklahoma public school teachers also have 15 weeks' vacation, as well as three years to tenure for those on the tenure track.
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The Oklahoma State Department of Education hosts a variety of different professional development programs that cover a range of topics, from academic enrichment to medical information. Oklahoma professional development programs include a resident program for teachers, as well as conferences, training programs, special education programs, and workshops. A calendar of professional development events can be found here.Return to the top
OklahomaTeachingJobs.org is a site maintained by the Oklahoma State Department of Education to post current job openings at schools in Oklahoma. The site features a search tool that allows teachers to browse jobs by region, as well as information on teaching job fairs and the teacher certification process in Oklahoma. There is also the Oklahoma Education Association, which lists available jobs, resources, benefits, and professional development programs. The State’s Department of Education’s Human Resource Development Office also publishes a Job Announcements page for teaching jobs.
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