A teacher shortage area is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as “an area of specific grade, subject matter or discipline classification, or a geographic area in which … there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary school teachers.” The Department allows states to identify their own teacher shortage areas, but encourages them to follow a prescribed methodology based on unfilled teaching positions, teaching positions filled by instructors with irregular certifications, and positions filled by teachers certified in other subject areas.
Career and Technology Education
Family and Consumer Education (FACE)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Early Childhood-Special Education
School Speech and Language Disabilities
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Wisconsin
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/31/2016
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Wisconsin, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Step Four: Submit a Wisconsin teaching credential application.
Continue below for more information.
Earn Your Teaching Credential in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issues new teachers their Initial Teaching Licenses, which are valid for five years and are non-renewable, except under extenuating circumstances as a one-year extension. After at least three years of teaching, teachers may advance to their Professional Educator Licenses, which are also valid for five years and are renewable. The department also offers the Master Educator License, which is valid for 10 years and renewable, to teachers who hold a Professional Educator License and have successfully completed either their national board certification or their Wisconsin master educator assessment process.
Generally, states require that certified teachers hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Many states also have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Wisconsin does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, although every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for more information.
Teacher education programs usually consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. Coursework often includes instruction on foundational knowledge, skills, and pedagogy (the art and science of teaching) as well as preparation in researching, designing and implementing learning experiences in various fields of study. The fieldwork component often includes class observation, student teaching or internships.
Step Three: Required Tests in Wisconsin
In order to become a certified teacher in Wisconsin, you must satisfactorily complete: a basic skills test, such as the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators series; the relevant content tests, such as the Praxis II series; and, if instructing elementary education, special education or reading, the Foundations of Reading Test for Wisconsin.
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The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.
Alternative Certification in Wisconsin
Wisconsin allows for the development and approval of alternative programs for Initial Teaching Licenses. These programs must be pre-approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and many are dedicated to licensure in shortage areas. A list of approved alternative programs in Wisconsin can be found on the state Department of Public Instruction’s website.
Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree in Wisconsin
Earning a Master’s in Teaching will increase your salary in some school Wisconsin districts. In the Madison School District, for example, teachers holding a master’s annually earn at least $1,092 more than their peers who hold only a bachelor’s. In the Racine Unified School District, master’s holders earn at least $2,193 more than their bachelor’s-only peers.
There are several forms of aid available to teachers pursuing their Master’s in Teaching. The TEACH Grant, for example, offers financial aid in return for teaching full time in a high-need field at a low-income school for at least four academic years. Similarly, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program allows teachers to teach full-time at a low-income school for five years in exchange for forgiveness of up to $17,500 of student loans. The college or university where you plan to attain your master’s degree may also offer its own aid.
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Wisconsin ranked 20th among states for average teacher salary in 2013, coming in at $55,171. Wisconsin school districts increase their teachers’ salaries according to their years of experience and the advanced degrees they’ve earned.
Retirement benefits for teachers in Wisconsin are handled by the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). The ETF website provides detailed information on retirement benefits for education jobs.
Professional Development for Teachers in Wisconsin
Wisconsin teachers are required to obtain six professional development credits according to a previously developed Professional Development Plan in order to renew their teaching licenses for five years. Courses for professional development credits are offered both online and at local colleges and universities in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website provides detailed information on the state professional development process.