How to Combat the Florida Teacher Shortage
The state of Florida has the fourth-largest school system in the nation with more than 67 public school districts and almost 3 million students enrolled annually. It’s a large state with many opportunities to begin a career as an educator. However according to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), since before the Covid-19 pandemic, Florida has been experiencing a teacher shortage. With more and more schools re-opening for in-person classes, schools are struggling to fill their classrooms with teachers. This is where you can make a difference. When you choose to become a teacher, you have the potential to change the world for the better by shaping the young minds of tomorrow. And you can start your teaching journey as early as today! At Florida Teachers, we strive to provide our candidates with top-quality education so that they may serve their students and districts to their fullest potential. In this post, we’ll outline just how easy it is to get started and how you can help end the Florida teacher shortage.
At Florida Teachers, we want nothing more than to do our part in combating the teacher shortage. That’s why we’ve created the quickest route to becoming a certified teacher. To apply to our program, you’ll need a 4-year bachelor’s degree in any major with a 2.5 GPA. That’s it! Once you’ve sent in your application, you’ll need to send us your official transcripts and your Statement of Eligibility (SOE). An SOE is required by the FLDOE and is easy to obtain. The application with the FLDOE requires simple information like your name, phone number, email, address, certification type, etc. If you’re looking to pursue a subject area that’s different from what you majored in in college, you’ll need to take a Subject Area Exam to receive your SOE. To view a full list of critical teacher shortage areas in Florida, click here.
Once we’ve received your SOE and transcripts, you’ll be able to enroll in our program! One of our Program Advisors will get in touch with you and help you create your personalized education plan. Your journey to certification is unique and we want to help you throughout every step!
After you’ve enrolled in our program, it’s time to prepare for your exams. To register for your exams, you’ll need to create an account with the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) Website. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be able to see available testing dates and register for the time of your choosing.
You’ll need to take three exams: The Subject Area Exam (SAE), the General Knowledge Test (GKT), and the Professional Education Test (Ped). The GKT has four subtests comprised of an essay subtest, an English subtest, a reading subtest, and a mathematics subtest. The PEd consists of around 120 multiple choice questions with a two and half hour time limit. Florida Teachers provides comprehensive test prep for both of these exams, but we do recommend looking into test prep programs for more study materials. The Learning Liaisons is a test prep company that has been helping people ace their exams consistently for a great price. They’ve given all of our Florida Teachers candidates an exclusive 25% discount, so take advantage of the reduced price on this amazing test prep! To view more information on state testing and study materials, check out our State Tests Resources page.
Florida Teachers knows it can be daunting to start training for a new career path. That’s why our fully online training program is split into two phases. We want you to be able to complete your training at a pace that fits you and your schedule. Our research-based curriculum is designed to help you be the best teacher you can be!
Phase I: Classroom Readiness Training is completed before you get in the classroom. It consists of different teacher training courses, such as Educator Professionalism and Components of Effective Instruction, and Field-Based Experiences (FBEs). FBEs consist of introductory classroom experiences that involve reflective observation of students, teachers, and campus staff members engaging in a school setting. All this training is done online and can be done at your own pace. The sooner you complete it, the sooner you get in the classroom!
Phase II: Excellence in Teaching and Learning is completed during your Internship Year. While you’re teaching, you’ll be completed courses such as Developing English Language Proficiency and Digital Tools for Today’s Classroom. This coursework is dependent on the requirements that the state has for your area of certification. To learn more about how training works, please click here.
Next, you’re ready to #GetHired! Florida Teachers is committed to your success, which is why we’ve compiled resources to help you #GetHired. We also post job fairs occurring all over the state of Florida, so be sure to check our Teacher Job Fair Page regularly.
Start Teaching: Your Internship Year
When you start your Internship Year of teaching, you will be on a Temporary Certificate, where you will receive full pay and benefits. Once hired, you’ll be paired up with a Field Supervisor to support you in the classroom. Field Supervisors are experienced teachers and administrators who will offer advice and strategies to help you succeed during your first year of teaching. You receive a Field supervisor once you are hired as the full-time teacher of record with full pay and benefits, on a Temporary Certificate. They’ll get in contact with you and set up meetings with you, visit your classroom periodically to review your teaching and answer any questions you have along the way. They are there to provide you with consistent, positive support throughout your teaching journey.
During your first year, your Campus Administrator is there to help you acclimate to the on-campus culture. They will evaluate your performance and discuss your progress with you regularly. At the end of your internship year, your Field Supervisor and your Campus Administrator will submit a recommendation for your Professional Certificate. Florida Teachers will handle this part for you, so no action is required on your part.
In addition to completing your training during your internship year, you’ll need to submit six skill-based projects to Florida Teachers. This is to show us that you fully understand and comprehend the learning objectives of a specific group of courses and that you exhibit the skills teachers need to be proficient in their field. To learn more about your internship year, click here to visit our Internship Year resource page.
Once you’ve completed your Internship Year, you are officially ready to upgrade to your Florida State Professional Certificate!
Apply Today, Change Tomorrow
The Florida teacher shortage is a real and serious issue that is affecting the lives of students everywhere. We want to help you do your part in combating the shortage and providing the young minds of tomorrow the quality education they deserve. Are you ready to take the next steps towards becoming a teacher of tomorrow? Apply today!