Several years ago, Louisiana began revamping its college teacher preparation programs. In 2013, the state’s universities incorporated an assessment program known as Compass. The program was intended to align teacher training with Louisiana’s Department of Education’s expectation of classroom learning for all Pre-K through 12th grade students.
Since these changes took place, universities in Louisiana created teams to try and understand the expectations and to meet these new standards. Since implementing, Louisiana has seen a 4% increase in student achievement in math and language arts according to a recent report by the Department of Education. As a potential candidate for teaching in Louisiana, you will have the opportunity to participate in a teacher training education intended to help you meet these high standards. To start your career, below is an outline that will guide through the basic steps to earn a teaching certificate in Louisiana.
|Complete a Teacher Training Program|
|Pass Louisiana State Exams|
|Apply for Your Teaching Certificate|
|Upgrade Your Certificate|
Step 1. Complete a Teacher Training Program
As you begin to develop a plan for becoming an English language arts teacher in Louisiana, the first consideration is your degree and teacher preparation program. There are several accredited universities in Louisiana that have designed teacher training programs. Many of them meet the basic bachelor degree requirement and some will offer a master’s teaching program.
Often students are anxious to start their new career as soon as possible. If this describes you, you may be considering a traditional undergraduate program. One of the difficulties for new teachers however, is the realization that they may not feel fully prepared to step into their own classroom after graduation. Because of this, choosing your program wisely and taking the time you need to actually learn the skills and material you will need is important to your success.
Several universities in Louisiana understand the challenges that you may face feeling that you are ready to teach after graduation. These universities have partnered with local schools to help better prepare teachers through the Believe and Prepare program. These degree programs tend to be more customized and include more in-class time with mentors. They offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees that will allow you to feel confident in your job when you leave school.
The coursework for these programs is similar in the general and core education portion of other programs; what is different is the teacher preparation component. This part of your education will be geared to extend your internship time and partner you with mentor teachers for up to a year.
If you already have a degree and would like to become a teacher, you can participate in several alternative programs:
- Practitioner Teacher Program: is a path to certification that allows you to teach full-time while taking the courses you need.
- Master’s Degree Program: This program will give you both the certification you need as well as a master’s in education or English language arts.
- Certification-Only Program: this program allows you to seek your certification if you choose not to work full-time or don’t want a higher degree.
Step 2. Pass Louisiana State Exams
In order to satisfy all the requirements of earning a certificate, you will be required to take state exams. There are several that you will need to pass. All teaching candidates, will take three basic skills tests: reading, writing, and math. Those who have a master’s degree and chose an alternate route to teaching may not have to take this portion of testing.
Core Education Exams
The other test required is based on the grade level you want to teach. Elementary and preschool educators have their own tests, as do secondary teaching candidates. This test will focus on the core area of teaching your subject matter and at the appropriate grade level.
When you’re ready to take your exams registration can be completed online on the ETS website. You will also find useful study materials you can download (found under each test selection). Registering for your testing dates can be split up by tests or taken together. Each test has its own time requirements and fee. After you have completed your tests, your scores will be forwarded to the school where you plan to work. They are also available by request online at your ETS login dashboard.
Step 3. Apply for Your Teaching Certificate
When you have completed your education and passed the Louisiana state exams, you are ready to apply for your certificate. There are several levels for teacher certification in Louisiana:
- Level One Professional Certificate– This is the first certificate you will typically receive. It is valid for up to three years.
- Level Two Professional Certificate– If you meet all the requirements for teaching time and passing your exams, you will be awarded a Level Two certificate. It will be valid for five years, at which time you will need to renew.
- Level Three Professional Certificate- This level is available to you if you have completed your first five years of teaching and hold a master’s degree.
To apply for your teaching certificate you will need to send in a completed application to Louisiana’s Department of Education. For most new students who are graduating and seeking certification for the first time, you will need to gather all your documentation that shows passing scores on tests, verification of your bachelor’s degree, a letter of recommendation, and submit a fee. The application is found online and is considered a Temporary Employment Permit. This Level One permit is valid for one year and renewable for up to three years.
Send all of your information to:
State of Louisiana Department of Education
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064
Step 4. Upgrade Your Certificate
To upgrade your teaching certificate to Level Two:
To renew your teaching certificate you will have to obtain educational credits past your original degree. You will need at least three semester hours of professional continuing education courses. Theses hours will need to be acquired every year until you complete a total of nine semester hours (if you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree). If your degree is in education you will only need six semester hours. You will need to complete the renewal application once you are ready to apply for renewal.
If you seek a Level Three upgrade, you will need to have taught for five years and have earned a master’s degree in education or Language Arts.
Louisiana English Teacher Salaries
Louisiana is a unique state that is divided into parishes rather than counties. These parishes have over seventy school districts throughout. The school year runs for one hundred and eighty days. The average salaries for a beginning teacher in Louisiana who hold a bachelor’s degree and are at entry level will range from $27,102 in Jackson Parish to $50,100 in DeSoto Parish. The state mandated teacher salary schedule shows the average teacher’s salary for a beginning teacher across the state is $38,64. Of course these averages will change as the variables change.
Take for example an English teacher in Acadia Parish in their fifth year of teaching will earn $40,259 if they completed the required teaching program with a bachelor’s degree. If during that time they had continued to pursue their education and added a master’s degree while they taught English, they would be earning $40,805. In the Jefferson Davis Parrish the same numbers have an even greater spread. The bachelor’s degree is $40,678 and the master’s is 42,331. You can earn an even greater amount in these and other schools if you add additional education. For a comparison, these two schools below show the entry salary of a high school English teacher with a bachelor’s degree and with postgraduate degree:
- Entry: $ 36,769
- Experienced: $38,361
- Entry: $ 40,141
- Experienced: $43,283
Each Parrish will typically offer salaries that will be similar in range for the educational investment. They may also offer additional monies for extra duty activities and after school events such as sports.
You can find more information for other teacher salaries in the table below for more cites and Parishes around the state of Louisiana: