Teaching in Ohio public schools is a time-honored profession. From the early days of Ohio’s history in the 1800’s when schools were little more than one large room filled with wooden desks, to today’s modern classes where computer labs and sleek tables fill multiple halls, Ohio teachers have all shared a common goal: to educate and prepare the future citizens of the state.
As a potential Language Arts teacher in Ohio, you will be embarking on a career that will help students prepare for their future. If you are ready to begin the process, follow the general guidelines below that lead to a teaching license in Ohio:
|Complete Your Teacher Education
|Pass Teaching Exams
|Apply for a Teaching License in Ohio
|Renewal of First License
Step 1. Complete Teacher Your Education
The first step in the licensing process is earning a college degree from a qualified institution. You have the option of completing a bachelor’s program (minimum requirement) or you may consider earning a graduate degree. The benefits from earning a higher degree —better salary, job opportunities, etc.— may be worth pursuing at this time. It can be harder to achieve a higher education once you are employed, as opposed to when you are a full-time student.
The degrees that are available in Ohio for teacher preparation are dependent on the age level of your students. If you seek a license to teach younger students, you will complete a program that prepares you for elementary education. If you are considering a secondary school position, you will enter a program that is specific to secondary school licensing.
A teacher preparation program is similar to other college degrees in that you will have basic educational courses in a broad range of subjects including math, science, and history. In the early years of your education you will take many of these types of classes. The first two years of your program are considered lower division.
The next segment of your degree will be comprised of upper-division classes. During this time, you will continue to take general education courses now in upper-division work. You will also take classes that are elective allowing you to choose from a list of courses that are of personal interest to you. These may be subjects such as jewelry making, photography, drama, and music.
You will also encounter a variety of classes that are specific to Language Arts. These courses will cover the basics such as writing, reading, and literature. If you are teaching secondary school, you will take more of these classes than elementary educators. A degree in elementary education remains broad in subject while secondary education is more focused on the core subject.
All teachers will finalize their degree program by completing courses in pedagogy as well as a set number of hours in student teaching. The courses that you will encounter during the teaching portion include subjects such as:
- Lesson Planning
- Classroom Management
- Education and the Law
- Teaching Students with Special Needs
If you are a student who already holds a degree outside of the teaching field and now want to earn a teaching license in Ohio, you may do so by taking an alternate path to teaching. For this type of training, you will have to have your current degree evaluated in order to determine if any courses you have previously earned qualify for the program. You will be afforded the opportunity to teach while you complete the courses needed for this approach.
Step 2. Pass Teaching Exams
One of the requirements that finalizes your qualifications for a teaching license in Ohio is passing a set of state exams. These exams are called the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) provided for by Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson. The tests will measure your professional abilities as well as the level of pedagogical skills and English Language Arts knowledge at the grade level appropriate for your license.
Online registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The basic steps for registration are:
- Complete an online account
- Determine the tests you need to take
- Study the preparation materials
- Sign up for the tests and select a testing time/date
- Pay the test fees
Step 3. Apply for a Teaching License in Ohio
Once you’re ready to apply for your Ohio teaching license, you will need to follow these steps:
- Complete the steps to register for a Security Application For Enterprise (SAFE) account
- Select ODE.CORE
- Go to the My Educator Profile link
- Add all your information: name, address, phone, current email, etc.
- Select the My Applications option
- Select the New Credential Application
- Choose the license type that is correct for you and apply
The first license you will apply for once you graduate from a teaching preparation program in Ohio is the Resident Educator License. This license is valid for four years.
Step 4. Renewal of First License
Once you are past the initial four years of licensing, you will be ready to seek a renewal. You will use the My Educator Profile tool within the Connected Ohio Records for Educators (CORE) system to renew. On the online system you can also update any of your information, pay licensing fees by credit card, and check on your licensing status.
You will be responsible to create an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPPD), approved by a Local Professional Development Committee in order to renew. Your plan will include education that will further your abilities as an educator, enhance your students’ education, and align with the standards of the Ohio State Board of Education.
The IPPD will include one of the following:
- 6-college semester hours of coursework related to classroom teaching and/or English Language Arts
- 18 continuing education units (CEUs)
You will work with your school to devise a plan that is best for you, your district, as well as units that will help further the educational goals of your school.
Ohio English Teacher Salaries
Recently Ohio legislatures sought to change how teachers would have a base pay in Ohio. A bill was proposed that would have eliminated a state mandated salary guarantee for teachers. The argument that current factors—extra education outside of math and science and additional experience beyond five years of teaching —were little reason to increase a teacher’s pay. These two factors have been the primary reason for step increases for teachers traditionally. For now the step pay guarantee remains, but may come back in the future. At this time, the schools around Ohio tend to be on par with state salaries or above.
As an example, a first-year English teacher in Columbus, Ohio starts at $42,333. There are four separate lateral steps for the starting teacher. Her pay could increase to $44,211 if she held a master’s degree plus add an additional 30 semester hours of education past the graduate degree. The school district in Columbus recognizes the value of the teacher who earned a higher education and allows for a salary bump for those coming in with a master’s degree.
The same is true in the Hamilton City School District. A beginning English teacher with a BA will start at step one with an annual salary of $34,470. She will heave the option of increasing her pay by adding both additional hours of college coursework as well as a degree. If she chooses to add 150 additional hours of courses, she could earn $37,118. If she decided to instead convert those hours to a master’s program plus an additional 30 hours, she would start at $40,427.
With just over 600 school districts in Ohio, there will be a range of salaries and benefits offered at each one. To consider more schools in other Ohio cities see the table here: