Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Texas
Texas’ Early Childhood Education Scene
Texas, a large state with the motto “Friendship”, is known for its solid education system. It is ranked the 14th state in the nation overall for education in 2013, according to Education Week’s annual national ranking system. It also received stellar rankings for Standards, Assessments, and Accountability, as well as Transitions and Alignment. The state is estimated to receive $308,000,000 when it takes part in the Preschool for All program proposed by President Obama in 2013. Texas continues to see improvements in early childhood education through its relationship with a variety of agencies, including the Regional Education Service Centers, Texas Early Learning Council, Head Start and more (Early Childhood Education in Texas). Overall, there are many opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education in the state of Texas.
Becoming a Teacher in Texas
The Texas Education Agency includes extensive information about how to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.
The five basic requirements to become a teacher in Texas are as follows:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Complete a state-approved Educator Preparation Program
- Pass appropriate assessments for the desired grade level or subject of teaching
- Submit an application, along with the appropriate documentation
- Undergo fingerprinting as part of a criminal background check
Individuals can apply through the Education Certification Online System (ECOS). Licensure is available to individuals who have completed an in-state or out-of-state teacher preparation program, or who have earned appropriate credentials from outside the state. On rare occasions, school districts may request a school district teaching license for individuals who have not completed a teacher preparation program, or who lack appropriate credentials.
Contact Educator Certification, should you have any further questions about the licensure/certification process.
Top Texas ECE Programs
There are over 70 early childhood education degree programs in Texas. Some of the top colleges in the state are highlighted below.
has an excellent academic reputation and is one of the largest universities in the country. It offers a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies of elementary education as well as a variety of specialized master’s degrees.
a research university, offers a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies for elementary education, as well as a master’s degree in elementary education, including early childhood. It also offers a variety of doctorates, including one in early childhood education.
is a teaching and research school that offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and elementary math and science. A master’s degree in elementary education and several doctorates are also available.
is part of the Texas A&M University system. Its undergraduate degree program prepares students for certification in Early Childhood Education through fourth grade (EC-4). Within this degree, West Texas A&M students can choose from specializations such as bilingual or ESL education.
Teaching Job Opportunities in Texas
There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field.
Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. Aspiring teachers can find jobs listed by district here. The website School Spring also lists jobs in Texas as well.
Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant need of highly qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.
Texas Teacher’s Groups
There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Texas that share similar visions.
The Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) was founded in 1880 and was the first organization for teachers created in Texas. It aims to improve the profession and local public schools for both teachers and students. It provides union benefits and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country.
The Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TAEYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. It has over a dozen local affiliates and is itself an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members. Membership is valid for one year.
The Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) offers professional protection, legal assistance, advocacy, publications, and continuing education, as well as other discounts. It provides members with the latest information on legal rulings and legislative happenings, as well.
There are also a variety of organizations for teachers based on specific areas of interest, including the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) and the Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading (TAIR).
Texas Early Childhood Education Bloggers
The Dallas News education blog covers hot topics, issues, and events in Texas schools, as does the education section of Statesman.com. Many Texas teachers also share insightful information through their personal blogs.
Mrs. A’s Room is maintained by a preschool teacher who loves sharing some of the authentic learning experiences she creates in her classroom.
Crayons and Curls is operated by a kindergarten teacher who shares a variety of ideas and resources for the kindergarten classroom.
First Grade Derby was started by a first-grade teacher who has taught elementary school for 12 years and loves sharing and learning from the teaching community.
Step Into Second Grade is written by a dual-language teacher who blogs frequently about the goings on in her second-grade classroom.