How To Become a Teacher in Louisiana (With Salary)
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Teachers prepare lessons and provide instruction to help students learn grade-level skills and subjects, such as algebra or language arts. In Louisiana, you can become a teacher by earning a bachelor's degree in education or completing an alternative teaching program. If you want to teach in Louisiana, you may benefit from learning more about the educational and certification requirements in this state to help you plan your career path.
In this article, we explain what a teacher does, describe how to become a teacher in Louisiana and provide the average salary of teachers in the state to help you decide whether this career is right for you.
What does a teacher do?
A teacher educates students to help them learn new skills and knowledge. They plan classroom lessons and organize educational activities, such as field trips, to help students meet grade-level requirements and standards. Teachers assign and grade coursework and evaluate students' progress. They typically specialize in a subject or grade level. For example, elementary school teachers provide instruction in multiple subject areas, while high school teachers specialize in a subject, such as chemistry or social studies. While teachers' duties can vary based on their grade level or subject area, they typically have the following duties:
Develop educational content and materials, such as assignments, study guides and exams
Provide classroom instruction through lesson plans and organized activities
Assign, collect and grade various assignments, such as essays, exams or projects
Manage classrooms to provide a safe, effective learning environment for students
Maintain records of students' progress and development
Collaborate with other educators, teachers or administrators to determine appropriate grade-level curriculum
Share updates about students' progress or needs with parents or caregivers
Assess students' abilities to determine whether they meet the educational requirements to progress to the next grade level
Perform other duties as needed, such as monitoring students during lunch periods or directing extracurricular activities
Read more: What Do Teachers Do? Complete Guide
How to become a teacher in Louisiana
Here are the steps you can take to become a teacher in Louisiana:
1. Earn a bachelor's degree
The Louisiana Department of Education, which establishes the standards for teacher preparation in the state, requires all aspiring teachers to have a bachelor's degree. If you're a high school or current college student, plan to earn your bachelor's degree in education. In Louisiana, these undergraduate programs include general education courses, 180 hours of field experience, student teaching or internships and a certification area of focus, such as early childhood education. If you want to teach high school, you typically double major in education and the subject you wish to teach, such as math.
2. Complete a teaching preparation program
If you already have a bachelor's degree in an area other than education, you can still become a teacher in Louisiana. Under this alternative pathway, you can complete a teaching preparation program to prepare you for a career as a teacher. You can choose to complete one of three programs:
Practitioner teacher program: This path combines coursework and full-time teaching to allow professionals or recent graduates to earn their Level 1 Professional Certificate for teaching.
Master's degree program: This program allows candidates to pursue their master's degree and teaching certification simultaneously. After completing the program, candidates earn a Level 3 Professional Certificate.
Certification-only program: The third program offers a less-intensive path for candidates to earn their teaching certification through part-time coursework and teaching. Candidates in this program earn a Practitioner License, which allows them to teach while continuing to work toward a Level 1 Professional Certificate.
If you earn a bachelor's degree in education in Louisiana, it's not necessary to complete a teaching preparation program because your undergraduate curriculum includes this instruction.
3. Pass certification exams
After you've earned your bachelor's degree or completed a teaching preparation program, you can take the Praxis exams for the grade level and subject you want to teach. The necessary exams and scoring requirements vary based on the certification area you're pursuing. For example, aspiring early childhood educators take different Praxis exams than those wanting to teach high school English. Contact the Louisiana Department of Education for more information about the Praxis exams for your certification area.
Regardless of the grade and subject you want to teach, Louisiana requires all teaching candidates to take several core academic skills exams in reading, writing and math. You may be exempt from these exams based on your ACT or SAT score. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers these exams, and you can register for the tests and find preparation materials on its website.
4. Apply for certification
After you've met the educational and testing requirements, you can apply for your teaching certification. Complete an application packet and send it to the Louisiana Department of Education. The application packet requires you to submit these documents:
Verification of your bachelor's degree or the completion of a teacher preparation program
Your required Praxis exam results
A completed application form
5. Renew your certification
Louisiana uses a tiered system for teacher certifications, which means you can earn higher credentials as you advance in your teaching career. New teachers in Louisiana begin with their Level 1 Professional Certificate, which is valid for three years. After three years, you can consult with your school system's human resources office to renew your certification or apply for a Level 2 Professional Certificate. School systems can apply for a higher certification on your behalf if you meet standards for teaching effectiveness.
After earning your Level 2 Professional Certificate, you may choose to earn a master's degree in education. If you earn this degree and have five years of experience in your subject area, you can ask your employer to be considered for a Level 3 Professional Certificate.
Average salary of teachers in Louisiana
School teachers in Louisiana make an average salary of $55,635 per year. Their average salaries can vary based on their city, experience and grade level. Teachers in Louisiana typically earn benefits through their employers, which may include health and dental insurance, retirement plans, professional development and paid time off. These benefits can contribute to teachers' overall compensation in Louisiana. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.
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