For aspiring Iowa teachers, ToBecomeATeacher.org has created a comprehensive guide to help you kickstart your career. The process starts with three critical steps, which are outlined in detail below.
1.Choosing a Program: The first step is to find a teaching program that is affordable, rigorous and designed to help you obtain your ideal teaching position:
Finding a program that fits all your needs can be a challenge. To ensure you select the right program, it is important to ask the right questions: What is important to you as a student? Are you concerned about the cost of the program or the amount of debt you might incur? Does the program’s location matter to you? Does it have the specializations you hope to pursue?
2. Planning for Licensure in Iowa: In Iowa, you will need a minimum of a bachelor degree and an appropriate post-graduate degree in education. You will also need to write and pass the state’s applicable certification exams.
3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed your education and passed the applicable exams, you can launch your teaching career in Iowa.
At this point, it is important to consider the type of teaching environment in which you hope to work? Are you interested in working in a rural or urban context? Are you interested in working in a high-needs school? What are your salary expectations? What are your lifestyle needs? Are you willing to work in an isolated community? During this stage of the process, you should also keep building your profile up as an educator and expanding your education by engaging in additional courses for educators. Most importantly, continue to network. Reach out to local principals and request a meeting, even if they don’ t have a current opening in their school. If they agree to meet, tell them about yourself, your classroom teaching experience and why you would love to join their school community.
Choosing an Education Program in Iowa
ToBecomeATeacher.org appreciates that it is never easy to select an appropriate program. For this reason, we have developed a set of tools to assist you with this daunting task. Using a thoughtful algorithm, we ranked Iowa’s top education programs in 2015. Notably, we designed the algorithm by consulting with students and aspiring teacher and that’s why our rankings truly reflect your concerns. Our team has analyzed expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, and over all return on investment.
All the schools on ToBecomeATeacher.org list below are committed to excellence and have shown true dedication to quality education and training. In short, these programs are among Iowa’s and the nation’s very best.
There are three common pathways to teacher certification in Iowa:
Pathway 1: The most common pathway is to complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher education program in Iowa and then write and pass the state’s required Praxis exams.
Pathway 2: Another common option is to pursue licensure through the Iowa Teacher Intern program; this is an accelerated pathway to teaching for Iowa residents who hold a bachelor’s degree and five years of professional work experience. The program enables candidates to carry out intensive course work and fieldwork experience from January to June at which time they write the Praxis exam and prepare for their fall internship. Candidates who successfully complete the internship, all course requirements and pass the applicable Praxis exams are eligible to apply for a teaching license the following December.
Pathway 3: The final pathway entails completing a bachelor’s degree, education program and obtaining a license in another state and then applying for an Iowa license under the state’s reciprocal agreement program.
What is the Teaching Job Outlook in the State of Iowa?
In 2015, there were 990 kindergarten teachers, 15,830 elementary teachers, 6,540 middle school teachers and 12,270 high school teachers working in the state of Iowa. Iowa’s board of education reports that job opportunities for teachers will expand at a rate of 10% between now and 2020. Retirements are expected to open up additional positions for Iowa teachers in the coming years.
What Resources are Available to Teachers in Iowa?
The Iowa Department of Education is the primary governing body for education in the State of Iowa; the Iowa DOE is responsible for educational policies, testing and curriculum developments.
The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners is a state-run organization that oversees teacher licensure for new and established teachers.
Iowa State Education Association is an organization that advocates on behalf of students and teachers; among other things, the ISEA is dedicated to promoting quality public education.
TeachIowa.gov is an online job board designed to help teachers find teaching positions in the State of Iowa.
What online programs are available to potential teachers in the State of Iowa?
Among other online options, the University of Northern Iowa offers master’s degrees in early childhood education, elementary education, educational leadership, music education and math education. Iowa State University also offers graduate degrees in education through its online program, including a master’s of educational administration for teachers hoping to move into educational administration.