Become a Teacher in Alabama
Alabama, located in the heart of the southern states, is geographically nicknamed the Heart of Dixie. The state has roots in aerospace, health care, education, and the production of steel, to name a few. The Alabama Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is one of the world’s largest space museums. The state boasts of a vast agricultural background.
When it comes to the field of teaching and education, Alabama is an innovative state offering a variety of alternatives to teacher certification, holding its educators to high standards, and striving for success in each school. The Alabama Research and Education Network—the first state-funded computer network in the US—links universities and school systems across the state. Prospective teachers who are interested in working in a largely rural setting, smaller school districts, and generally small class sizes will enjoy teaching in Alabama.
Read on to know more about what it takes to become a teacher in Alabama.
- Prospective teachers working toward an initial teaching certificate in Alabama must achieve the following:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from a state-approved institution
- Complete a teacher preparation program from a state-approved institution
- Pass the Praxis series tests
- Some alternative routes to certification for Alabama residents include:
- Troops to Teachers
- Teach First
- Teach For America
- Aspiring residential candidates in Alabama are required to pass the two main Praxis exams. The Praxis I tests students on basic items in the areas of math, reading and writing. The Praxis II tests students on subject-specific areas relating to their teaching field.
- The state of Alabama does not require particular bachelor degrees for certification, although the Department of Education does encourage students to major in areas they will be teaching, such as elementary education, math or history.
- In order to renew an initial teaching certificate in Alabama a candidate must:
- Earn 6 semester credits before renewal in a subject area related to education
- Receive positive performance reviews
Alabama is ranked the #1 state in the country for spending per student and in the number of teachers certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. The state prides itself on the high level of teaching in its public school system, which is critically dependent on the qualification of its teachers. Therefore, in order to enjoy a successful career as a teacher in Alabama you need to set yourself apart from others by earning a masterĂ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree, PhD, or administrative credentials. You will not only fulfill a lifelong dream but also increase your job security and even raise your salary by thousands each year.
- The TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) grant pays up to $4,000 each school year. Candidates must major in education and commit to teach for a period of four years in either a public or private school that has primarily low-income students.
- Alabama also offers a technology scholarship program that takes care of college fees and tuition for technology courses approved by the state. The student applying for the scholarship must be a certified teacher working full-time in an Alabama public school.
- The Mildred, Mack & Blanche Stewart Teacher Education Endowed Scholarship is given through the University of Alabama for aspiring teachers. Incoming freshmen wanting to apply must have graduated from school in one of the following Alabama counties: Jefferson, Bibb, Blount, St. Clair, Cullman, Shelby, Walker, or Tuscaloosa.
- Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Alabama makes $48,390
- Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary school teacher in Alabama makes $43,610
- Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Alabama makes 131% of the salary of the average worker in Alabama
- Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Alabama provides no support for teachers teaching in high-needs schools or in shortage subject areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics