How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Texas

How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Texas

The process of becoming an elementary school teacher in Texas is similar to being a classroom teacher. Being an elementary school teacher means you are preparing to teach students from kindergarten up to grade 6. Unlike becoming a science teacher or a music teacher in Texas, the core subject for becoming an elementary teacher remains the same.

Process To Follow: Become an Elementary School Teacher in Texas

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Step 1: Complete the minimum qualification

The minimum qualification to become an elementary teacher (even those seeking an intern, probationary, or standard certificate) in Texas is a bachelor’s degree.

For a head start, you can major in any subject that helps you build a strong foundation for being an elementary teacher. Some of the helpful majors in this regard can include psychology, early childhood development, and interdisciplinary studies.

Step 2: Prepare and apply for EPP

Once you have completed and obtained your bachelor’s degree, the real application process starts.

The next step is the EPP or Educator Preparation Program. This program prepares prospective teachers for the Texas Educator Certification Examination (next step in line). You need to enroll in one of the EPPs as approved by the Texas Education Agency.

You can find the list of approved EPPs here. It is the responsibility of approved EPPs to help teacher candidates with the exam content and tools with Texas educator standards. The approved EPPs also have the right to access the test result scores.

To apply for an EPP, choose your subject. To be an elementary school teacher, you need to choose ‘Early Childhood (Grades PK-3)’ as your category. You can find the available EPPs (colleges) on the right side. You can choose to contact the college for more information on their EPP.

Step 3: Apply for the Texas Educator test

Once your EPP is completed, you can apply for the required Texas educator tests. To apply for the test, you need to visit the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program.

To become an elementary teacher in Texas, you are required to register and pass three mandatory exams, namely:

All teacher candidates seeking standard certification in any subject for the first time have to register and pass this exam. The exam testing time is 4 hours 45 minutes and tests your skills in designing instructions to promote student learning, creating a positive classroom environment, implementing instruction and assessment effectively, and performing your professional roles and responsibilities.

The passing score is 240, and the exam fee is $116.

  • TExES Core Subjects EC-6 (391)

An elementary teacher candidate in Texas also has to appear for the above exam. This exam includes five subject exams: English Language Arts and Reading (901), Mathematics (902), Social Studies (903), Science (904), and Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education (905) that test your skills as an entry-level educator in Texas public schools.

If you failed one or more exams, you can retake the specific subject exam. However, if you failed two or more exams, you need to retake all five exams. The exam is 5 hours long, with different time allocated to different subject areas.

The passing score is 240 on each subject exam. The fee is $116 + $58 per subject for retake.

Effective from January 1, 2021, the teacher candidates now also have to take an additional test if they are seeking certification in five fields, namely:

  1. Early Childhood: EC-3,
  2. Core subjects with Science of Teacher Reading: EC to grade 6
  3. Core subjects with Science of Teacher Reading Grades 4-8,
  4. English Language Arts and Reading: Grades 4 to 8, and
  5. English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies: Grades 4 to 8

Therefore, an elementary teacher candidate also has to take the STR test. The exam contains questions related to comprehension development, vocabulary development, reading fluency, phonics, alphabet knowledge, and more.

The passing score is 240, and the fee is $136.

You can register for all the exams through the TExES website.

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Step 4: Apply for the Texas Educator certificate

Finally, it’s time to apply for your educator certificate after passing the above exams successfully.

To apply for the certificate, you first need to create an account on the TEA website. On the TEA website, click on TEAL Login > Request New User account. You will find an application form that needs to be filled out and submitted.

Once successfully filled, you will be able to click on the blue View My Educator Certification Account link, wherein you complete your Educator profile. After that, click on Applications on your ECOS portal from the left vertical menu and choose ‘Standard Certificate Texas Program.’ After that, follow the onscreen prompts to fill out and submit your application for the certificate.

Step 5: Apply for fingerprinting check

After you have submitted the application and paid the application fee, the next step is to apply for a fingerprinting check. You will receive an email at your registered email ID to fix the fingerprinting appointment date.

Follow the link to set the date and time and pay the fingerprinting processing fee. You can take the help of the TEA website for more information on the fingerprinting process.

Step 6: Apply for teacher positions

Once you have received your Texas educator certificate, you can start applying for elementary teaching positions in Texas.

You can apply to public schools, private schools, and charter schools in Texas. For public school vacancies, you can take the help of the TEA website. You can alternatively take the help of online job portals to find elementary teacher positions in Texas.

Classroom Certificate Renewal

The standard educator certificate in Texas, once obtained, is valid for 5 years only. To renew its validation, you need to complete 150 hours of CPE (Continuing Professional Education) before the expiry. If your 150 hours of CPE are completed, you can renew your certificate after paying the required certificate renewal fee.

You can apply for the renewal through your ECOS portal.

Now, TEA also exempts some educators from CPE. For this, they need to fill out the CPE Hardship Exemption Form and meet the required eligibility criteria. The school district (not the educator) may request a one-year extension of the certificate on behalf of the educator by submitting a CPE exemption request using a separate Help Desk Ticket on the TEA website.

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Elementary Teacher Salary in Texas

If you successfully become an elementary teacher in Texas, you can expect to make around $43,918 annually, as per ZipRecruiter.com. Your salary can go up to as high as $63603 based on your experience, school size, and city.

This means you can collect nearly as much as any other subject teacher in Texas.

Become an Elementary School Teacher in Texas Now!

You can become an elementary teacher in Texas after completing your bachelor’s degree. Thereafter, you enroll in EPP and register for required exams before you can finally apply for the standard educator certificate in Texas.

The process is long but systematic. You can find a lot of information on the TEA website and the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. You can also get help from the Help Desk at TEA to guide you through each step.

So, all set? If you are looking forward to becoming an elementary teacher in Texas but are unsure how to get started, contact Teacher Builder today.


This article does not contain legal, educational, or government advice. As regulations can change from time to time, readers are advised to check with their local education departments to receive up-to-date information.


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