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Become a Teacher in Tennessee

Tennessee Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $50,320
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $51,390
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 17
Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

 

 

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/11/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Tennessee.

To become a certified teacher in Tennessee, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating CertificationmMap.com with new information on a regular basis. 

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Step One: Tennessee Prerequisite Coursework

Generally, states require that certified teachers hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas; Tennessee, however, has no such requirements, according to its Department of Education.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Click to learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Tennessee Teacher Preparation

The traditional route to teacher certification in Tennessee includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program.

For information about scholarships that can help you pay for your teacher education program, visit the Certification Map Tennessee Teacher Scholarships page.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Learn more about alternative certification in Tennessee on Certification Map.

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Step Three: Tennessee Required Tests

The Tennessee Department of Education requires that all teaching applicants successfully complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests and all of the relevant Praxis tests for their Specific Licensure Areas.

CORE 

CORE
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

156
162
150

CORE: Reading
CORE: Writing
CORE: Mathematics

Successful completion of all three (3) CORE tests are is required for admission into any state-approved teacher education program  


PLT 

PLT
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

157
160
160
157

PLT: Early Childhood, or
PLT: Grades K-6, or
PLT: Grades 5-9, or
PLT: Grades 7-12

Successful completion of one PLT test – depending on grade level – is required for all teaching licenses. 


Content Area Assessment 

Content Area Assessment
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Early Childhood, Elementary, & Middle School Education Certifications

160
163 
162

Education of Young Children
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Early Childhood Education (PreK-3)

160 
163 
159

Education of Young Children
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge
Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood

Early Development & Learning (PreK-3): Dual Discipline Endorsement

153 
163 
162

Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Elementary Education (K-6)

150
162

Middle School: Content Knowledge
Teaching Reading: Elementary

Middle Grades Education (4-8)

 

Secondary Education (7-12)
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Secondary Education (7-12) Certification

148

Biology: Content Knowledge

Biology

152

Chemistry: Content Knowledge

Chemistry

164

Chinese (Mandarin): World Language

Chinese

150

Earth & Space Sciences: Content Knowledge

Earth Science

150

Economics

Economics

167

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge

English

160

French: World Language

French

149

Geography

Geography

163

German: World Languages

German

149

Government/Political Science

Government

157

World & U.S. History: Content Knowledge

History

148

Latin

Latin

160

Mathematics: Content Knowledge

Mathematics

144

Physics: Content Knowledge

Physics

154

Psychology

Psychology

154

Sociology

Sociology

163

World Language

Spanish

144

Speech Communication: Content Knowledge

Speech Communication

 

Special Education Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Special Education Certification

158
162

Special Education: Core Knowledge & Severe to Profound Applications
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Special Ed.: Comprehensive (K-12)

151
160
162

Special Education: Core Knowledge & Applications
Special Education: Education of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Special Ed.: Hearing (K-12)

158
162

Special Education: Core Knowledge & Mild to Moderate Applications
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Special Ed.: Modified (K-12)

151
159
162

Special Education: Core Knowledge & Applications
Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Special Ed.: Preschool/Early Childhood Education (PreK-3)

162

Speech-Language Pathology

Special Ed.: Speech Language Pathologist (PreK-12)

151
163
162

Special Education: Core Knowledge & Applications
Special Education: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Teaching Reading: Elementary Education

Special Ed.: Vision (PreK-12)


Visit Tennessee’s Praxis Requirements for a complete list of available assessments.

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Step Four: Tennessee Application Requirements

New teachers in Tennessee begin their careers with their Practitioner License, which is valid for three years and may be renewed once. Requirements for a Practitioner License include:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution;
  • Be enrolled in or have successfully completed a state-approved educator preparation program and be recommended for licensing;
  • Successfully complete all required Praxis exams.

Background Check

The state of Tennessee does not require teaching candidates to submit to a fingerprint clearance or background check to obtain licensure. However, individual schools and/or districts may require applicants to pass a background clearance as part of the hiring process. Contact your local school district to find out more information regarding its fingerprint policies.

Teachers-Teachers.com: Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Education partnered with Teachers-Teachers.com to provide teaching applicants with a database allowing them to search and apply online for available teaching opportunities within the Tennessee public school system.

Teach in Nashville, TN

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) is one of the largest school districts in the state of Tennessee. MNPS has the same certification requirements as the rest of Tennessee but has a different set of application requirements for teaching within the Nashville public school system. Visit MNPS’s information on how to teach in Nashville website.

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Tennessee Certification Reciprocity

Tennessee will accept some teaching credentials from other states. Contact the Tennessee Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see the Certification Map interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Tennessee Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Tennessee provides differential pay support for teachers working in high-needs schools and instructing shortage subject areas.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: The Tennessee Department of Education requires teaching candidates to complete a period of student teaching, but no mentoring program is mandated for new teachers.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $50,320
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $51,390
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 17

Figures regarding teacher salaries are sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Tennessee Certification Resources & Links

710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
615-741-5158

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