How to Become a Teacher in Iowa

When it comes to the Hawkeye State, Iowa has its sights set on the future, investing heavily in education. This dedication begins with its statewide voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds, complete with a strong set of standards. Iowa also makes sure that all of its K-12 educators are given proper professional development in the core areas: math, science, English/language arts (ELA), and social students. Becoming a teacher in Iowa is a rewarding and fulfilling profession, one that any college graduate can be proud of.

Education Requirements

Receiving an Iowa teaching certificate is a process similar to that of many other states. The first step is to be awarded a B.A. or B.S. from an accredited four-year college or university, either from online teaching schools in Iowa or from more traditional schools.

At the secondary level, a teacher’s degree ideally should be granted in the discipline that they would like to teach in school, like math or science or English. This means that anthropology or sociology majors should have a degree in something else to teach if they want to be a teacher. An approved teacher preparation program must also be completed; these often include student teaching practicums and a human relations component.

Iowa Teaching Certification

Prospective Iowa teachers must be certified to teach any and all grade levels. The requirements for licensure depend on experience, education level, and other conditions. First-time teachers seeking the initial teacher license must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; complete an approved teacher preparation program; complete an approved human relations component; complete all requirements for a teaching endorsement, and meet the recency requirement of less than 160 days of teaching experience during the last five years.

Required Tests

One of the last steps in completing a teacher education program and qualifying for certification is taking and passing the two required tests. One exam measures pedagogy and the other tests your knowledge of at least one content area. Prospective Iowa teachers must take one or more Praxis II tests, depending on your specific licensure area.

State Certification Reciprocity

According to the Iowa Licensure Handbook, Iowa does not have reciprocity with any state. Iowa educators who are seeking employment in another state should contact the new state’s licensing agency to see if their teaching license and credentials will be recognized. In many cases, additional competency testing will be required.

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