How to Become a Teacher in South Dakota

South Dakota served more than 123,000 students during 2010, according to the National Education Association. The state employs approximately 10,00 teachers and instructional staff to handle the needs of the diverse student population in the state. Becoming a teacher in South Dakota requires the completion of the proper education, passing state-approved examinations, and finally, obtaining South Dakota teacher certification.

Education Requirements

To become certified to teach in South Dakota, applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved education program. They must also pass the required Praxis II exams and have completed six education credits in the past five years. After becoming certified, teachers keep their certifications valid by completing six credits of continuing education every five years.

South Dakota Teaching Certification

To receive a five-year certificate to teach in South Dakota, a person must have completed a teacher preparation program, have completed six credits within the past five years, and have completed the required Praxis II tests. One-year certificates are available for applicants who have completed the teacher preparation program, but not the six credits in the past five years or the Praxis II tests. Alternative certification is also available for people who have a degree in a non-education major.

Required Tests

Teachers without prior teaching experience must pass the relevant Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching test and the content-specific Praxis II test appropriate for their desired certification area.

State Certification Reciprocity

South Dakota is not part of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate Agreement but certification from other states is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the South Dakota Department of Education. Candidates may be required to show Praxis II test scores, a copy of their teaching certificate from another state, and verification of teaching experience in another state. They will also need to take the required classes.

Helpful Resources