Delaware has done much in recent years to reduce teacher shortages. In a recent U.S. Department of Education report on teacher shortage areas (2017-18), Delaware showed marked improvement. As an example, the state faced a shortage of math teachers at all levels in 2016, but only at the secondary level in 2017. Additionally, the Delaware Department of Labor projects 10 years of growth for K-12 teachers in the state.
Nationally, state governments and universities are pushing to grow the educator workforce. In support of these efforts, colleges have increasingly offered online and blended education programs. The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) has approved nine out-of-state colleges to confer degrees within the state. The DDOE also recognizes five in-state teacher education programs, several of which offer online courses.
10% of Delaware students are enrolled in some distance education courses, with an additional 7% enrolled exclusively in remote classes.
Across all fields, distance education has become more prevalent. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that approximately 10% of Delaware students are enrolled in some distance education courses, with an additional 7% enrolled exclusively in remote classes.
Education students must check that their program meets licensure and certification requirements in Delaware, regardless of whether their school is in-state or out-of-state. Since each state sets its own standards, not every program will meet the Delaware teaching requirements. To begin teaching in Delaware, prospective educators must obtain a bachelor’s degree, a license, and at least one standard certificate. Out-of-state students may also complete comparable courses and exams.
How to Become a Teacher in Delaware
To teach in a state, you must apply for certification within that state. Each state imposes its own set of requirements. Certain requirements for teacher certification are similar across all states: a four-year degree, completion of a teacher preparation program, and passing scores on required exams. At the time of your application, the state's board of education will evaluate your qualifications.
The NASDTEC interstate agreement helps teachers transfer licenses across state lines, but out-of-state teacher licenses are still subject to review by a state on a case-by-case basis. Delaware is one of the few states to offer full reciprocity to educators with an out-of-jurisdiction license. When applying for Delaware teaching credentials, certified teachers moving from another state will need to include a copy of their state license for evaluation. The state also requires teachers to obtain both a license and a certificate to teach a particular grade or subject.
To obtain a Delaware teaching license, candidates must hold a college degree and complete a teacher preparation program. Delaware teachers hold both a license and Delaware teaching certificate. A license allows educators to teach in the state. A certificate identifies the subject or category of students a teacher is qualified to teach. Depending on the chosen degree and plan of study, it could take 4-7 years to become a teacher. Student teaching is an essential part of any teacher preparation program and a requirement for any Delaware teaching certificate.
Early childhood education or preschool teachers can acquire their license with an associate degree and student teaching experience. To work as an ECE curriculum coordinator, for example, educators should hold an associate degree in early childhood and at least six months of supervised student teaching.
To teach at the K-12 level, teachers must hold a bachelor's or master's degree. The Delaware Department of Education issues three types of licenses: initial, continuing, and advanced. New graduates apply for an initial license, which is valid for up to three years. Teachers do not need to major in education in order to obtain a license. For example, a secondary calculus teacher can major in math and either obtain a master’s degree in education or complete a relevant teacher education program alongside their bachelor’s.
The Delaware Department of Education issues three types of licenses: initial, continuing, and advanced.
Delaware's Alternative Routes to Certification program allows schools to hire individuals who are qualified in a subject (like art or science) but who lack student teaching experience. These teachers work under intensive, school-based supervision and mentoring, and they complete license and certificate requirements while employed.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Delaware
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Principles of Early Childhood Education||This course examines the history and philosophical background of ECE, as well as the regulations governing ECE today. Students learn about professional ethics, parent interaction, ECE settings, and the impacts of social, economic, and cultural diversity on learning.|
|Methods and Materials for Teaching||Students learn theories of classroom design, specifically how to develop and implement an active learning environment for pre-K through grade 4. The course also covers constructivism, play, activity theory, indoor versus outdoor spaces, and socio-cultural theory.|
|Children's Literature||This course provides a critical study of the different genres of children's literature. Given the influence literature has on young students, the class stresses the importance of analyzing and understanding literary elements such as theme, character, gender, ethnicity, culture, and setting|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Instructional Technology||In this class, students learn about software and network applications that they can use to enhance classroom instruction and facilitate learning. Topics include the basics of technology and how to best use modern teaching tools in the classroom.|
|Learner Development and Numeracy||Teacher candidates in this class develop math lessons appropriate for young students. Students learn how to incorporate fundamental concepts with practical pedagogy. Sample topics include word problems, fractions, algorithms, and mental math.|
|Classroom Culture and Student Behavior||This class provides an in-depth study of student misbehavior and ways to effectively deal with problems in the classroom. Topics include models of discipline, reasons for misbehavior, and why educators should handle incidents on a case-by-case basis.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Teacher Leadership and Collaboration||In this course, educators learn about leadership theories, especially as they apply to school environments. Educators learn how to become leaders in instruction, curriculum development, school reform, mentoring, classroom management, and assessment.|
|Reading in Content Areas||This class examines the reading process, including the relationship between listening and speaking, and reading and writing. Teacher candidates discuss practical strategies to reading and how these tactics can change depending on subject.|
|Fine Arts and Literature for Children and Adolescents||This course relates literature to art, music, drama, and dance. The class stresses the importance of the fine arts in an integrated curriculum. Educators learn how to use the arts to achieve positive learning outcomes.|
Certification & Licensing Needed to Become a Teacher in Delaware
In Delaware, teachers must hold a license and at least one standard certificate. The license authorizes the holder to teach in the state, while the certificate identifies what the holder is qualified to teach. The Delaware Department of Education issues three types of licenses based on experience.
New teachers who have less than four years of experience apply for an initial license, which requires a bachelor's or master's degree. Candidates must also pass an approved content readiness exam and a performance assessment. Teachers who previously held a Delaware teaching license that has since expired should apply as a new teacher. An initial license is valid for three years. After four years of teaching, educators can apply for a continuing license, which is valid for five years. Advanced licenses are available to teachers who have received national board certification through NBPTS. Starting with teachers certified in 2017, NBPTS will require renewal every five years instead of 10.
Teachers who previously held a Delaware teaching license that has since expired should apply as a new teacher.
To earn a standard certificate, teachers must prove they possess the prescribed knowledge, skill, or education to teach a particular subject or category of students. Educators can prove their expertise through six ways, including completing an approved educator preparation program, graduating from an NCATE specialty organization, or holding a bachelor's degree in the specific content area. Teachers apply for a standard certificate simultaneously with their initial license. Educators may apply for more than one certificate.
To apply for an initial Delaware teaching license and certificate, prospective teachers must provide official transcripts, proof of student teaching, test scores (Praxis core, Praxis II), and a copy of a valid out-of-state license (if applicable). The one-time, nonrefundable fee is less than $100, and the DDOE will reimburse the fee for teachers who find employment at one of Delaware's public schools.
Choosing a Degree Program in Delaware
Choosing an online degree program requires careful consideration. Before making a decision, students should consider a number of factors, including cost, school accreditation, transferability, and short-term and long-term goals. Many colleges and universities are expanding their online offerings, providing more diverse options for education students.
Distance education provides many benefits. Remote learning removes geographic barriers, which leads to a greater variety in programs and courses, since students can attend colleges anywhere in the country. Another consideration is cost. While some programs will charge all online students the same tuition regardless of residency, other programs offer lower rates for in-state students. Distance learners also avoid costs associated with commuting, on-campus activities, and room and board.
Students interested in an online teaching degree should check that their program meets certification requirements in Delaware. Distance learners should also research how student teaching works at their school. Will the school provide guidance when it comes to student teaching? Does the college or the student handle placement?
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Delaware?
To apply for a Delaware teaching certificate, teachers must earn a degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The Delaware Department of Education recognizes five in-state schools that meet certification standards for the state. Students should ensure they are taking the proper steps for licensure, including student teaching. Candidates should also meet all state-mandated testing requirements to qualify for teaching positions in Delaware.
Student teaching is a culminating, transformative experience for future teachers. It provides immersive learning and application in a classroom environment. Distance learners complete student teaching requirements at a school in their area. Students work with their adviser to find a suitable placement based on their major and focus area. Local school district officials make the final decisions based on school needs and the availability of mentors.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Delaware
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Delaware
With student debt in the U.S. soaring past $1.3 trillion, it's no secret that attending college is expensive. Students are as familiar with financial aid as they are with college costs, but they don't always explore every source of assistance. While most college-bound students will file a FAFSA for federal aid, there are also private scholarships, essay contests, and waiver programs at the local and state levels. Students should dedicate additional time to applying for awards during scholarship season in the spring.
The FAFSA qualifies you for federal student aid in the form of grants, work-study programs, and loans. It is imperative that students get their application in before the deadline. Many states and colleges use FAFSA information to determine their own financial awards.
There are several grants, scholarships, and fellowships exclusive to the field of education. For example, educators are eligible for the federal TEACH grant. Teaching associations and professional organizations also offer private awards. Optimize your chances of success by submitting your application early, closely following instructions, and applying to scholarships with fewer applicants.
Loan Forgiveness for Delaware Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs pay off outstanding student loan debt. Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, eligible teachers may receive forgiveness for up to $17,500 of their federal loans. The program is open to teachers who work full-time for five consecutive years at a school serving low-income families. The Department of Education maintains a list of schools that fall into this category. Another forgiveness program for teachers is the Federal Perkins Loan cancellation program, which forgives up to 100% of a Federal Perkins Loan for teachers who focus on special education, work in high-need schools, or teach a subject with a shortage.
In addition to federal programs, Delaware offers one in-state loan forgiveness program: the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program. As with the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, this option is open to highly qualified teachers who have served for at least five years in a high-need elementary or secondary school. To be considered, teachers must hold a four-year degree, possess full state certification, and never receive a waiver on a certification or licensure requirement. According to the State of Delaware, foreign language is the subject with the fewest highly qualified teachers. Consequently, teachers in this area are more likely to receive loan forgiveness.
Scholarships for Delaware Teaching Students
When applying for financial aid, don't forget to research scholarships at the local and state level. Students are more likely to receive awards from smaller scholarships and contests, field-specific grants, and local organizations. Scholarship season begins in earnest on February 1 and remains at its peak through April. During this time, you should dedicate yourself to perfecting your essays and beating deadlines.
Christopher K. Smith Memorial Future Teacher Scholarship $1,000
DASA Scholarship Competition $1,000
Alpha Delta Kappa Future Educator Scholarship $1,000
Woodbridge School District/Merritt Littrell Future Teachers Scholarship $1,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Delaware
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Teaching positions in Delaware pay about 1.5% more than the national average for teachers. In 2016-2017, the starting pay for Delaware teaching jobs was $41,415, the 13th highest rate in the country. Delaware compensates teachers according to a salary schedule that rewards experience and credentials. Thus, returning to school for an advanced degree would lead to higher salary potential in the state.
Salaries for Delaware teachers vary based on teaching level. Given that preschool teachers can enter the field with a two-year degree and minimum experience, it is unsurprising that they earn significantly less than K-12 teachers. Delaware elementary teachers earn the most money on average, though middle and secondary teachers earn a similar rate.
In Delaware, school districts may supplement teacher salaries with funds from local taxes, which puts metropolitan areas at an advantage. Rural areas in the state face challenges from turnover, difficulty increasing teacher salaries, and an ongoing teacher shortage. That said, the state's teacher gap has improved in recent years, and the Delaware Department of Labor projects growth across all grade levels by 2024. The DDOL projects that positions for teachers in elementary schools will grow by 9%.
|Elementary School Teachers||$60,810|
|Middle School Teachers||$59,160|
|Secondary School Teachers||$59,590|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Delaware
How do I get certified to teach in Delaware?
How much does an elementary school teacher make in Delaware?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Delaware?
How much does a teacher a year make in Delaware?
Resources for Teachers in Delaware
- Delaware Department of Education As the state education agency of Delaware, DDOE develops and enforces K-12 academic standards and instruction, as well as career-readiness standards for universities. The department assists educators in obtaining credentials and provides data analytics and timely reports on educational topics. Areas covered by DDOE reporting include best practices, recruitment, hiring, and professional growth.
- Delaware State Education Association Founded in 1919, this education trade union represents over 12,000 members, including K-12 classroom teachers, specialists, and education support professionals. For K-12 educators, DSEA provides resources, guides, certification help, and career advice. DSEA also hosts DPAS II-R, the system used to evaluate Delaware's teachers and specialists. The organization provides training in professional development, lesson planning, and motivation.
- Education Resource Center (University of Delaware) The ERC provides valuable resources and support for students pursuing Delaware teaching jobs. Resources include curriculum materials, classroom manipulatives, and tests. In-person services include SMARTboard training, assistive technology, and a library of more than 25,000 books for children and young adults.
- National Education Association NEA is a professional organization with more than three million members, including pre-K teachers and postsecondary professors. Since 1857, NEA has advocated on behalf of educators and children to promote excellence in public schools. NEA offers resources such as tools for classroom management.
- National Center for Education Statistics Formed in 1867, the NCES collects, analyzes, and reports data related to education and public school finance in the United States. In its reports, the federal entity also compares U.S. education statistics with other nations. Educators may access information on all educational topics. The website features reports, statistics, and information on assessments, associations, graduation rates, and school culture.