How to Become a Teacher in Idaho

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If you want to find a rewarding career that will allow you to positively impact your community then there's no better option than becoming a teacher. Educators have the unique opportunity to foster curiosity and encourage learning, and there's nothing more positive than that.

Follow these steps to learn exactly how to become a teacher in Idaho.

Choose What You Want to Teach

Would you like to work with middle school students or high school students? Do you like teaching foundational skills at the elementary school level? Do you want to teach children with special needs? The decision is yours. Before you go any further, you should have a good idea of what level or subject you would like to teach. Each specialty area has specific requirements. If you are still not sure, the Idaho State Department of Education has information on students, parents, and schools in the state.

Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in Idaho

To become a professional teacher in Idaho, you must obtain at least a bachelor's degree in education. You will also need to successfully complete a state board-approved teacher preparation program. The curriculum of the preparation program is specifically based off of what level you choose to teach.

If you do not have a Bachelor's Degree yet, do not worry. Many colleges and universities offer Bachelor's Degrees that are part of educator preparation programs. These specific programs combine the courses that you will need for a Bachelor's Degree as well as for a teacher preparation program. In other words, blended programs allow individuals to become a teacher faster and more efficiently.

Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

To become a certified teacher in Idaho, you will be expected to complete a teacher preparation program.

Teachers in Idaho are able to prove that they are highly qualified to teach through the completion of a teacher education program. Courses in these programs often focus on differentiated instruction, subject-based teaching methods, classroom management strategies, multiple measures for assessment, pedagogy, and more. Another aspect of the program is fieldwork. You can expect to participate in student teaching and/or interning. As a student teacher, you will have the opportunity to actually experience teaching. Student teachers work in a classroom with a mentor teacher in order to master their skills as a teacher.

If you already have a Bachelor's Degree, you can complete a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program. This alternative program will take you down the correct path toward earning proper teaching certification. If interested, your school may even have a joint Master's Degree and certificate of teaching program.

Alternative Teacher Certification in Idaho

There are several alternate routes to teacher certification in Idaho. Many of the alternative paths will give you the ability to immediately teach under a Temporary Certificate.

Idaho Provisional Teacher Authorization

In Idaho, Provisional Authorization allows school districts to request an emergency authorization to hire a candidate who is not appropriately certified. However, provisional Authorization usually applies after attempts to hire an appropriately certificated person have failed.

Content Specialist Authorization

Content Specialist Authorization offers an accelerated route to certification for candidates who are highly qualified in a "high needs" subject area. For this authorization, the hiring school district must have an identified need for teachers in that area.

Teacher to New Certification/Endorsement Authorization

Teacher to New Certification/Endorsement Authorization allows an Idaho school district/charter to hire an individual who holds a valid Idaho credential to serve in a position for which the candidate does not hold the applicable certificate/endorsement. For this authorization, the district must show the candidate is otherwise qualified to serve in the position while working toward obtaining the proper certificate/endorsement.

Idaho Interim Teaching Certificate

If you have a license to teach in another state, you may be eligible for certification in Idaho as well through an Idaho Interim Certificate. The State Department of Education is can issue an interim certificate to applicants who already have a valid teaching certificate. This interim certificate can be valid for up to three years.

Pass the Tests Required for Teacher Certification in Idaho

Basic Skills

Certified teacher in Idaho are required to pass a basic skills test, which measures a candidate's skills in basic reading, writing, and math. This exam can be fulfilled by taking the CORE Academic Skills for Educators Test.

Subject Tests

Aspiring teachers must also pass a subject knowledge verification exam. The Praxis II exam can be taken to fulfill this requirement. However, it is very important for the candidate to take the test that applies to the specific area of certification. The test includes multiple choice questions as well as well as several essay questions.

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Apply for your Idaho Teacher Certification

Application Requirements

You will be required by the Department of Education to submit these forms when you apply to become an Idaho educator:

  • Completed and signed application form
  • Non-refundable $75 application fee
  • Completed fingerprint card (if applicable)
  • Completed institutional recommendation
  • Official Praxis II assessment score
  • Official college transcript(s)
  • Copies of any teaching certificates you have (if applicable)
  • Official statement of status eligibility
  • Records of employment (if applicable)

Contact Information

Idaho Department of Education
650 West State Street
PO Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0027
Phone: (800) 432-4601

Find a Teaching Job in Idaho

Once you have completed the above steps, you will be ready to take on the world of education. You will be ready to begin your teaching career and to make an impact on the lives of children in the state of Idaho!

Public School Teaching Jobs in Idaho

The state of Idaho has partnered with idaho.schoolspring.com in order to ensure that the state's students have a pool of qualified educators from which to draw. Given that many subject areas and localities are experiencing a high need for certified teachers, teachers are encouraged to investigate loan forgiveness and grant awards for pursuing a teaching career in designated areas. Upon retirement, teachers draw a pension from the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI). All state employees are automatically members by law.

AFT and IEA

Once hired, teachers may become part of the Idaho Federation of Teachers (AFT) or the Idaho Education Association (IEA). Although unions in the state have seen a decline in recent years, the organizations exist to lend a voice to teachers who need advocacy.

Private School Teaching Jobs in Idaho

Teachers may also pursue a career or contract in one of Idaho's 243 private schools. Several of Idaho's private schools have religious affiliations, some are gender-segregated, and some specialize in accelerated learning. Teachers may enjoy a lower student to teacher ratio in such an environment.

Teacher Shortage in Idaho by Subjects or Discipline (2021-2022)

The following list of teacher shortage areas in Idaho has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2021-2022 school year:

  • English 5-9, 6-12
  • Special Education, Exceptional Children K-12
  • History 6-12
  • American Government 6-12
  • Biological Sciences 6-12
  • Chemistry 6-12
  • Chinese 6-12
  • Communications 6-12
  • Career and Technical Education (Agricultural Science and Technology, Business Technology, Culinary Arts, Family and Consumer Science, Graphics and Printing, Graphics Communication, Health and Medical Occupations, Technology Preparation, Broadcast Sciences) 6-12
  • Special Education, Deaf/Hearing Impairment K-12
  • Earth and Space Science 5-12
  • Economics 6-12
  • ESOL K-12
  • Health Science 5-12
  • Basic and Advanced Mathematics 5-12
  • Music K-12
  • Physical Education K-12
  • Physical Science 6-12
  • Physics 6-12
  • Psychology 6-12
  • Social Studies 5-12
  • Spanish K-12
  • Theatre/Visual and Performing Arts 6-12
  • Special Education, Visual Impairment K-12

Number of Public and Private School Teachers By Grade

The following Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) table highlights the number of teachers in Idaho in both private and public schools, by grade level, as of May 2020:

Grade Level Number of Teachers
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 1,770
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 8,050
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,600
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 5,680
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 630
Special Education Teachers, Middle School 110
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School -

Continue your Education and Professional Development

The state of Idaho strongly endorses and support professional development for the state's educators and administrators. Under state guidelines, professional development opportunities are challenging, data-driven, and thought provoking for teachers looking to expand their practice and meet today's student achievement goals. Professional development offers the opportunity for collegial learning.

PDs are differentiated by the experience and needs of teachers and administrators. The state is clear that professional development is meant to occur over time and has a self-reflective components.

Professional Development in Idaho

The state of Idaho has a number of initiatives designed to assist teachers with their professional development. Part of their strategic development is the emphasis of technology in the classroom. There is a push for technology to be both teacher-driven and student-driven. In addition to the state offering professional development courses to support classroom learning, a number of Idaho universities provide relevant teacher professional development opportunities. Among them are Idaho State University and Boise State University. Teachers are encouraged to contact the Department of Education through their school channel, as well as contacting post-secondary institutions in order to stay informed of relevant offerings.

The Benefits of Earning a Master's Degree in Education or Teaching to Qualify for the Master Educator Credential and Earn a Higher Salary

Idaho is a state that has gotten serious about rewarding teachers for their professionalism and quality in recent years. In 2015, the legislator passed House Bill 296, creating the Master Educator premium program to encourage professional development among Idaho teachers.

The designation has five components teachers are expected to be able to demonstrate in order to qualify:

  • Leadership
  • Professional Collaboration and Partnership
  • Students and Learning Environment
  • Content, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Professional Growth

Of these, the Professional Growth component can be met by pursuing or having already attained a master's degree in the field.

Earning a Master's in Education or Teaching Increases Your Earning Potential in Idaho

Earning the Master Educator designation is a fast way to boost your salary: you'll get a $4,000 premium per year on top of your normal salary.

The best part of this is that many districts in the state, such as Boise Independent School District, also reward teachers with a master's degree by putting them in a higher salary track. In Boise, that puts you in the Class V Index, which, as of the 2020-2021 school year, meant a minimum of $1,195 per year to master's degree educators. These are cumulative with the Master Educator premium, making it even more financially rewarding to earn a master's degree.

Even better, you can use your studies to keep your license current along the way. Idaho requires six semester credits of professional development in order to renew your license (which will expire every five years), at least three of which must be transcripted. In order to apply, those credits must be tied to a content area endorsement recognized by the state, or otherwise related to pedagogical best practices or school leadership.

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May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends for elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, secondary school teachers, preschool teachers, teaching assistants, special education preschool teachers, special education elementary school teachers, special education middle school teachers, and special education secondary teachers. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

Data accessed June 2021.

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