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Becoming a Teacher

Elvis Elvis

Becoming a Teacher is a life long process. Delivering effective instruction to students is an ever changing artform referred to as Pedagogy. Teaching is one of the most wonderfully difficult adventures that a person can take. But, becoming a teacher requires character and strength.

Each state has its own regulations dictating what qualifies an individual as a certified educator. The State of California has some of the most rigours requirments in the nation. This is both positive and negative. On one hand, your professional development as a teacher will take longer and be more expensive. On the other hand, a fully certificated California Teacher is highly marketable in most other states.

In California, a teaching Candidate must first be in possession of at least a Bachelor’s degree, in mostly any subject area, from an accredited university. Your degree must be free and clear of all holds. This is the first step in becoming a teacher.

Becoming a Teacher

Second, a teaching Candidate must take and pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test, or CBEST. This test is to show proficiency in the most basic subject matter as dictated by Calfornia standards. The test consists of mathematics, reading, and writing. It is written at a high elementary to low middle school grade level. Sounds simple…right? Well, most people forget the rules that govern basic math and grammar. Therefore, many people do not pass the CBEST. In my experience, and in speaking with other teachers, there are a few books that will help you review and pass the CBEST. You can find them usually discounted. Wal-Mart sometimes carries the books. Books at Wal-Mart

TextbookX is also another great company that sells many books discounted and might have a wider selection of CBEST preparation books. TextbookX.com Purchasing a CBEST preparation book has helped many pass the test. It is a great way to be refreshed with rules that we have long forgotten. But this is your second step in becoming a teacher!

For more information about this test, visit California Department of Education


To be eligible to teach, you must also pass another assessment. This assessment has recently changed in name in requirement. The Multiple Subject Skills Test or MSAT is now referred to as the CSET, or the California Subject Examinations Test. The MSAT/CSET is your third step in becoming a teacher. This test is much more rigorous the the CBEST. It is truly the divider for becoming a teacher. It consists of all content areas of teaching, from science, to health, language arts, art, and so on.

The test will also assess single subject content areas for middle school and high school teachers. So, if you are only teaching Mathematics, you would only have to take and pass the Mathematics single subject test. But, do not believe that becoming a teacher in the high school or middle school is any easier than becoming a elementary school teacher. These assessments are just as CHALLENGING!

There are many books and preparation kits availible to assist you in passing this test. I not only recommend that you purchase a book or kit to pass this assessment, but also taking a preparation course. The test is truly that difficult. You can preparation books and kits at Alibris, TextbookX.com, Books at Wal-Mart

You are given five hours to take the test. I needed every second of the five hours. Nevertheless, I passed. And passing this will allow you an intership for teaching, which will get you in the classroom and also get you paid.


Not out of the woods yet on your road to becoming a teacher. After passing the MSAT/CSET, you can enroll in an University Internship Program for Teaching Credentials, step four in becoming a teacher. Most Universities offer a credential program through their graduate Department of Education.

Despite taking your credential courses, you must also pass the RICA, or Reading Instruction Competency Assessment. Yes, becoming a teacher involves a slew of assessments. Most individuals who are seeking licensing to teaching must take this assessment. It ensures that you are able to teach reading and writing. And before you are issued a teaching credential you MUST past this test. Thus, this is your last step in becoming a teacher. Well sort of…More to come later!

In many ways it is even more challenging that the CSET/MSAT. It is my highest recommendation that you not only purchase BOOKS to practice in order to pass, but do not attempt to pass the RICA until you have taken the Reading Instruction course as part of your credential program. Once again,Alibris, TextbookX.com, Books at Wal-Mart, all provide books and other materials to pass the RICA.

Becoming a teacher does not happen over night. It is a prcocess. It involves growth and development in a wide range of subject matter.