Iowa follows a system with a number of different licenses, so your background and education will determine exactly which one is right for you. For most teachers, you will fall under a Class A license, Initial license or the Exchange license.

Through the Iowa Class A License, you can be certified to teach while still completing your requirements. Essentially, you need to have completed a preparation program, but can still be working on your Iowa required components and human relations component. If you have completed all of your requirements, including a baccalaureate degree, teacher preparation program, human relations component, teaching endorsement, and have done all of this within Iowa’s residency requirement, you will qualify for a two-year Initial license. Out of state teachers must qualify for an Exchange license, which requires that you have completed all of the requirements for an Initial license, excepting Iowa-specific components, and hold a valid teaching license from your state with no disciplinary actions pending. The Iowa Board of Education also offers an Alternative Licensure which allows individuals with a baccalaureate degree to become a high school teacher, provided you have completed coursework requirements for a secondary teaching endorsement, have three years of post-baccalaureate work experience, and have completed the introductory teacher intern program.

Iowa offers a wide variety of school districts to choose from, in cities such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Sioux City. Teach Iowa provides a service that allows teachers to register and search for teaching jobs throughout Iowa.

Renewing your Iowa teaching license is fairly easy, as Initial license holders are only required to have completed their two years of teaching experience while holding the license. The same requirements stand for converting your Initial license to a more permanent Standard license, however, Iowa requires that you provide evidence of competence in the eight Iowa teaching standards. Once you possess a Standard license, every 5 years you will be required to complete six credits of courses that are either applicable to your teaching endorsement or a different Iowa endorsement that you plan to hold in the future. You may also earn credits through Iowa staff development courses or approved activities, as well as achieving National Board Certification. Educators with five years of teaching experience and a master’s degree in an educational field may qualify for a Master Educator license, which requires 4 credits every five years. When renewing any Iowa license, you will be required to verify that you have completed an approved Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Training within the past five years.

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