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Ohio elementary school teacher showing students how to build fun structures using colorful building blocks

If you’re a prospective or aspiring elementary school teacher in Ohio, you’ll be working in one of the most important and influential jobs. On a day-to-day basis, you will help guide young minds, build the next generation, and pass on fundamental skills your students will use for the rest of their lives.

You’re also looking at relatively stable job security and potential career growth. There’s a nationwide teacher shortage, including in Ohio. Educator attrition rates are high, and projections indicate that thousands of new Ohio teacher jobs will open each year.

Are you wondering how to get started with your elementary school teacher certification or how to pivot to teaching if you’re currently in a different industry?

Here’s how to become an elementary teacher in Ohio, including key resources, program specifications, and the need-to-know elementary school teacher requirements in Ohio.

Start Here: Complete a High-Quality, Accredited Teacher Preparation Program

Because teachers serve such important roles, you need stellar training to help you meet all of the qualifications for elementary school teaching.

The Ohio Department of Education oversees all teacher licensing and requires future educators to achieve a bachelor’s degree from a regionally and nationally accredited higher education institution. Ohio also provides oversight, ensuring its accredited elementary education degree programs are solid options.

This helps you have more confidence in your teacher preparation program. MVNU Online and its Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Elementary Education program (and related master’s degree program) are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Our online elementary education degree program is also recognized by the Ohio Department of Education as a qualifying program for teacher preparation, meaning it prepares students for the challenges of modern classrooms. When you sign up for our programs, you’ll receive training in pedagogy, subject-level instruction, classroom management, curriculum development, and other key concepts. Additionally, ODHE and Ohio Revised Code HLC standards require all elementary education degree candidates to complete a minimum of 12 weeks of student teaching. This provides invaluable real-world experience for students preparing to enter the job market.

Are you wondering how to pivot from another field? If you have previously completed a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you may pursue an alternative route to teacher certification by transferring lower-division credits.

Next Step: Pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators

Earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education also prepares students to complete the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE). If you’re seeking a career in elementary school teaching, you must earn a passing score to pursue licensure and find employment within Ohio school systems.

The OAE exam is divided into two parts: pedagogical skill and content-area knowledge. The assessment you will complete includes various question types, including multiple choice and short answer.

To schedule an assessment, test takers must register online, pay a registration fee, and adhere to all testing center policies. Accommodations are available for test takers with documented disabilities and those who do not speak English as a primary language.

Ensure You’ve Completed All Mandated Screenings

Schools should be safe places for all children.

If you’re an Ohio teacher, a crucial part of your job will be to support that goal. You’ll receive safety training to ensure this, but you’ll also need to undergo screenings. This helps school districts know that their teachers meet the highest standards for conduct.

The Ohio Department of Education requires that all applicants for licensure undergo state and federal background checks to confirm the absence of a criminal record. You will also need to complete fingerprinting via WebCheck®. The Ohio Attorney General’s office provides a directory of open WebCheck stations and open sheriff's office WebCheck locations to simplify this process.

Submit an Application for Licensure to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Ohio

Do you think you’ve met all of the elementary teacher license requirements?

Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree that meets the elementary education degree requirements in Ohio, completed the OAE exam, and undergone background screenings, you may submit an application to the Office of Educator Licensure to start the Ohio elementary teacher certification process.

This application must be completed online via the Department of Education. It can take several months to finalize. This means you should begin the process as soon as possible before seeking employment.

You will need to provide several important documents to submit a licensure application. These documents include:

  • Verification of a completed background check and fingerprinting.
  • Official transcripts for your bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
  • Proof of completion of a teacher preparation program at an accredited school.
  • Passing OAE scores.
  • A completed application for teaching certification in Ohio.

You will be asked to provide a non-refundable processing fee at the time of submission. There may also be questions related to past work history, military service, previous licensing, and any criminal history. Applicants who begin the process without all necessary documentation may pause their application and return to complete it later.

Once approved, you will be a fully licensed elementary education teacher eligible for employment in public, charter, and private schools throughout Ohio.

There’s More: Further Elementary School Teacher Requirements in Ohio

After you receive your license and are eligible to teach in Ohio, you’ll need to commit to ongoing professional development. This isn’t just a nice-to-have; Ohio requires it. Whether you fulfill these requirements by completing further coursework or attending workshops on the latest educational strategies, this is a great way to stay current with trends and best practices. If you want to elevate your education career with a more specialized license, that’s something to keep on the back burner.

Although this may not be the first thing on your mind when you’re working toward your initial licensure, it is something to be aware of as you move forward.

Have You Met All of the Ohio Teaching License Requirements for Elementary School?

Are you interested in becoming a certified elementary school teacher in Ohio?

Are you compelled by the teacher shortage, inspired to support education in your community, or intrigued by projections that indicate more than 4,000 annual job openings for Ohio educators through 2030 (and nearly 11,000 more total jobs through 2032)?

Tomorrow’s educators should begin their journey with a comprehensive, accredited teacher preparation program to set themselves up for success. As a starting point, that program should meet all elementary school teacher requirements in Ohio.

The bachelor’s degree in elementary education from MVNU offers the only primarily online program of its kind in Ohio, allowing adult students to balance family and work with the demands of meeting Ohio teacher certification requirements.

Want to discover which education program is right for you? We have a guide to help.

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