Michigan Teacher Certification: Advice From a Real Teacher

So you want to teach in Michigan? We’ve got you.

Teachers can teach practically anywhere. So why not teach somewhere that is vacation-worthy? Here’s how to and why you should get your Michigan teacher certification.

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Why I Got My Michigan Teacher Certification

Over 100 million tourists flock to Michigan every year, and who can blame them?

Have you seen one of those Pure Michigan commercials narrated by the state’s own Tim Allen? Here is one to help jog your memory or get you up to speed:

Sigh. I could watch that on repeat.


Except I don’t have to. Because I live here!

Want in on a secret? I’m one of those teachers who thought, “Why not live where we vacation every summer?”

After the pandemic, my husband began working from home, so I could teach anywhere that would hire me. And I found a principal in Michigan who did. So we packed up the house, and after living in the same state for 40ish years, we headed north.

If you have an itch to do the same, I’m happy to be your guide. Let’s dig in to how to get certified to teach in Michigan.

How To Get Certified To Teach in Michigan

Educated Educators Teach in Michigan

Here’s the scoop. You need to have a degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in order to teach here. Additionally, elementary educators must successfully complete six hours of reading courses, and secondary teachers need to complete three hours of reading courses.

You will also need to complete a state-approved teaching preparation program to boot. This program is really important because it will give you the classroom and teaching experience that is essential for later success as an all-star teacher. Pro tip: Make sure that the program includes student teaching, because nothing can replace that real-world experience.

If you go the “traditional route,” meaning you go into college with the intent of becoming a teacher, then all of the coursework and teacher prep is going to be built into the degree.

But not all of us know what we want to do with our lives in our late teens or early twenties. This is why there is an “expedited pathway.”

Fast-Track Certification To Teach in Michigan

The “expedited pathway,” also called an “alternative route,” is for someone who already has a degree, and maybe even a job in another field, and has since realized that they would like to become a teacher. At the same time, they would also like to work in order to, you know, pay the rent and put food on the table.

Several Michigan colleges and universities offer expedited programs. The programs embed the required coursework, including the reading courses, all within their structure.

The Michigan Test for Teachers

Once the coursework is out of the way, it is time to pass the certification exam. The exam is called the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). The MTTC covers all general education knowledge expected of a candidate, as well as subject-specific material relevant to the teaching position the candidate aims to land.

Think of this test as your ticket to the classroom!

In general, students will need to have passed at least 90% of their course load before they attempt the test.

The MTTC registration site includes all the study materials that one might need to ace this test. Do make use of them! This isn’t a process that anybody wants to go through twice.

Michigan Online Educator Certification System

You’ve done the coursework. You have passed the exam. Only one thing remains to be done: Get certified!

The Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) site is where you can grab your initial teaching license. It’s also the place to go when you need what’s called SCECH.

SCECH stands for State Continuing Education Clock Hours. In addition to working full-time as a teacher, you will be asked to complete 150 hours of continuing education. Don’t panic! The school district that you work for will likely provide enough built-in opportunities for you to earn these hours during the school year. But if they don’t, you can find SCECH opportunities through MOECS.

Michigan teachers are in high demand, which is awesome! Finding a job will be easy-peasy, but make sure to do your homework. You want a job that feels right so that you can do your very best work.

Michigan Educator Job Boards

First, check out the following job boards:

This list is just a springboard to get you started. Keep in mind that there are so many wonderful job opportunities for teachers beyond the traditional classroom. Teachers are needed in parks, museums, publishing houses, and government roles. The list goes on.

Before accepting your first job offer, do your homework. Choose wisely. The world is your oyster. We are rooting for you! There is no doubt that you will find a job that you love as much as it loves you!

Plus, check out 39 Famous People From Michigan.

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Teachers are needed in classrooms everywhere. Have you thought about getting your Michigan teacher certification? Here is a guide to help you.