How to Become a Teacher in San Diego

San Diego Unified School District employs teachers who meet the necessary qualifications including compliance with No Child Left Behind. Teachers must also possess a bachelor’s degree, complete a teacher preparation program, and pass the relevant California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) and the basic skills exam (CBEST). Certified teachers can apply for positions through the San Diego Unified School District’s website or can attend an Application Submission Workshop, which provides information on applying and working for one of California’s largest school districts.

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San Diego School District Requirements

San Diego Unified School District, the second largest school district in California, requires all prospective teachers to hold a California teaching certificate and to complete the application process, which includes:

  1. Create an account on the school district’s website.
  2. Fill out an application. Applicants must be prepared to provide information on educational background, criminal history (if applicable), and non-teaching work experience.
  3. Selected candidates may be invited for an interview.

The San Diego Unified School District also holds Application Submission Workshops periodically, which instructs prospective applicants on the application process, including what to expect when working with the school district.

Elementary teachers in California must obtain the appropriate certification which then allows the teacher to teach multiple subjects to students in grades kindergarten through 12. To earn elementary certification, elementary teachers must successfully pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET), CBEST, the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment, and complete an approved multiple subject teaching program at a college or university.

Secondary teachers, who specialize in a single content area, must meet such requirements as passing the CSET and CBEST, and successfully completing an approved content program at a college or university.

Substitute teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree and pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). Prospective substitute teachers can apply for an emergency 30 day substitute teaching permit. The permit, which is valid for a year and must be renewed annually, allows substitutes to teach in any of the 42 schools in San Diego County. However, substitutes can only teach for a maximum of 30 days in the same classroom.

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San Diego Teacher Certification Requirements

Prospective teachers in San Diego, California, must complete an approved teacher education program in California or in another state to be eligible for certification. Students currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program may be eligible to complete a paying internship, which provides in-classroom experience. To learn more about certification requirements to teach in San Diego, please visit our California’s teacher certification page.

Those aspiring teachers who possess a bachelor’s degree not in education can earn certification through an alternate route by enrolling in a teacher preparation program and simultaneously working as a district intern. See our California alternative teacher certification page to learn more.

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Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in San Diego

Private and charter schools in San Diego may have additional requirements for prospective teachers. The Children’s School, for example, requires second grade teachers to have a minimum of two years of teaching experience, to possess teacher certification, and a masters degree is preferred. An eighth grade teacher at Old Town Academy K-8 Charter School must have certification in multiple subject areas in California and must have taught as a lead teacher of seventh and eighth grade students for a minimum of a year.

Private and Charter Schools in San Diego

Private schools in San Diego include The Waldorf School of San Diego, Francis Parker School, Montessori School of San Diego, and Child’s Primary School.

Charter School of San Diego, San Diego Cooperative Charter School, Darnall Charter School, and Harriet Tubman Village Charter School are among the charter schools in San Diego.

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Job Boards for Catholic, Private, and Charter schools in San Diego

California Association of Independent Schools
Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
California Charter Schools Association
Public Charter Schools Job Board

Additional Resources for Teaching in San Diego, California

San Diego Unified School District
San Diego Education Association
California Teachers Association