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What Can I Teach with My License?

The following sections answer many common questions we receive regarding what teaching assignments are allowed with various teaching licenses and subject codes:

Bilingual and ESL

Bilingual Education

Bilingual Education (023/1023) is a supplemental license allowing teachers to teach subjects for which they hold licenses in two languages.

Examples:

  • A teacher who holds a Mathematics (400/1400) license for Early Adolescence – Adolescence (73) with Bilingual License can teach Mathematics in two languages to children ages 10-21.
  • A teacher who holds a Regular Education (777/1777) license for Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence (72) with Bilingual License can teach core academic subject areas covered by the regular education license (mathematics, social studies, language arts, and science) in two languages to children ages 6-12.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL (395/1395) license allows the license holder to teach the English language to English Language Learners while supporting core academic subject instruction provided by the classroom teacher at the grade or developmental level specified on the license.


Please see our ESL, Bilingual/Bicultural, and World Languages guidance document for a useful chart that identifies the programs that can be taught to English language learners (ELL) with different teacher licenses.

Computer Science

A Computer Science (405/1405) license is required to teach computer science courses. Computer science spans a wide range of computing endeavors, from theoretical foundations to robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, and bioinformatics. The work of computer scientists is concentrated in three areas:

  • designing and implementing software,
  • developing effective ways to solve computing problems, and
  • devising new ways to use computers.

The original definition of computer science was provided in the original ACM/CSTA Model Curriculum for K–12 Computer Science and has the most direct relevance to high school computer science education. “Computer science (CS) is the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society.”

Criteria that make a course a Computer Science course:

  • Algorithmic Problem Solving: Systematic study algorithms or processes that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information.
  • Applications development: Applications development and applications design through coding, programming, and software engineering.
  • Computational Design and Computational Intelligence: Study of the design of computational systems, understanding how computational systems work and hands-on application of mathematical processes within computational systems.
  • Computational Thinking: Scientific and practical approach to computation and its application.
  • Management Information Systems: Study of the access to information generated through computer systems (programming, databases, application development)-coding, database development, and the understanding of the applications used for computational processing and applications development.

For more information, see the Computer Science Guidance Document and "Other Computer-Related Courses" below. 

Other Computer-Related Courses

A Computer Science license (405/1405) is not required to teach all computer-related courses. The teacher license required for each course is based on student standards upon which the course is based. For example:

Computer Graphics

  • If the class is for business education credit, a Business Education (250/1250 or 251/1251) license is required.
  • If the class is for technical education credit, a Technical Education (220/1220) license is required.
  • If the class is for art credit, an Art (550/1550) license is required.

Computer Applications/Literacy

  • Computer application/literacy courses within specific disciplines may be taught by any teacher licensed in that discipline.
  • Any licensed Regular Education (777/1777) elementary teacher may teach computer literacy to his or her own self-contained classroom at the grade levels of the elementary education license.

Keyboarding

Keyboarding taught in grades 7-12 must be taught by a licensed Business Education (250/1250 or 251/1251) teacher, OR a business education teacher with Keyboarding (previously typewriting) (265/1265) license.

Keyboarding taught in grades lower than 7 must be taught using the following options:

  1. a business education teacher licensed for K-12
  2. a licensed elementary teacher instructing his or her own self-contained classroom
  3. a team consisting of a business education teacher licensed for grades 7-12 and the classroom teacher
Elementary Education and 4K

A license in Regular Education or Elementary Education allows the license holder to teach any subject in a self-contained classroom, except a foreign language, within the grade or developmental range as specified on the license.

A license in Regular Education or Elementary Education also allows the license holder to teach the following subjects in a departmentalized or other school organization pattern within the grade or developmental range as specified on the license: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health.

A license in a discrete content field is required if the content course is offered for graduation credit. Please see this link for reference https://dpi.wi.gov/cal/middle-school-credit

 

Early Childhood/Four-Year-Old Kindergarten

Four-year-old kindergarten can be taught by an educator who holds an Early Childhood license or an Elementary Education license that includes prekindergarten or kindergarten in the grade levels of the license.

Music and Dance

500/1500 Music (all) (for program completers before 1982)

The license holder may teach any music subject in grades K-12.

505/1505 Music (instrumental)

The license holder may teach all band and orchestral instruments and ensembles made up of these instruments in grades K-12.

The license holder may teach general music in grades 7-12.

506/1506 Instrumental Music

The license holder may teach all band and orchestral instruments and ensembles made up of these instruments in grades K-12.

The license holder may also teach individual or small group instruction on band or orchestral instruments and enrichment courses in music theory or conducting.

510/1510 Music (vocal)

The license holder may teach choral and general music grades K-12.

511/1511 Choral Music

The license holder may teach large and small choral ensembles plus voice and vocal techniques.

The license holder may also teach secondary level enrichment courses in music theory or conducting.

515/1515 General Music – Grades K-6:

The license holder may teach classroom music plus large and small choral ensembles.

The license holder may also instruct on fretted instruments, keyboard, melodic percussion (steel drums), and rhythm instruments.

515/1515 General Music – Grades 7-12:

The license holder may teach all music courses other than band, orchestral, or choral performing groups. Included are such courses as music theory, conducting, music history, fretted instruments, electronic music, keyboard, humanities, allied arts, folk music, music appreciation, et cetera.

536/1536 Dance

A discrete course in dance can only be taught by an educator who holds a license in Dance (536/1536) with the appropriate grade or developmental level as specified on the license.

An educator who holds a Physical Education (530/1530) license can teach a unit of dance within a physical education course.

2500 Music - grades K-12 (effective in rule August 1, 2018)

The license holder may teach any music subject in grades K-12.

Reading and Language Arts

Reading Teacher (316/1316)

A Reading Teacher license is required for the following:

  1. An assignment to teach reading for more than one class per day.
  2. An assignment to teach reading in a Title 1 reading program.
  3. An assignment to teach in a reading recovery program, if not part of a self-contained classroom.

A Reading Teacher license is not required for the following:

  • An assignment to teach reading that is part of a regular self-contained classroom.
  • As assignment to teach reading that is integrated as part of content courses (i.e. reading in the content area).

Reading Specialist (17/5017)

A Reading Specialist license is a license in the administrative category. A Reading Specialist license is required for someone who directs reading programs or works with reading teachers, classroom teachers, administrators, and others as a resource teacher in reading. 

Broadfield Language Arts (301/1301)

The Broadfield Language Arts license holder (for program completers 9/1/2004 - present) may teach any language arts subject at the Early Adolescence – Adolescence level, up through grade 10, and any basic or fusion language arts subject in grades 11-12 that is NOT:

  1. A semester-long discrete course in a PI 34 language arts category (e.g. Speech Communication, Journalism, or English)
  2. An honors, International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced Placement (AP) course
  3. Part of the college preparatory sequence and/or an elective course with more depth of content than basic courses.

To teach a course under criteria 1, 2, or 3 above, the teacher must hold a license based on completion of at least a concentration in that subject area.

Science

600/1600 Science (all) (for program completers before 7/1/1980)

The license holder may teach any science subjects in the 600 range at the grade levels specified on the license.

601/1601 Broadfield Science (for program completers 7/1/1980 – 8/31/2004)

The license holder may teach any science subjects up through grade 9 (within the grade levels specified on the license).

The license holder may teach science for grades 10-12 EXCEPT discrete courses in Biology (605/1605), Chemistry (610/1610), Physics (625/1625) and Earth/Space Science (635/1635).

601/1601 Broadfield Science (for program completers 8/31/2004 – present)

The license holder may teach any science subjects at the early adolescence – adolescence level, up through grade 10, and any basic or fusion science class in grades 11-12 that is NOT:

  • A semester-long discrete course in a PI 34 science category (e.g. Life and Environmental Science (606/1606))
  • An honors, International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced Placement (AP) course
  • Part of the college preparatory sequence and/or an elective course with more depth of content than basic courses.

To teach a course under criteria a, b, or c above, the teacher must hold a license based on completion of at least a concentration in that subject area.

27 (Grade 7-12) - 620/1620 General Science

The license holder may teach any science subject for grades 7-8.

The license holder may teach General Science (620/1620) for grade 9.

The license holder may teach General Science (620/1620) for grades 10-12.

37 (Grades 6-9) – 621/1621 Science

The license holder may teach any science subject for grades 6-8.

The license holder may teach General Science (620/1620) for grade 9, including for high school credit.

46 (Grades 1-9) – 621/1621 Science

The license holder may teach any science subject for grades 1-8.

The license holder may teach General Science (610/1610) for grade 9, including for high school credit.

635/1635 Earth/Space Science

The license holder may teach Earth/Space Science (635/1635) including Astronomy (627/1627) and Geology (636/1636).

2600 Science - grades K-12 (effective in rule August 1, 2018)

The license holder may teach any science subject in grades K-12.

Social Studies

700/1700 Social Studies (all) (for program completers before 7/1/1972)

The license holder may teach any social studies subject in 700/1700 range at the grade levels specified on the license, EXCEPT Psychology (740/1740) and Religion (755/1755).

701/1701 Broadfield Social Studies (for program completers 7/1/1972 – 8/31/2004)

The license holder may teach any social studies subject up through grade 9 within grade levels specified on the license.

The license holder may teach fusion social studies courses for grades 10-12. Fusion courses are those drawn from several of the social studies disciplines such as American problems, civics, social problems, vital issues, et cetera.

701/1701 Broadfield Social Studies (for program completers 8/31/2004 – present)

The license holder may teach any social studies subject at the early adolescence – adolescence level, up through grade 10, and any basic or fusion social studies subject in grades 11-12 that is NOT:

  • A semester-long discrete course in a PI 34 social studies category (e.g. Psychology)
  • An honors, International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced Placement (AP) course
  • Part of the college preparatory sequence and/or an elective course with more depth of content than basic courses

To teach a course under criteria a, b, or c above, the teacher must hold a license based on completion of at least a concentration in that subject area. 

2700 Social Studies - grades K-12 (effective in rule August 1, 2018)

The license holder may teach any social studies in grades K-12.

Special Education

Special Education 

 

801/1801: Cross-categotical special education

A Cross-Categorical Special Education license with a concentration in learning disability, intellectual disability and/or emotional behavior disability allows the license holder to provide special education services to a student with a disability per the individual student IEP. The exception is for student IEPs that require the following services: occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language, audiology, orientation & mobility, visual impairment (VI), deaf or hard of hearing (DHH), and educational interpreter.

825/1825 or 805/1805: Deaf and Hard of Hearing OR Visual Impairment:

Students with a visual impairment or students who are deaf or hard of hearing require the services of an educator qualified to meet their vision and/or hearing needs. However, when the above students receive special education services outside of VI or DHH, a teacher with a Learning Disabilities, Emotional-Behavioral Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, or Cross-Categorical license may be the appropriate person to provide additional services.

2801: K-12 Special Education:

The license allows the holder to provide special education services to a student with a disability per the individual student IEP within the grade or developmental level of the license. The exception is for student IEPs that require the following services: occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language, audiology, orientation & mobility, visual impairment (VI), deaf or hard of hearing (DHH), and educational interpreter.

Submit questions and comments about this information to the Licensing Online Help desk.