Becoming a Science Teacher in Georgia

Jan 02, 2019

We discuss the average annual salary, secondary science education program, and GACE exams required to become a science teacher in the state of Georgia.

The Georgia Science Teachers Association provides educators with materials for teaching worldly phenomena in a way that aligns with state standards. To join this group and readily access all the perks available to members, future Georgia science teachers can read on and learn about the bachelor's degree and tests requirements for these professionals.

Georgia Science Teacher Certification Requirements

Average Salary for Georgia Teachers (2016)* $56,410 (Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education); $53,640 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/ Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Science Education
Testing Requirements Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE): Program Admission Assessment; GACE: Science or GACE Middle Grades Social Science; Georgia Ethics Assessments; edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Secondary Science Education Program

To become a licensed educator in Georgia, individuals must first complete a secondary science education degree from an accredited university. Students will take science courses related to chemistry, biology, and statistics, but they will also explore topics such as: the social foundations of education, diversity in the classroom, and the pedagogy of science. There is also a semester-long placement in an actual classroom where future teachers can develop and teach lesson plans under the guidance of a seasoned teacher.

Details About the GACE and edTPA Exams

Depending on their ACT, SAT, or GRE scores, Georgia teachers may have to pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE): Program Admission Assessment. This basic skills exam includes a reading, writing, and mathematics section and can take four and a half hours to complete. The reading section deals with skills like finding main ideas, locating transitions, and analyzing evidence. The writing section tests the candidates' ability to determine the purpose of a piece of writing, develop clear organization, and focus on a single thesis. Finally, the math subtest covers algebraic expressions, geometric shapes, and statistics.

If a Georgia teacher candidate wishes to teach middle school science to grades four through eight, they will have to pass the GACE: Middle Grades Science Assessment. Examinees have two hours to answer 80 questions regarding how to test hypotheses, note observations, design experiments, and utilize accepted scientific principles. There are multiple sections that explore various topics related to scientific inquiry, physical science, life science, and earth and space science.

If a science teacher in Georgia wants to educate secondary students, however, they will have to pass the GACE: Science exam. This will take four hours and includes 160 questions. This exam is broken into two sections, including a scientific inquiry and physical science exam. Like the middle school exam, this one focuses on developing hypotheses and tracking data trends during experiences. It also brings in elements, atomic structures, energy, chemical reactions, cell structures, observable behavior, and earth processes.

All teachers in Georgia will complete the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessments at the beginning and the end of their teacher education program. Containing seven modules that explore the ethical responsibilities teachers have towards their students, school districts, and communities. With a special emphasis on professionalism, many of these modules end with a short test. The largest and most involved test, however, comes at the end of the exit assessment. This exam is an amalgam of information from all the different modules.

Finally, prospective teachers are responsible for gathering teaching materials, such as lesson plans and assessments, that they created during their student teaching experience. This all goes into a portfolio to satisfy the edTPA Assessment. Because this exam is based on real-life situations where candidates are able to apply their education, there is also a video requirement. This video is raw footage of the student interacting with and teaching a classroom full of real kids.

Beneficial Links for Future Georgia Science Teachers

Science teachers in Georgia are required to pass a GACE content exam, and the following links provide prospective teachers with study guides and more information about the tests.

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