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Dance Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2019

Anyone interested in becoming a certified dance teacher in the state of Massachusetts can read more about the requirements below. Find out what educational level is suggested, what tests to take, and how to apply for certification once all requirements are complete.

Massachusetts offers a K-12 endorsement for dance teachers in the state, allowing anyone passionate about dance to instruct students of all ages. Anyone looking to pursue a career in teaching dance should follow the steps listed below in order to get their Initial License.

Massachusetts Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Massachusetts (2017)* $71,790 (Kindergarten), $76,590 (Elementary), $74,400 (Middle), $76,170 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Dance/Education
Testing Requirements MTEL: Communication & Literacy Skills, Dance

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

To become a certified dance teacher in Massachusetts, students need to complete a bachelor's degree in dance as well as an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. This degree should prepare students to uphold the Massachusetts standards for dance education, which include being able to teach movement elements, choreography, dance as expression, and critical response. Preparation programs should focus on the principles of teaching and classroom management. While every program will be somewhat different, most will include classes on the following topics:

  • Ballet Theory
  • Dance Education
  • Jazz
  • Modern Dance

Students will also likely participate in a student teaching/field experience portion of the program in order to develop strategies for handling common teaching situations.

Step 2: Take All Required MTEL Tests

The next step for future dance teachers in Massachusetts is to take all the required Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). All MTEL exams are available at testing centers around the state. First, teachers will need to take the Communication and Literacy Skills test, which is made up of a reading and writing subtest. The reading subtest is 42 multiple-choice questions and the writing subtest is 35 multiple-choice questions, 7 short-answer sentence correction questions, and 2 open-response questions. Teachers have 4 hours for this exam and, as of May 2018, will pay $112 to take the exam. A minimum score of 240 on each subtest is required. Next, teachers will take the Dance MTEL, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-response questions. The test is also 4 hours long and costs $139 as of May 2018. This passing score is 240 for this test as well.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

Once all testing is complete, teachers are ready to apply for their Initial License in the state of Massachusetts. Teachers will use the online registration system, the Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) system, to complete the application and upload all required materials. The online ELAR system will guide applicants through all necessary steps and help them to complete the certification process. The application requires transcripts and test scores.

Study Resources for Future Teachers in Massachusetts

There are so many resources available for students considering teaching in Massachusetts. Take a look at the study guide and practice problems below to start preparing for the MTEL.

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