In New Jersey, there are two types of teacher certificates: a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS). Depending on your educational background, you will choose between these two certificates. Below, we'll look at the steps needed to become a New Jersey English teacher.
Requirements for New Jersey English Teachers
|Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey*||$71,450 (Middle School), $76,430 (High School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Required Field||Education or Literature|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), Writing (5722), and Mathematics (5732), and English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (5038)|
Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017)
Step 1: Fulfill Education Requirements
New Jersey requires that you receive a bachelor's degree or higher. If you're interested in becoming an English teacher, you have a couple of options. First, you can complete an education degree. With this degree, you'll look at methods of teaching, as well as important assessment and curriculum building activities. You will need to be sure to minor in composition or literature. However, you can also earn a degree in literature with the intent to earn teacher certification. This opens you up for a more creative-based program with courses in literature and multicultural literature. For instance, a certain college offers courses in Irish-American literature, detective fiction, the Spanish Renaissance, Greek drama, and Tolkien's Middle Earth. With so much literature available, you may find some very interesting course topics. Also, many colleges offer teaching courses for English teachers, such as teaching grammar or literature theory and criticism. With any degree, it is essential that you have 30 credit hours in English, and 12 of those must be advanced-level credits.
It is also important to note that New Jersey asks all prospective teachers to keep a certain GPA in all courses that will count toward your certification. For English teachers, this GPA is 3.0.
Step 2: Complete Testing Requirements
All teachers are asked to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams. These are three basic skills exams that test you in reading, writing, and mathematics. Each exam is graded separately but can be taken together or individually. Both the math and reading exams have 56 multiple-choice questions and candidates are given 85 minutes to complete it. You must earn a passing score of 156 for reading and 150 for math. The writing test includes 40 questions and two essays. You'll be given 100 minutes, and 30 of those are for each essay. You must earn a 162 for it to be a qualifying score.
You must also complete a content knowledge exam. For English teachers, this exam is the English Language Arts: Content Knowledge exam for all grades. You must score 167 or higher on the exam to pass. This test is 2 ½ hours long, and it includes 130 questions in three categories: reading; language use and vocabulary; and writing, speaking, and listening.
Step 3: Pass Other Requirements
In New Jersey, there is a unique requirement that must be met before you can become a teacher. In addition to the background check and fingerprinting that most states require, you must prove knowledge of physiology and hygiene. To prove this, you can either use military training as proof, complete a 35-question test given by the county office of education, or complete a course that covers these topics in your college program.
Certification Resources for New Jersey English Teachers
Once all of the above steps have been completed, you can apply for licensure. To prepare for the exams you'll be taking, consider the following resources: