English Teacher Requirements in Texas

Jan 02, 2019

If your love for the classics has you considering a job as an English teacher, read this article. Here, we'll look at all the necessaries for aspiring teachers in Texas, specifically of English.

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English teachers are in charge of bringing storytelling to life and instilling communication and literacy skills in their students. Everyone who is considering becoming a English teacher in Texas should check out this traditional teacher route.

Requirements for English Teachers in Texas

Average Salary for Teachers in Texas (2017)* $56,670 (Middle School), $57,830 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field English, Language Arts, and Reading
Testing Requirements TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160) and TExES English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 (117) OR TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 (231)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree in English, literature, reading, or interdisciplinary studies is your best bet to becoming an English teacher in Texas. These bachelor's degree programs look at a variety of subjects and courses that will all hone your reading analysis skills and teaching methods. Some of the courses you'll likely come across include second language acquisition, reading, developing and teaching literacy, grammar, American literature, and children's literature. You may also come across very specific literature courses on specific authors, time periods, cultures, or themes. Some of the programs will include classroom management and education theory courses, while others may not. Those that do are likely aimed at future teachers, and there will probably be a classroom teaching practicum included.

An educator preparation program (EPP) can be taken individually if the pedagogy courses and teaching practicum were not included in your literature degree program. These can be completed with a master's program in education or a graduate-level certificate program in teaching literature or education. This is an essential step in the certification process, and you will be tested later on these skills before being licensed.

Step 2: Complete TExES Exams

A 100 multiple-choice-question exam that covers pedagogy and teaching standards will likely be your first exam. The TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 takes five hours or less to complete. You will take this exam on the computer.

There are two English-specific certification exams for you to consider: TExES English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) 4-8 and TExES English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) 7-12. Which you take depends on the grade you'd like to teach. The former works better for middle grades, while the latter is for secondary students. You are given five hours for either of these exams as well. The 4-8 exam consists of 100 questions on early literacy development, word identification and comprehension, reading fluency, and both the written and oral language. The 7-12 exam is a bit more comprehensive, looking at four domains: integrated language arts, reading processes and skills, written communication, and oral communication and media literacy. There are also 100 multiple-choice questions on this exam, though there are also two essay questions that need addressing.

Step 3: Be Fingerprinted

On the ECOS website for Texas, you can register and pay a $39 fee for a background check. You will then have an appointment scheduled with MorphoTrust for a fingerprinting scan, which includes and additional $10 fee. Though you do not need this to become certified, you must have a fingerprinting and FBI-run background check completed by your first day of employment. The TEA (Texas Education Agency) should receive the results in under seven business days.

Certification Resources for English Teachers in Texas

Those who love literature and want to teach it will likely enjoy reading and possibly even studying. Whether or not you are one of those people, the following links can introduce you to some helpful study guides for your TExES exams.

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