The state of Massachusetts endorses biology teachers to instruct grades 5-8 or 8-12. Teachers will need to choose whether to pursue middle school certification or secondary certification prior to starting the certification process.
Massachusetts Teacher Salary Information and Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Massachusetts (2016)*||$74,400 (Middle School), $76,170 (Secondary School)|
|Degree Field||Biology/Science Education|
|Testing Requirements||2 MTEL Exams: Communication and Literacy Skills, Biology|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree
Students looking to become biology teachers in the state of Massachusetts will need to graduate from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program with a degree in biology education. Some schools will offer a more general science education major with the option to specialize in biology. Ultimately, students should be sure the program they choose prepares them for future biology testing. Each program will be different, but all will place an emphasis on educational principles. Some classes students will likely take include:
- Education & Society
- Developmental Psychology
- Child/Adolescent Development
Students will participate in a teaching internship prior to graduation in order to get some experience working directly with the age group they hope to teach. Students should also be sure to complete the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) requirement during their program, or the state may require additional testing otherwise.
Step 2: Take All Required MTEL Exams
The state of Massachusetts requires all future teachers to take the appropriate tests in the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) series. All teachers need to take the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL exam, which is made up of two subtests: reading (42 multiple-choice questions) and writing (35 multiple-choice questions, 7 short answers, and 2 open-response questions). This exam takes 4 hours and requires at least 240 on each subtest. The test costs $112.
Future biology teachers will also take the Biology MTEL, which is made up of 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-response assignments. The test is $139 and taken over 4 hours. Test-takers need to score at least a 240 on this test.
Step 3: Complete the Application Steps Necessary for Certification
Teachers are ready to apply for their Massachusetts teaching license, called the Initial License, when all educational requirements and MTEL testing are complete. Teachers will use the Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) tool on the Massachusetts Department of Education website to submit all necessary materials, including transcripts, test scores, and proof of completion of the SEI requirement. The Initial License is valid in the state of Massachusetts for five years, after which teachers can renew the license or apply for their Professional License.
Study Resources for Future Massachusetts Teachers
Ready to start studying for the MTEL exams? Take a look at the following study guides and practice the types of questions you'll encounter on test day.