In Virginia, students can be homeschooled by certified tutors. This article will look at what a certified tutor is and the requirements necessary to become such.
Requirements for Certified Tutors in Virginia
|Average Salary for Other Teachers in Virginia (2017)*||$59,670|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Testing Requirements||Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA); subject- and grade-specific Praxis exam|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Understanding a Tutor
A certified tutor is another name for a homeschool teacher in Virginia. There is no actual certification to be a certified tutor. Instead, you must complete all the requirements necessary to become a licensed teacher in the state. While you can teach your own kids, you may choose to sell your services to other families who prefer to keep their children away from the standardized state schools. The final step in this will explain what you need to do in order to teach outside of school. First, you must get your teaching license.
Step 2: Complete Education Requirements
Teachers need to complete a bachelor's degree at minimum to get licensed. While a master's degree or more could be helpful, the state requirement is a bachelor's degree, preferably one that includes a teacher preparation program. Many colleges and universities in Virginia do offer programs at the bachelor's degree level that are geared towards licensure. This means that if you take an education, history education, elementary education, special education, or even math education program, you'll likely see that there is licensure mentioned on the school's page. These programs will include educational theory, classroom management, and child development courses, along with a teaching internship that puts you directly in the classroom with another professional teacher. For a certified tutor, this step could be even more important, since you will need to understand what happens in the classroom to provide a better and normal learning environment for your clients.
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Step 3: Complete Exams
All teachers must take and pass certain exams to become licensed. The one that every teacher will complete is the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA). This assessment is made up of two subtests: reading and writing. There is no benefit to taking the exams together or individually, you'll still be charged $40 for each subtest and need to get a score of 235 on each. If you'd prefer to take these individually, you may do so, otherwise, they can be taken together, and you'll have four hours to complete these tests.
After this, you'll be required to complete the Praxis exam that is associated with your endorsement. The endorsement is the grade level and/or subject you want to teach. Elementary education requires you to test on all subjects, while middle and secondary school-level assessments typically test by subject, such as physical education, science, language arts, etc. Each exam is constructed differently and has its own minimum score requirements.
Step 4: Fulfill Other Requirements
There are two training programs that can be completed for free online to qualify for licensing: the DOE's dyslexia awareness training and the DSS's child abuse and neglect recognition training. These both need to be completed prior to your license application. Prospective teachers must also be certified in CPR and first aid. As a certified tutor, this could be even more important, as you'll likely be the only one with these children at any given time and need to be prepared in an emergency.
Finally, to become a certified teacher, you must submit a letter to the superintendent of the school district that your client's child would attend. This should inform the superintendent that you will be teaching that child rather than him/her going to school. You must include proof of your licensure, and there is no need to continuously send this letter each year.
Certification Resources for Virginia Certified Tutors
Since a certified tutor needs to complete all the same exams as teachers seeking licensure, you may need some help studying. Below are some links to guide you in your test preparations.