How to Become a High School English Teacher in Georgia

Find out how to become a certified high school English teacher in the state of Georgia. Read details about educational requirements, testing requirements, and how to secure Initial Certification.

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Those with a passion for the English language can help students in Georgia improve their reading and writing skills as certified teacher. High school teachers in the state have the ability to pick a specialization in a particular subject area, so those passionate about English should explore the steps needed to become a certified teacher in the state of Georgia.

Requirements for High School English Teachers in Georgia

Average Salaries for Teachers in Georgia (2016)* $56,420
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Education with a focus in English
Testing Requirements GACE Program Admission Exam, GACE English subtest, Georgia Educator Ethics - Program Enter/Exit Assessments, edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

All applicants should pursue a bachelor's degree in English and complete a teacher preparation program in order to become a certified English teacher in Georgia. Students will also participate in student teaching during their program of study. There are many accredited, approved in-state teacher preparation programs for future high school teachers to choose from. In addition to English classes, students will need to complete credits in general education and in educational strategies, as well. No matter what grade a teacher aims to teach, the coursework will likely include:

  • grammar
  • writing
  • reading
  • curriculum development

Students must take at least one course on identifying and educating exceptional children. Make sure that this course appears on all official transcripts, as it will be a requirement for certification.

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Step 2: Complete All Required Testing

Future Georgia educators need to take several different exams before becoming certified. The first required exam is the Georgia Educator Ethics - Program Entry, which must be taken prior to being admitted into a teacher training program. This exam is designed to help teachers understand the Georgia Code of Ethics and to feel confident making decisions in the classroom. Later in their programs of study, teachers will complete the GACE Educator Ethics - Program Exit to demonstrate an understanding of the ethics involved in teaching.

The GACE Program Admission assessment is also required for all applicants. The Program Admission assessment is made up of separate math, reading, and writing tests. Test-takers will have 2 hours for each of the sections and are allowed to use an online four-function calculator for the math portion. It is possible for students to supply proof of minimum scores on the GRE, SAT, or ACT in place of the GACE Program Admission exam, so be sure to check on the updated rules on Georgia's Department of Education website.

Students hoping to have an English specialty will also take a subject test in addition to the general GACE. This two-part content exam can be taken one at a time or all together. Each part of the test takes 2 hours of actual testing time, but the total duration is 2.5 hours for each. Students can take a combined version of the tests over the course of 5 hours.

Finally, students are required to take the edTPA, which they can register for online. The edTPA is designed to assess a teacher's knowledge of student development and learning. This exam focuses on three different areas teachers need in order to excel in the classroom: planning, instruction, and assessment. It is important to note that this fee grants a student the time frame of 18 months to change subject areas or even to withdraw completely from the program and receive a partial refund. The fee for the test is $300 as of March 2018.

Step 3: Get Certified to Teach

Once all testing has been completed, students can complete an Initial Certification Application. The first piece of this process - the initial application - can be found on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's website. It is available as a PDF but can also be completed through an account with the site. Students will need to submit an official document of Verification of Lawful Presence. Prospective English teachers will also need to submit transcripts and an Employer Assurance Form. After every step is complete, students will be awarded an Induction Certification, which is valid for 3 years in the state of Georgia.

Certification Resources for Future English Teachers

Students interested in English teacher certification in Georgia can read through detailed guides and prepare for future exams with the guides below:

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