How to Become a High School English Teacher in Texas

Jan 02, 2019

If you want to become a secondary English teacher at a school in Texas, read through the requirements below for an idea of what to expect. Find out what schooling is required, when to take the TExES exams, and how to fill out the application.

English preparation programs in Texas set students on the path to Initial Licensure in secondary education. Those certified to teach English at the secondary level will be prepared to instruct grades 7-12.

Salary Information and Requirements for High School English Teachers in Texas

Average Salary for Secondary Teachers in Texas (2017)* $57,830
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field English, Education
Testing Requirements TExES English Language Arts and Reading 7-12, TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree

In order to become a licensed English teacher at the secondary level in Texas, students will need to pursue a degree in English and complete an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. Students will get a general understanding of English through courses on grammar and literature, and they will also take courses centering on pedagogy and education. Every program in the state is slightly different, though many of the education classes will fall in line with courses like:

  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Teaching reading in the content area
  • Human growth and development
  • Classroom management

English teacher candidates will complete student teaching, as well. Some preparation programs will mandate that students complete the exams discussed in Step 2 prior to beginning student teaching, so be sure to check with an advisor about the requirements at your university.

Step 2: Take All Required TExES Tests

Secondary English teachers need to take two different TExES tests in order to become certified. The first required test is the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam, which is 5 hours long and made up of 100 multiple-choice questions. The exam is offered on the computer and tests a teacher's basic pedagogical knowledge. Topics covered include instruction and assessment, creating a positive and productive classroom, and fulfilling professional roles and responsibilities.

Prospective teachers will also take the English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 exam. This, too, is a 5-hour test, and it includes 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response questions. Also given on the computer, this exam covers diverse learners, literature, written communication, and oral communication among other skill sets.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

After the TExES exams are finished, teachers need to fill out the state application and complete fingerprinting as part of the criminal background check component. The fingerprinting component costs $49. Applicants must bring a valid ID at the time of fingerprinting. When the application process has been finished, teachers will be ready to receive an Initial License.

Study Resources for Future Texas Teachers

Get ready for the TExES with online resources for each exam. Find out about study tips and try practice problems in order to prepare for test day.

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