How to Become a High School History Teacher in Georgia

In this article, we discuss the requirements needed for a career teaching high school history in the state of Georgia, including an approved bachelor's degree, student teaching, and assessments.

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High school history teachers delve deeper into specific time periods than do history teachers in the middle grades or elementary level. This makes teaching history at this level an attractive occupation for those with a passion for both education and history.

Georgia High School History Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Secondary Teachers in Georgia (2016)* $56,420
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field History or education
Testing Requirements GACE Program Admission Assessment;
Georgia Educator Ethics - Program Exit Assessment;
edTPA History (6-12)
GACE History (6-12)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Program

The first step to becoming a high school history teacher in Georgia is to enter and complete a bachelor's degree program at a college or university that has been approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, or the GaPSC. Teaching candidates may choose to pursue a bachelor of the arts in history or a bachelor of the arts in education with a minor in history. Most students will begin their studies with courses that cover the broader histories of the United States, Europe, and non-Western countries, and will later narrow their studies to more in-depth knowledge of historical courses that are chosen by the students with the help of their academic counselors or are required for graduation by the institution they attend.

The final semester of a prospective history teacher's college career will be spent student teaching in a high school local to their college or university. Student teachers will spend time face-to-face in the classroom with high school students in history classes and will have an experienced teacher to mentor, co-teach, and supervise their work.

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Step 2: Pass the State-Required Assessments

Georgia requires all teachers to pass a basic skills test known as the GACE Program Admission Assessments in reading, mathematics, and writing. This test is often taken prior to beginning a bachelor's program, and exceptions are granted for students with qualifying scores on the SAT (1000 verbal/critical reading and math), ACT (43 English and math), or GRE (297 verbal and quantitative), as those students have already proven profiency in these subjects.

Prospective teachers must also complete the Georgia Educator Ethics - Program Exit assessment. This test is computerized and checks test-takers' knowledge of the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators. A score of 'pass' or 'not passed' is provided immediately following the test, and scores can be sent to up to three recipients as part of the test fee.

For high school history teachers in particular, the following assessments are required to be taken and passed with the listed minimum scores prior to applying for a secondary teaching license.

  • edTPA content pedagogy assessment in History (grades 6-12), a minimum score of 38
  • GACE Content Assessment(s), one of the following testing options:
    • History Test I (test code 034) and History Test II (test code 035), minimum scores of 220 each
    • Combined History Test (test code 534), a minimum score of 220

Step 3: Apply for Georgia State Licensing

After graduating with the required bachelor's degree, completing an approved student teaching program, and passing the above Georgia state assessments, a prospective high school history teacher may then apply to the GaPSC, either electronically or on paper, for a secondary teaching license. The first license awarded to qualified candidates is called an induction certificate and will be valid for a three-year period. In applying for an induction certificate, applicants will need to send their application to the GaPSC along with a copy of their state-issued photo ID, a Verification of Lawful Presence form, an Approved Program Completion form, and their college transcripts. A comprehensive background check, including fingerprinting by a state official which is then submitted to the FBI, is also necessary.

Georgia History Teacher Certification Resources

An important step to becoming a high school history teacher is passing the required GACE assessments. Listed below are links to study guides that will help prepare a future history teacher to take and pass these important exams.

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