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How to Become a High School History Teacher in Illinois

High school, or secondary, history teachers in Illinois will attend a secondary education program and complete three assessments ranging from basic skills to an assessment of their teaching materials and techniques.

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For the 2016-2017 school year, the Illinois Board of Education reported that secondary classrooms have 19 students for every teacher. Find out the expected salary and educational programs to work in these average-sized classes.

Licensure Requirements for Illinois High School History Teachers

Average Salary for Illinois High School Teachers (2016)* $70,130 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Education and History
Testing Requirements Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP); ILTS Social Science: History; edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

Step One: Complete a Secondary Education Program

To become a highly qualified educator, prospective Illinois high school history teachers will enroll in a bachelor's degree program that has a secondary teacher education curriculum with a history or social studies major. History courses could include historical perspectives, non-western cultures, anthropology, geography, and political science. In addition to history courses, students are also responsible for education courses. To give students a chance to apply the techniques they learn in class, they also spend time in a history classroom with a certified teacher. Illinois also requires courses in teaching exceptional students, teaching English language learners, reading methods, and content area reading. These can be done during the teacher preparation program.

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Step Two: Pass All Required Exams

The first exam all Illinois teachers have to pass is the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). This computer-based exam takes five hours, and future teachers have to earn at least a 240 score on each subtest. The reading subtest is composed of 60 multiple-choice questions that focus on using context clues, locating the main topic of a paragraph, and determining the position of an argument. The language arts subtest, made up of 60 more multiple-choice questions, checks for the candidates' understanding of grammar and incorrect punctuation. The writing subtest proves their knowledge of audiences, organization, and choosing supporting evidence from a source by having them write one essay. Finally, the math subtest includes 50 multiple-choice questions regarding decimal problems, graphing, and interpreting data.

To teach history, Illinois teachers also have to pass the ILTS Social Science: History exam. Test-takers have three hours and 15 minutes to answer 100 multiple-choice questions. Conducting research ethically and using the best research questions as a guide, as well as finding primary and secondary sources are all part of this exam. Knowledge of historical events is also a key component.

Finally, future teachers will complete an edTPA assessment. This is a portfolio full of teaching materials that a candidate will create during their student teaching experience. Lesson plans, assessments, and a video of the student teaching a class are all included in this digital portfolio. Ideally, this will demonstrate planning, checking up on student learning, and changing teaching techniques whenever necessary to accommodate students.

Helpful Links for Illinois High School History Teachers

The links below will help you prepare for the basic skills and content area exams.

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