How to Become a High School Math Teacher in Illinois

Learn about the expectations for high school math teachers in the state of Illinois, including testing requirements, educational requirements, and the licensure process.

As of 2013, the Illinois State Board of Education shifted from the teacher certification to a licensure process. Here, you can learn about the steps to becoming a licensed math educator in Illinois, the degree program and tests that you need to take as well as the study guide you can use for your preparation.

Illinois Teacher Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Illinois (2016)* $70,130 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Math Education
Testing Requirements Test of basic skills such as TAP; edTPA; ILTS math subject tests

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree

All prospective high school math teachers in Illinois will need to graduate from an accredited, approved teacher preparation program with a bachelor's in math education. There are many programs available, and while they may vary slightly in course content, most will require classes like algebra, calculus, teaching high school mathematics, and technology in the classroom. All teacher preparation programs will require a student teaching portion, usually toward the end of a student's time in school. Illinois requires four specific categories of courses, which are cross-categorical special education methods, reading methods, reading in the content area, and English as a second language/bilingual methods. Students need to be sure that the content of their preparation programs follows the guidelines. Complete details can be found on the Department of Education's website.

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Step 2: Finish All Required Testing

Once the teacher preparation program is complete, students will need to take all required testing. The first required test is called the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). It costs $113 and can be taken through the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS). It is made up of 60 reading comprehension multiple-choice questions, 60 language arts multiple-choice questions, 50 mathematics multiple-choice questions, and one writing constructed response. Each subject is considered a subtest, and students must score at least 240 on each subtest. However, students can fulfill this testing requirement with a composite ACT score of 22 with a writing score of 6, or an SAT composite score of 1110 with a minimum of a 26 on writing and language.

Students will also need to take the edTPA, which is often completed as part of the teacher preparation program. This test costs $300 and evaluates students on their planning, instruction, and assessment skills which will be necessary for the classroom. Finally, students will take the Mathematics ILTS content exam. This test is made up of 125 multiple-choice questions, and students must score at least 240. The exam costs $122 and students need to bring their own graphing calculator.

Step 3: Complete the Licensure Application

After passing the required exams, students are ready to begin the Licensure Application for the state of Illinois. First, students will fill out form 80-02: State Approved Program and Completion Standards Verification to prove that they covered the four categories of classes in the bachelor's degree program (cross-categorical special education methods, reading methods, reading in the content area, and English as a second language/bilingual methods). They will also need to provide proof of the bachelor's degree, student teaching, and licensure tests in order to apply for licensure. Once all of these steps are complete, students will be licensed as secondary math teachers.

Testing Resources for Future Illinois Teachers

There are many resources available for future math teachers in Illinois. Check out the study guide below to prepare for the testing requirements.

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