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How to Become a High School Teacher in Colorado

High school teachers in Colorado can teach a number of subjects. You can learn more about the required secondary education program, content area exams, and background check here.

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Colorado state offers an initial teaching license that is valid for three years, but it also offers a professional teaching license that is issued for five years. Future high school teachers can learn about the steps to becoming licensed in Colorado, including the educational requirements and the Praxis II exam.

Requirements for Colorado High School Teacher Licensure

Average Salary for Colorado High School Teachers (2016)* $53,640 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/ Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Education in a chosen field/content area
Testing Requirements Praxis II content area exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Secondary Ed Degree

High school educators in Colorado are required to earn their secondary education degree from an accredited college or university. Because secondary teachers focus only on one or two subject areas, they will choose the content area they are interested in while taking their secondary education degree. This can include science, history, or even a foreign language. This means content-specific courses will be common, like adolescent literature for English teachers, creating math assessments for math teachers, and science pedagogy for science teachers.

Most students enrolled in a secondary education program will, however, also learn about differentiated instruction, curriculum development, diversity in a classroom, and the cultural foundations of education among others. Students are also responsible for completing, generally, a semester of student teaching, which includes guidance from an established educator and curriculum developer. When they are applying for a teaching license in Colorado, future teachers are required to submit their official college transcripts.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Step 2: Pass the Praxis Content Exam

To demonstrate their expertise in a specific subject area, such as agriculture, business, or speech, high school teachers in Colorado have to pass a Praxis II content area exam. Passing scores for this requirement range from 146 to 167, depending on the exam. Though the Praxis test is computer-based, the number and types of questions also vary from one test to the next.

Step 3: Submit to a Background Check

In order to protect children, anyone who works closely with them in an unsupervised capacity has to undergo extensive background checks. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will both run a teacher candidate's fingerprints to check for state and federal criminal records.

Step 4: Finish an Induction Program

To gain a professional teaching license, those already holding an initial license can complete a teacher induction program through their school district or a local college. This provides an opportunity for professional development as mentor educators provide invaluable feedback. There is also ethics training meant to increase the level of awareness and professionalism necessary in a school setting. Finally, those going through the program are given performance evaluations, so they can continue to improve.

Certification Resources for Future Colorado High School Educators

High school teachers in Colorado are required to pass a content area exam, and the following links provide study materials for some of these.

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