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How to Become a High School Teacher in Missouri

The path to certification as a high school teacher in Missouri is challenging - you need a degree, passing exam scores, and the approval of the state's education department. This article gives you the information you'll need to go in fully prepared and get certified!

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Missouri has a proprietary system for certifying teachers, using their own standardized exams designed by the state. You'll be able to take your exams during the necessary degree program, and once you finish, fill out your documents to gain certification as a Missouri high school teacher!

Requirements for High School Teachers in Missouri

Average Salary for High School Teachers in Missouri (2017)* $51,720
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Secondary Education
Testing Requirements Missouri Educator Profile (MEP), Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), Missouri Education General Assessment (MoEGA), Missouri Content Assessment for subject areas

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn Your Degree

The first task in your quest to obtain certification as a high school teacher is to get a bachelor's degree. A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education is what you'll need from an accredited university or college, and the program must include a teacher educator program that grants you the opportunity for student teaching experience. As an aspiring high school teacher, you'll choose an area of concentration in your major for the classes you wish to teach. For example, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education focusing on English can include classes such as introduction to linguistics, the Civil Rights Movement in African-American literature, and language and literacy. Meanwhile, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education focusing on math can expose you to courses like geometry, trigonometry, engaging the secondary mathematics student, and assessment in the math classroom.

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: Take Your MEGA Exams

As a high school teacher, you can expect to go through four Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments: three general tests and one for your specific subject area. The Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), required for all teachers seeking certification in Missouri, allows for the further development of aspiring teachers as they prepare to become unsupervised educators. A total of four submissions, referred to as artifacts, are included when submitting answers to the prompts. If your student-teaching environment allows it, you can include video of your classroom as part of the submission for one of the tasks. Upon sending your final answers, your scores will be revealed less than four weeks after the submission deadline.

During your degree program, you will take the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA). This exam, split into four subtests, can be taken in one sitting or broken up into multiple sessions. The Reading Comprehension and Interpretation, Mathematics, and Science and Social Studies tests come in multiple-choice format, while the Writing section is made up of one longer prompt. According to the test's website, the exams may include unscored questions that are being evaluated for inclusion on future tests.

All educators must complete the Missouri Educator Profile, a 192-question survey that gives the state a better idea of your teaching and workplace persona. There is no right or wrong answer for each question, nor is there any way to fail it. Your results are available at the conclusion of the exam, and you can stop at any time and come back to finish it later on any computer with Internet service.

Finally, you'll choose from a wide variety of Missouri Content Assessments to fulfill your certification in your subject area. Some of the Secondary Education exams include Agriculture, Earth Science, Speech & Theater, and Journalism. All of the Content Assessment exams are in multiple-choice format, and a passing score of 220 on a scale of 100-300 is required to obtain certification.

Step 3: Get Your Certification

Certification in Missouri for high school teachers starts with an Initial Professional Certificate (IPC). The IPC requires passing all of the previously mentioned MEGA exams, a recommendation from your college or university program's advisor, and a minimum GPA score (2.75 overall, 3.00 in your subject area). The application should be completed and sent to your educational institution for evaluation. If you have not undergone a background investigation in one year, you will need to go through another clearance. Processing time tends to vary depending on time of year, administration backlog, and the completion of all documentation requirements for the background check.

Extra Resources for Missouri High School Teachers

Before you take your MEGA exams, look to Study.com for the help you need to prepare for the content you will find on each test. Check out the list below for some examples of the study guides you can find in our database:

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