How to Become a History Teacher in Georgia

Jan 02, 2019

History teachers in the state of Georgia will follow a state-regulated pathway to licensure through education and in-classroom experience to learn the necessary skills to instruct students of varied ages.

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Georgia allows for several pathways to employment for prospective history teachers. In this article, we will cover the requirements needed to complete the traditional pathway, which consists of obtaining a bachelor's degree via an educator preparation program that has been approved by the state of Georgia's licensing board.

Georgia History Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Georgia (2016)* $54,890 (elementary), $56,410 (middle), $56,420 (secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field History or education
Testing Requirements GACE Program Admission Assessment (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing);
Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment;
edTPA grade-level test: Early Childhood Education (P-5), Middle Grades Social Sciences or History (6-12)
GACE grade-level test: Early Childhood Education (P-5), Middle Grades (4-8) Social Science or History (6-12)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Decide on an Age Group or Grade Level

As history teachers may instruct students of various ages and grade levels, a prospective history teacher must first decide in which age group and at which grade levels they would like to teach. In Georgia, history teachers can choose from elementary, middle or secondary schools. Elementary school teachers instruct students in history in addition to other subjects; this certification covers preschool to fifth grade. Those who would like to teach history to middle school students can work toward certification in middle grade social science, which spans grades four through eight. Aspiring high school history teachers can expect to get into the most detail with their students; the certification specific to history is for grades six through 12.

Step 2: Enter a Bachelor's Program

To teach in Georgia, one must first obtain a bachelor's degree from an institution approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, or GaPSC. Students may choose to major in education, such as early childhood or middle grade education, or in a history program that also includes the required teacher preparation component. Students begin with general education coursework.

Then, in order to enter the educator preparation program, student teachers must take and pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment, which tests the applicant's literacy in Reading (test code 200), Mathematics (test code 201), and Writing (test code 202); a combined test (test code 700) is also available. Students who have previously earned a qualifying score on their SAT (minimum score of 1000 on Verbal/Critical Reading and Math or on Evidence-based Reading/Writing and Math), ACT (minimum score of 43 on English and Math), and/or GRE (minimum score of 297, Verbal and Quantitative) may apply for an exemption.

Within the educator preparation program, students must take a course in identifying exceptional children, as required by GaPSC. The student's university will typically require other courses, such as U.S. History, to earn the degree.

Step 3: Student Teach

Student teaching internships are an important part of these degree programs, as they include time spent face-to-face with students in a classroom environment with a co-teacher who will supervise the intern's experience and ensure that he or she has completed the program's hours and experience requirements.

In order to begin student teaching, aspiring teachers must complete the GACE Georgia Educator Ethics - Program Entry assessment. While it is not scored, its completion is required in order for your university to request a pre-service student teaching certificate on your behalf. GaPSC will also conduct a background check before issuing the certificate.

Step 4: Pass Additional State-Required Assessments

Future Georgia history teachers must also take the Georgia Educator Ethics - Program Exit assessment prior to completing their education, and must pass in order to hold an induction certificate.

GaPSC also requires the edTPA content pedagogy assessments, to be taken during the educator preparation program. Those applicable to history teachers are:

  • Early Childhood Education (P-5); minimum score of 45
  • Middle Grades Social Sciences; minimum score of 38
  • History (6-12); minimum score of 38

Once the educator preparation program is complete and the prospective history teacher would like to apply for their Georgia teaching license, he or she will need to pass the appropriate GACE Content Assessment, each with a minimum 220 score for induction:

  • Early Childhood Education Test I (test code 001) and Test II (test code 002), or combined early childhood test (test code 501)
  • Middle Grades Social Science (test code 015)
  • History Test I (test code 034) and History Test II (test code 035), or combined history test (test code 534)

Step 5: Apply for Georgia State Licensing

After meeting the requirements outlined above, prospective teachers may then apply for an induction certificate, a three-year introductory teaching license. Along with their application, prospective teachers will need to submit the following to GaPSC: college transcripts and Approved Program Completion form, a Verification of Lawful Presence form, and a photocopy of their ID. To be eligible for employment, candidates must also pass an FBI background check complete with full fingerprinting to ensure they meet safety requirements to work with students.

Georgia History Teacher Certification Resources

GACE exams are a necessary step to teacher certification. The study guide links that follow provide thorough preparatory information to help a candidate for licensure prepare to take these important assessments.

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