How to Become a History Teacher in Texas

Jul 03, 2020

In the state of Texas, history teacher certification stands apart from social studies certification. In this article, we'll look specifically at the steps needed to become a certified history teacher in Texas.

Requirements for History Teachers in Texas

Average Salary for Teachers in Texas (2019)* $56,290 (Middle School), $58,000 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field History or Social Studies
Testing Requirements TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160) and TExES History 7-12 (233)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education Requirements

It may come as no surprise that a history teacher in Texas should study history. However, most history programs in Texas include the requisite social studies topics as well. Though history and social studies each have their own certifications, they overlap on subject matter quite a bit. Along with government and economics courses, you'll need to look at American history, World history, European history, and Texas history. You may find yourself taking courses in anthropology, geography, or archaeology.

Some colleges do offer programs that incorporate the teaching aspects for future teachers. However, many times you'll need to continue your education with a Texas-approved educator preparation program (EPP). This can be done with a certificate program that is roughly 12+ months long or can be taken in conjunction with a master's degree program in education. If it's a standalone program, you'll need to complete this as a second requirement and submit appropriate transcripts with your application.

Step 2: Complete TExES Exams

As part of the certification process, you must be able to prove your knowledge of teaching standards and the content area in which you will teach. To do this, Texas has the Texas Examination of Education Standards (TExES). It's easy to remember because, well, Texas needs TExES! The first exam tests your pedagogical knowledge. This is the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12. In five hours, you'll have to answer all 100 questions.

The other exam you'll need to take is the TExES History 7-12 assessment. It is important to understand that there are social studies exams to certify you as a social studies and/or history teacher. However, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) specifically states that to become a history teacher, you'll need to have passed the TExES in History. For this reason, we'll specifically focus on this specific 5-hour exam. As with the previous test, you'll have 100 multiple-choice questions asked of you. On the history exam, your study areas are very history-focused with less emphasis on government and sociology. You'll need to answer questions on world history, U.S. history, Texas history, and the foundations and skills of instruction. This test will certify you to teach grades 7-12 since these grades tend to feature subject-specific classes rather than core subjects.

Step 3: Be Fingerprinted

For less than $50, you can be sure that your students' parents will feel confident with you at the helm. In Texas, a $39-background check is run on teaching candidates. You must first register with the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) and then go to an approved location to have your fingerprints scanned in. This $10 fee is required at the time of fingerprinting, and in Texas, MorphoTrust is the preferred scanning company.

Certification Resources for History Teachers in Texas

While we've mentioned the social studies TExES briefly, it is wise to have resources available to you to study for those exams as well if you would like to broaden your certification. Check out the options below:

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