As one of the STEM subjects, math classes are sometimes understaffed. In Virginia, you can become a math teacher for middle or high school, and you can even seek additional endorsement. The following steps can help you prepare for a career as a math teacher in VA.
Requirements for Virginia Math Teachers
|Average Salary for Teachers in Virginia (2017)*||$67,770 (Middle School), $69,890 (Secondary School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Testing Requirements||Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) Reading (091) and Writing (092) subtests; Praxis Middle School Mathematics (5169) or Praxis Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161); Algebra I (5162) (Optional)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
Math teachers are typically considered teachers of middle or high school students. This is because at younger grades, teachers are required to have a broader knowledge of many subjects to teach children a core curriculum. If your goal is to teach only math, you'll want to consider working with students in grades six and up.
Virginia requires that prospective teachers complete a teacher preparation program in addition to earning their bachelor's degree. To meet this requirement, you can earn a bachelor's degree in math while also completing a secondary education training program, which may be offered as a minor. Math education bachelor's degree programs are also an option. In addition to offering education and pedagogy courses, these programs' teacher preparation components will put you in a classroom with an internship. Here, you'll have the chance to gain experience and practice using the skills you've learned.
Step 2: Complete Required Exams
The Virginia Department of Education uses testing to ensure that the teachers it puts in the classroom have the knowledge needed to be successful. For math teachers, there are a couple of testing requirements. The first required exam is the VCLA, or the Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment. This exam tests your reading and writing skills through two subtests that cost $40 each. They include a total of 80 multiple-choice questions (40 on each subtest), three short-answer questions, and two essays. In order to pass, you must score a 235 or higher on each exam.
After the VCLA, you'll need to take a Praxis content exam. If you'd like to teach middle schoolers, you'll sit for the Middle School Mathematics exam. This 2-hour exam includes 55 questions on two categories: arithmetic/algebra and geometry/data. You'll need to earn a 165 or higher on this exam.
If you want to teach high school math, you'll take the Mathematics: Content Knowledge exam and earn 160 or higher on it. You can also take the Algebra I test to add an optional endorsement to your secondary license. You must earn a 148 or higher on this exam. Both exams have a 150-minute time limit and 60 questions.
Step 3: Complete Other Required Training
Virginia requires its teachers to be trained in several other areas. You must complete a CPR certification program. This program should also include AED training. Along with this certification program, there are two training courses that must be completed for licensure. You must complete the Department of Education's free webinar on child abuse and neglect recognition and the Virginia Department of Social Services' free online training in recognizing dyslexia.
Proof of this training must be submitted, along with test scores and transcripts from your bachelor's degree program, with your application for licensure. The application fee is $50.
Certification Resources for Virginia Mathematics Teachers
Prospective math teachers will need to prepare for the required Virginia assessment exams. The following resources can help you study for these tests.