How to Become a Middle School Teacher in Georgia

Middle school teachers in Georgia are required to complete a state-approved teacher education program, pass a middle-grade subject area test and other exams, and submit required documentation as part of an application packet for certification.

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Georgia is a heavily populated state, with over 10.4 million people as of the most recent U.S. census in 2017. As such, it offers ample opportunities for middle school teachers, not just in the population hub of Atlanta, but also in the large and small communities throughout the state. Additionally, Georgia is home to the Georgia Middle School Association, which hosts conferences, offers grants and awards, and more; even future Georgia teachers can join this group and get involved. To learn more about becoming a Georgia middle school teacher, read on to discover the courses you can expect during a typical middle school education program, the teacher certification exam requirements for the state of Georgia and more.

Georgia Middle School Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Georgia Middle School Teachers (2016)* $56,410 (Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Degree Field Middle Grade Education
Testing Requirements GACE Program Admission Assessment; chosen GACE middle grade content exam; ethics assessment; edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Pass the Program Entrance Exam

Future Georgia middle school educators are required to pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment. This test is actually composed of three subtests that measure the knowledge of those applying to a teacher preparation program. Test-takers are allowed four and a half hours to answer 152 short-answer questions such as multiple-choice and two essays. The passing score on this exam is 250.

The reading subtest gauges a person's ability to analyze and evaluate a piece of writing. The math subtest focuses on statistics, algebra, and geometry. Finally, the writing section has questions about grammar, structure and the like, and allows test-takers to show their skills in an argumentative essay and an informative essay.

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Step Two: Complete a State-Approved Teacher Preparation Program

To teach grades four through eight, individuals can earn a bachelor's degree in middle grade education from Georgia universities. With courses in diversity, creating learning environments, building a middle grade curriculum, and middle school policies, students will have a rounded education. There are also courses that focus on a person's chosen subject areas. Some examples include teaching language arts, teaching mathematics, and teaching social studies. To become certified in more than one subject, a student could take courses under more than one concentration. These programs may also offer a full year of student teaching alongside an experienced host teacher.

The teaching materials candidates create during their preparation program and student teaching experience can be added to a portfolio. This will help complete the edTPA content pedagogy assessment. This assessment looks at a candidate's lesson plans, as well as a video of them teaching a class; 38 is the passing score.

Step Three: Register for and Pass Georgia's Subject Area Exams

Georgia offers several options for the required middle grade subject area exam. These include:

  • Middle Grades Language Arts
  • Middle Grades Mathematics
  • Middle Grade Reading
  • Middle Grade Science
  • Middle Grade Social Studies

For these GACE tests, a minimum score of 220 is required.

Additionally, Georgia teachers are required to take the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators program entrance and exit exams. This program consists of seven modules and covers topics regarding the relationships between teachers and the schools and communities in which they work. At the end of the program, a comprehensive test called the Georgia Educators Ethics Assessment - Program Exit measures performance across all seven modules.

Step Four: Pass a Background Check

The Georgia Department of Education requires its future teachers to pass federal and state background checks as part of the process for applying to teaching positions.

Step Five: Submit Your Application

To apply for certification, applicants should submit an application to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission along with their college transcripts, a notarized form indicating citizenship status and an Approved Program Completion Form.

Link to Materials for Georgia Middle School Teachers

Passing standardized exams can be intimidating, so the following is a link that can help you prepare for the Program Admission test.

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