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How to Become a Private School Teacher in New Jersey

There are no set academic or testing requirements to become a private school teacher in New Jersey. The common qualification requirements and the optional certification requirements for aspiring private school teachers are explored here.

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Those who teach in private schools in New Jersey do not need to be certified to teach by the state. The specific requirements are at the discretion of the private school hiring the academic staff. It's common for private schools to expect teachers to have a bachelor's degree; completing the certification requirements may be optional or mandatory in some cases.

New Jersey Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $65,830 (Kindergarten);
$68,810 (Elementary School);
$71,000 (Middle School);
$75,250 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Appropriate major and teacher preparation
Testing Requirements edTPA; Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn A Bachelor's Degree

Although it is not always required for all private schools, a bachelor's degree may be necessary to be eligible for some jobs. Those who opt to complete their certification requirements will also need a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degrees must be completed at accredited postsecondary institutions.

Step 2: Optional Certification Pathway - Academic Requirements

In order to qualify for the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) to teach it is necessary to meet these requirements when earning your degree:

  • Earn the required number of credits in the subject area appropriate for the grade level or subject you plan to teach
  • Graduate with a 3.0 GPA
  • Fulfill the physiology and hygiene requirement
  • Finish a state-approved teacher preparation program

Those who plan to teach middle school must also finish a course that covers child and early adolescent development.

Approved teacher preparation programs include student teaching assignments and education courses, such as curriculum planning, human development and learning.

The number of courses required varies between grade levels. Preschool and elementary teachers must take 60 liberal arts credits, for example. Those pursuing certification in an all grades subject area or high school subject area typically need 30 credits in their chosen subject area. Of the 30 credits, at least 12 must be taken at advanced grade levels.

Middle school teachers need two certifications, so they must meet the requirements for their chosen subject area or they must also complete their Elementary K-6 CEAS. Those who complete the Elementary K-6 CEAS requirements will need to ensure that they take at least 15 credits in the subject area they plan to teach as part of their undergraduate studies. This can be part of or in addition to the 60 liberal arts credits required.

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  • 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 3: Optional Certification Pathway - edTPA Requirements

The edTPA has been introduced in New Jersey to evaluate the practical skills of teacher certification applicants. For the 2017-2018 school year applicants only need to complete the evaluation to qualify for certification.

A score that is one error below the national average passing score for the edTPA will be needed to pass the edTPA in the 2018-2019 school year. New passing guidelines will be introduced for the 2019-2020 school year.

Step 4: Optional Certification Pathway - Praxis Test Requirements

The specific Praxis test or tests that certification applicants need to take varies by subject and grade level. This chart covers some of the general grade levels and subject areas to provide examples of the passing score requirements in different subject areas.

Grade Level or Subject Tests Required Passing Score
Preschool Through Grade 3 CEAS Early Childhood Education 156
Elementary K-6 CEAS Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Reading and Language Arts - 157;
Science - 159
Mathematics - 157;
Social Studies - 155
Middle School Mathematics Middle School Mathematics 165
Middle School Science Middle School Science 150
Middle School Social Studies Middle School Social Studies 158
Middle School English Language Arts Middle School English Language Arts 164
Secondary Education Social Studies Social Studies: Content Knowledge 157
All Grades Music Music: Content Knowledge 153

Those who opt to pursue their certification in a second language, such as Spanish, must also take an oral proficiency test in addition to the required Praxis test for their subject area.

Praxis passing scores are based on applicants that graduated college with a 3.0 GPA. With higher test scores it is also possible to qualify for certification with a 2.75 or higher GPA.

Step 5: Optional Certification Pathway - Application Process

The following items must be sent to the New Jersey State Department of Education to receive certification:

  • $170 application fee
  • Completed application form
  • Required documentation, including transcripts, oath of allegiance and professional experience record

Teacher Certification Resources

Those planning to pursue a career as a private school teacher in New Jersey can access study materials for the appropriate exams through this link.

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