How to Become a Reading Teacher in Illinois

If you want to become a reading teacher in Illinois, there are several requirements, including three exams that will prove proficiency in general knowledge, teaching, and a concentration in reading.

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In Illinois, becoming a reading teacher means that you want to work with students to help them with literacy. Illinois offers reading teacher endorsement for grades PreK-12. This article will look at how to become a reading teacher in Illinois.

Requirements for Illinois Reading Teachers

Average Salary for Teachers in Illinois* $32,950 (Preschool), $60,760 (Elementary), $69,700 (Middle School), $70,130 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Required Field Literacy or Reading
Testing Requirements basic skills, edTPA, content area test (Reading Teacher)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education

Illinois asks that aspiring teachers attend a regionally accredited educational program. The focus for reading teachers should be in literacy or reading. Reading and literacy courses can be found at the bachelor's degree level, and you'll want to take courses like foundations of reading, assessment and diagnosis of reading problems, remedial instruction and support, teaching reading to diverse populations, and content area reading, among others. There will be a practicum at the end of your education where future teachers are expected to spend time in the classroom teaching.

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Step 2: Complete the Testing Requirements

Reading teachers must complete a basic skills test, the edTPA, and the Reading Teacher content test as part of the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS). Beginning with the basic skills test, you can sit for the ACT, SAT, or TAP (Test of Academic Proficiency given by ILTS). The TAP is the preferred method and covers reading comprehension, math, writing, and language arts.

For the edTPA, testers select the teaching endorsement area that they want to focus their candidacy in. For reading teachers, a good option could be the Elementary Education (K-9) area. Testers must earn at least a 37 on this test to pass.

Finally, you'll need to take a content area test. The Reading Teacher ILTS test is three hours and 45 minutes long. It is computer-based and includes 125 multiple choice questions. The test fee is $122, and students must earn at least a 240 on the exam to pass.

Step 3: Get Licensed

In order to get licensed by Illinois, future teachers must submit an application and all test scores. Future teachers will create an account on the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) to apply for the Professional Educator License (PEL). Official school transcripts should be sent to the Board of Education. A final step is to fill out the 80-02 Form, which needs to be sent to your school to prove you completed a state-approved education program and sat for all necessary tests.

Reading Teacher Certification Sources

There are several steps to become a reading teach in Illinois. One of the most stressful aspects will likely be the testing requirements. Below are a few links to guides that can help you prepare for those licensing exams.

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