How to Become a Science Teacher in New York

Jan 02, 2019

New York science teachers primarily work with students in middle and high school. They are highly trained professionals who have studied science and education and passed multiple exams to qualify for their teaching certification.

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Science teachers in New York may opt to teach biology, chemistry, earth science or physics. They can choose to focus on middle childhood education and work with students in grades 5 through 9, or they may opt to focus on adolescent education and teach students in grades 7 through 12.

New York Science Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New York (2016)* $78,060 (Middle School); $81,410 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Science Education
Testing Requirements edTPA, EAS, CST

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

The first step towards a career as a certified science teacher in the state of New York is to earn a bachelor's degree through an approved program. You may need to choose whether you want to teach biology, chemistry, earth science or physics and enroll in an appropriate education program designed to instruct the science discipline and level of your choice. These programs will require completion of credits in your chosen discipline.

Approved bachelor's degree programs also include courses in education. These courses prepare students to develop curriculum plans, instruct students and evaluate students. They also cover education-related topics such as teaching students with special needs. Students will be introduced to teaching strategies through their coursework, and they will also gain practical experience by completing student teaching assignments. All individuals who graduate from an approved education program in New York must have a recommendation letter from their college or university in order to be eligible for certification.

Step 2: Pass Certification Exams

edTPA

The edTPA is designed to evaluate an individual's practical teaching skills. It is necessary to complete an edTPA designed for your intended certification area, such as middle childhood science or secondary science. Middle and high school teachers currently need a score of 38 to pass the edTPA. These scores will increase by 1 point each as of 2020. Another 1 point increase will occur January 1, 2022 which means that as of that date middle and high school teachers will need to earn 40 to pass the edTPA. The registration fee for this test is $300.

EAS

All aspiring teachers in New York must pass the Educating All Students (EAS) exam. This exam lasts for 2.25 hours and applicants must pay a $92 fee when registering to take the EAS. The passing grade for the EAS is 500.

CST

The Content Specialty Test (CST) for each subject area is designed to ensure that teachers have the skills and knowledge needed to teach the subject for which they are pursuing certification. Science teachers choose from CSTs in biology, chemistry, earth science and physics. These tests currently take 4 hours to complete and cost $134. The passing score for all of these tests is currently 220. New tests that take 3.25 hours will replace each of these tests in the fall of 2019.

Step 3: Fulfill Additional Certification Requirements

All initial certificate applicants must provide their fingerprints for a background check to qualify for certification. They are also required to take the Dignity For All Students Act workshop.

Step 4: Apply For The Initial Certificate

Once steps 1 through 3 have been fulfilled it is time to apply for the initial certificate. Transcripts, proof of identity and a fee of $50 are required when applying. Once it is established that an applicant has fulfilled all of the requirements they will receive their initial certificate and be qualified to teach in New York. The initial certificate is good for five years.

Teacher Certification Resources

Practice and study guides for the CST tests in biology, chemistry and physics are linked to here. Use the appropriate CST practice and study guide to prepare to pass a CST exam to qualify for teacher certification in the state of New York.

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