How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Georgia

Jan 02, 2019

Prospective Georgia elementary teachers for preschool through fifth grade will need to follow a specific path to earn their state certification. This article discusses the requirements that must be completed before becoming an early childhood educator in Georgia.

Elementary education in Georgia involves teaching children from preschool to fifth grade. Candidates interested in teaching elementary school in this state can follow several paths to earn their educator credentials. In this article, we outline the traditional path, Pathway 1, which involves earning a bachelor's degree, completing a teacher preparation program, and passing Georgia state licensing exams.

Georgia Elementary School Teaching Requirements

Average Salary for Elementary Teachers in Georgia (2016)* $54,890
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early childhood education and an approved educator preparation program
Testing Requirements Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) in Early Childhood Education, GACE Program Admission Assessments (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing), and the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit; edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

To be considered for licensure in Georgia, aspiring elementary teachers will need to complete a bachelor's degree and educator preparation program through a college or university approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). These programs typically include teaching and co-teaching experience in a classroom in addition to instruction on selecting and implementing age-appropriate lesson plans and methods for teaching in diverse settings and across different age groups. With society's growing reliance technology in virtually all careers and educational institutions, technological literacy is also being added to educator preparation programs at many colleges and universities. Future elementary teachers must also complete a course in how to identify and educate exceptional children.

Step 2: Pass the Required Examinations

Prior to entering a teacher preparation program, students will need to pass the GACE Program Admission Assessments in Reading (test code 200), Mathematics (test code 201), and Writing (test code 202). Please note, it is possible to be granted an exemption from one or more of these tests if a candidate has earned qualifying scores on their SAT (1000 Verbal/Critical Reading and Math), ACT (43 English and Math), or GRE (297 Verbal and Quantitative).

After completing the educator preparation program, candidates for educator licensing in Georgia must then earn a passing score in each of the following exams:

  • GACE Content Assessment: Early Childhood Education (test codes 001, 002) - minimum score of 220
  • Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit (test code 360)
  • edTPA: Elementary Education - minimum score of 45

Step 3: Apply for an Induction Certificate

Once a candidate has completed their educator training program and passed the necessary exams, they may then apply for an induction certificate from the GaPSC. The certificate will be valid for three years, and may then be converted to a professional certificate. A teacher must work within their age group or subject matter during that three-year period and receive satisfactory annual evaluations to be eligible to convert to a professional certificate upon expiration.

Georgia Elementary Teacher Certification Resources

Preparation is the key to success for potential elementary teachers pursuing certification in the state of Georgia. Please follow the links below to find the tools you need to get started preparing for some of the necessary examinations.

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