Communication is an essential skill for all students to have. Journalism is the subject in high school that really promotes oral and written communication. If you'd like to work in Texas as a journalism teacher, we'll look at a step-by-step path for certification.
Requirements for Journalism Teachers in Texas
|Average Salary for Teachers in Texas (2019)*||$56,290 (Middle School), $58,000 (Secondary School)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Required Field||Journalism Education|
|Testing Requirements||TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160) and TExES Journalism 7-12|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Understand Journalism Certification
Journalism teachers are one of the rare teachers who typically take on multiple duties. Journalism, like psychology, is typically taught by teachers who hold other certifications. Often, social studies teachers will teach the one class in criminal justice at a high school. As a journalism teacher, you'll often find a background or certification as an English teacher useful. This isn't necessary, but it will open more doors for job opportunities. Since there are other articles about becoming certified as an English Language Arts teacher, we will look specifically at the Journalism requirements.
Step 2: Complete Your Education Requirements
You will need to obtain a bachelor's degree in order to teach in Texas. For journalism teachers, there are many journalism and journalism education programs available throughout the state. These programs look deep at storytelling through a journalistic lens. You may find that, in Texas, your degree program includes topics in Espanol journalism. This is because of a large number of Spanish-speaking residents in Texas. Other course topics you'll find include graphic design, issues in journalism, ethics, reporting sports, reporting dada, coding for journalists, feature writing, storytelling, and audio reporting. There are many kinds of journalism out there to dig into, such as newspaper layout and social media journalism.
A journalism education program will likely be focused on teaching methods and theories along with the journalism courses. This is to prepare those who want to become teachers, and it is part of the educator preparation program (EPP) that is required by the state. If it is not included in your bachelor's program, you can continue your education with an EPP education program. These programs will put you in the classroom to apply your teaching skills.
Step 3: Complete TExES Exams
You will need to sit for at least two exams if you want to be a journalism teacher. The first requirement applies to all aspiring teachers in Texas: the 100 multiple-choice question-exam and the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12. Along with that exam, you'll be required to take the TExES Journalism 7-12 assessment. This exam is computer-administered with a 5-hour limit. You'll answer 100 questions in four domain areas: mass media and communication, journalistic writing and photojournalism, student-produced media, and journalism in the school community. There are other exams for becoming certified as an English teacher, but those are not required to solely teach journalism.
Step 4: Be Fingerprinted
Along with many other states, Texas requires teachers to be fingerprinted. You should be fingerprinted by a MorphoTrust location so that the digital scans can be more quickly accessed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the FBI. You will need a photo ID to be fingerprinted, and the fee is $10. After this, a background check will be run on you by the FBI, TEA, and Department of Public Safety (DPS). The fee for this is $39.
Certification Resources for Journalism Teachers in Texas
Journalism teachers better know how to do their research. Though that skill is essential, we've made it easy for you, so you don't need to search out study guides for the TExES exams you'll need to take. The below link will take you to many different study guides and test preps in a number of subjects.