There are many options for future teachers in Montana, from becoming instructors of specific grade levels to becoming instructors of K-12. As a state that values Native American culture and history, all students interested in becoming certified in Montana can also learn how to incorporate that culture and history into their courses.
Montana Salary Information and Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Montana (2017)*|| $28,860 (Preschool)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Testing Requirements||Montana Content Knowledge Assessment, Praxis subject exams|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Before a teacher can move on to Praxis testing or the application process, they must first graduate from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program with a degree in education. The education degree will be more specific to the age group and subject area they hope to teach. For instance, a future preschool teacher would graduate with a degree in early childhood education, while a future secondary school teacher with a passion for Spanish would graduate with a degree in Spanish education. Regardless of the specifics of the degree, all students will participate in student teaching toward the end of their program in order to better understand the needs of children in the classroom.
Courses will be different for every degree. A degree in math education will focus more on mathematical principles, while an elementary education degree will teach students the basics of several different subjects. However, all degree programs will emphasize core educational principles. Some of these classes might include:
- Educational Psychology
- Instructional Media/Technology
- Promoting Well-Being in the P-12 Classroom
- Social and Emotional Development
All students will have to take a course called 'An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana' prior to getting certified. This course explores the ways in which the Indian Education for All (IEFA) initiative helps students to learn about American Indian culture through different content areas.
Step 2: Pass All Required Assessments
When all educational requirements have been squared away and students graduate with degrees in education, they are ready to begin the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge. This evaluation system requires students to score at least a 7 through a combination of GPA, student teaching, and Praxis scores. Each category is broken down into brackets. For example, on the GPA portion of the assessment, a 3.5-4.0 GPA is worth 4 points, a 3.0-3.49 GPA is worth 3 points, and so on until a GPA below 2.00, which is worth 0 points. Each area of the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge should give students a combined score of at least 7. The student teaching portion works similarly, with a teacher or advisor scoring the student on their ability to run a classroom.
One component of this assessment is the Praxis exam. An in-depth breakdown of required scores is available on the Montana Department of Education website, but most subject exams require scores in the 150s to achieve a 3. A 3 is the highest ranking for this portion of the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge. For example, on the Art Praxis exam, a score of 158-200 would result in a ranking of 3. A score of 142-157 would result in a 2, and a score of 126-141 would result in a 1. Teachers should check with an advisor prior to signing up for Praxis exams.
Step 3: Submit the Certification Application
Finally, once the Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge is complete and teachers have scored combined minimum score of 7, it is time to begin the certification application. Teachers with Praxis scores and degrees are eligible for the Class 2 Standard Teaching License. First, teachers will submit an online application through the Department of Education's website. They will also need to include a University Recommendation Form, a Notary Page, and a Fingerprint Background Check through the mail. Transcripts, Praxis scores, and proof of completion of the 'An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana' course can all be submitted electronically. Once all of these materials have been submitted, teachers will receive their certification.
Study Resources for Future Montana Teachers
There are so many different subject exams available through Praxis, and study guides to help you through each one. Take a look through the Praxis guide below for more information on what to expect and how to prepare.