The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) does not require private school teachers to be licensed. However, each school can set up its own requirements. Since these can vary, and because you may choose to eventually teach at a public school, we'll look at the certification requirements for teachers in Illinois.
Requirements for Teachers in Illinois
|Average Salary for Teachers Illinois (2017)*|| $31,750 (Preschool)
$62,620 (Elementary School
$66,630 (Middle School)
$68,380 (Secondary School)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Testing Requirements|| ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Your Education
The one thing that ISBE does request of prospective teachers no matter the school is a bachelor's degree. While this is not a requirement, it is strongly preferred. If you do not have a bachelor's degree, a note will be made about it with the ISBE. You can also put together an educational plan outlining the bachelor's degree you intend to receive and when.
However, as just mentioned, a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for all teachers in Illinois. To be certified, your degree should be a state-approved program. For teachers, this generally means looking for an education-focused major, so something like music education would be good for music teachers. Otherwise, consider focusing on the area in which you want to teach, such as math, and then concentrate or minor in education. It is also suggested that your program include courses in teaching exceptional children and ESL students, as well as reading methods.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
- Teaching, Adults
- Teaching, Elementary
- Teaching, High School
- Teaching, Junior High
- Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
- Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
- Teaching, Young Children
Step 2: Complete Required Exams
Illinois uses the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) put together by edTPA. However, as of January 2018, the ILTS system is phasing out to just the edTPA for Illinois exams. To become a certified teacher, you must complete at least two exams, but possibly more depending on the grade and subject area you intend to teach. The first exam you'll take is the Test of Academic Proficiency given by the ILTS. This exam is made up of four subtests: reading comprehension, math, writing, and language arts. In order to pass this exam, you must score at least 240 on each subtest. You'll be given five hours to complete all four subtests, which include 170 multiple-choice questions and an essay between all four.
The next exam you'll take is the edTPA endorsement-area exam. Each of these is a bit different, though the minimum score is typically no less than 37. Along with this, the exams will look at five competencies through a portfolio: planning, academic language, instruction, reflection, and assessment.
Illinois Private School Teacher Certification Resources
Though testing and becoming certified are not requirements to teach in private schools in Illinois, you may still choose to. If that is the case, use the following link to help you study.