Become a High School English Teacher in Georgia

High school English teachers instruct students in grades 9-12 on critical analysis and effective writing strategies. Read on to learn about becoming a certified high school English teacher in the state of Georgia. Schools offering Literacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Teaching High School English in Georgia: Job Description, Education, and Certification

High school English teachers generally instruct English and/or Language Arts courses to students in grades 9-12. High school English teachers educate students on critical analysis of texts and performances and on effective writing. This article provides a job description and the steps to becoming a certified high school English teacher in Georgia.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
Completion of educator preparation program
Completion of course on identifying and educating exceptional children
Exams Required GACE Program Admission Assessment
Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Entry
GACE Content Assessment: English (020, 021)
Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit
Content Pedagogy Assessment: edTPA
License Validity Period Induction Certificate: 3 years
Mean Salary for High School Teachers in Georgia (2018) $58,050*
Estimated Job Growth for High School Teachers (2016-2026, nationwide) 8%*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

High school English teachers instruct students in methods and terminology to understand, analyze, and discuss texts and performances. They also instruct students in vocabulary, paper structure, argument strategies, and standard paper format structures, such as APA and MLA, in order to prepare students to write papers in college or university. They assign work and projects and administer tests. They also provide feedback to students and parents.


In order to become a high school English teacher in the state of Georgia, candidates must first earn a bachelor's degree and complete Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC)-approved educator certification program. The most straightforward path is to attend a college or university in Georgia that offers an educator preparation program as part of the requirements to complete a bachelor's degree. In order to apply for an educator preparation program, first, the student must have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Second, the student must pass the GACE Program Admission Assessment. Next, the student must take the GACE Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Entry.

Fieldwork and Internship

In addition to their coursework, students will complete supervised fieldwork and an internship. Students must qualify for the Pre-Service certificate before they can begin fieldwork and internships in Georgia institutions. This certificate will be requested on their behalf by the institution where they are completing their educator certification program. Candidates for secondary school certifications will complete field certifications in grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. Students will also complete an internship which will last for at least a semester, although a year-long internship is encouraged.

Getting Certified in Georgia's Certification System

The state of Georgia has a tiered certification system;

  • Tier 1 - Pre-Service certification which is required for fieldwork and interning at Georgia institutions and is detailed above.
  • Tier 2 - Induction Certificate; there are 4 Pathways set out by GaPSC for gaining this certificate depending on where the candidate completed their pre-certification requirements.
  • Tier 3 - Professional Certificate

To gain certification to teach under an Induction Certificate, candidates must complete the following assessments;

  • GACE Content Assessment: English
  • Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit Assessment
  • Content Pedagogy Assessment: edTPA

If candidates did not complete their bachelor's degree and/or their educator preparation program in Georgia, there are additional requirements detailed on the GaPSC website.

Finally, in order to qualify for a teacher certification in Georgia, candidates must also complete a course on identifying and educating exceptional children.

Gaining Professional Certification

Advancement to the third tier of Professional Certification requires at least 3 years' teaching experience. There are four different certificates that can be earned at this tier. Some have additional requirements:

Standard Professional Certificate

  • None

Standard Professional Educational Leadership Certificate

  • Completion of a GaPSC-approved Tier I Educational Leadership program

Performance-Based Professional Certificate

  • Earned a rating of 'Proficient' or 'Exemplary' during all three years on the TAPS component of their teaching evaluation

Performance-Based Professional Educational Leadership Certificate

  • GaPSC-approved Performance-Based Educational Leadership program
  • Pass GACE Educational Leadership content assessment
  • Pass Performance Assessment for School Leaders

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