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Become a High School Teacher in Virginia

Teachers in the state of Virginia work with students as they prepare for life outside of school, whether that means their entry into the work force or the continuation of their education. Find out what it takes to become a high school teacher in Virginia.

The Pathway to Becoming a High School Teacher in Virginia

High school teachers typically work with students between the grades of 9 and 12 as they prepare for life after graduation. Before becoming a high school teacher though, candidates will need to earn a bachelor's degree and complete a number of other requirements that were set forth by the state of Virginia.

Education/Experience Required A Minimum of a Bachelor's Degree, License
Exams Required Praxis, VCLA
Professional Development Points Needed for Renewal 180 Points
Certification Renewal Period 5 Years
Mean Salary for High School Teachers in Virginia (2018) $68,770*
Estimated Job Growth for High School Teachers Nationwide (2016-2026) 8%*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

High school teachers in the state of Virginia have a number of different daily responsibilities, some of which include creating lesson plans, preparing and maintaining the classroom, grading assignments, administering tests, and contacting parents if necessary. High school teachers typically specialize in one area, like math, literature, or science, and teach multiple classes throughout the course of the school day. Depending on the school that a teacher is employed by, it may also be required for those teachers to attend school events such as open houses or parent teacher conferences.

Education Requirements

The first step on the path to becoming a certified teacher in the state of Virginia is to earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Although a higher degree is not necessary, it may be beneficial later down the line when applying for jobs. During college is also the time for teachers to choose the subject area that they wish to teach later down the line. If someone wanted to become a science teacher, some classes he/she may expect to take would include chemistry and biology, whereas someone wishing to become a math teacher should expect to take classes like calculus, trigonometry, or algebra.

Exam Requirements

There are different exams that potential teachers must pass before they are able to teach in the state of Virginia. The first is the Praxis exam, which is based on the subject area that a candidate plans to teach. The passing scores for this exam depend on the subject area, so someone taking the biology exam will need a score of 155 to pass, but someone taking the computer science exam will only need a score of 142. The second required exam is the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA), which is a computer-based test. To be considered passing, test takers must achieve a score of 235 in writing, 235 in reading, and a minimum of a 470 as a composite score.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the exam and educational requirements above, there are a few additional requirements that must be met before applying for an initial license. Teachers must complete Child Abuse and Neglect Recognition and Intervention Training. They must also complete Emergency First Aid, CPR & AED Certification or training. Lastly, teacher will also need to complete Dyslexia Awareness Training.

License Renewal

In order to continue teaching in the state of Virginia, teachers must renew their licenses. To do this, they will need to complete Child Abuse and Neglect Recognition and Intervention Training, Emergency First Aid, CPR & AED Certification or training, and Dyslexia Awareness Training. Teachers will also need to prove that they have earned a minimum of 180 Professional Development Points between the time that their license was issued and the time of application renewal. Candidates will need to complete their applications and return them to the Virginia Department of Education, along with the required $50 application fee.