Becoming a Biology Teacher in New York

Biology teachers in New York must hold a valid certificate for grades 5 thru 9 or 7 thru 10. Read for an overview of the certification process and required trainings. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Info For New York Biology Teachers

In the state of New York, biology teachers must hold a valid classroom teacher certificate in biology. Among the ten available pathways to certification, the easiest involves the completion of a New York state teacher preparation program with a concentration in biology. The table below is an overview of relevant facts for New York biology teachers.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Certification Level Initial Classroom Teacher Certificate in Biology (grades 5-9 or 7-12)
Certification Renewal Period 5 years
Examination Requirements Educating All Students (EAS), Content Specialty Test (CST), and EdTPA Performance Assessment
New York Teacher Average Salary (2018)* $83,490 (for all middle school teachers)
$85,300 (for all high school teachers)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% (for all middle school and high school teachers nationwide)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Begin a Teacher Preparation Program

There are two separate grade level certifications for biology teachers. The first is for middle school, covering grades 5 thru 9. The second is for grades 7 thru 12. Once you have selected the track you are interested in, visit the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to review the most updated inventory of approved teacher preparation programs. The website allows you to search programs by certification subject and grade level. Each program listed will display relevant contact information for application instructions and other pertinent information. Once you have completed formal teacher preparation, you will be provided with an institutional recommendation document recommending you to the state for certification. This recommendation is necessary to begin the online application for certification on the NYSED website.

Step 2: Complete the Required Examinations and Workshops

There are three separate examinations you must complete during the certification process. The first is the Educating All Students (EAS) test, which is conducted by NYSED and evaluates your general education skills. The second is the Content Specialty Test (CST), which will evaluate your biology skills for the grade level in question. The third is the EdTPA Performance Assessment, which involves an assessment of your teaching skills in a live setting (through a videotaped lesson), as well as a review of your lesson preparation plans and teaching portfolio. Once you have completed all required examinations, you must also attend the Dignity for All Students workshop conducted by the state, which involves the development of skills in harassment prevention. Visit the NYSED website for information on locations and registration instructions for all examinations and workshops.

Step 3: Pass a Background Check and Submit Your Application

Fingerprint clearance is conducted by the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) in several locations across the state. You can schedule an appointment in one of the several statewide locations by visiting the IdentoGo website. Once you have compiled all documentation (including college transcripts, fingerprint clearance cards, the institutional recommendation document and relevant test scores), you can visit the NY.gov TEACH website in order to begin the online application process.

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