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Becoming a High School Math Teacher in Illinois

Teaching in Illinois requires a Professional Educator License in the subject and grade area you want to teach. In this article, you'll learn how to get a teaching certificate in high school-level math in the state.

Illinois High School Math Teacher Career Info

Any teacher in Illinois, regardless of grade or subject level, needs a Professional Educator License in teaching. To be a math teacher, you'll get this license with an endorsement in secondary education for mathematics. This will allow you to teach math from grades 9 to 12.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree; teacher preparation program approved by the state
Exams Required Basic skills test; edTPA; Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Mathematics exam
License Validity Period Five years
Requirements for Renewal 120 professional development hours
Mean Salary for Illinois Teachers (2018)* $72,370 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth for High School Teachers Nationwide (2016-2026)* 8%

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

Step 1: Complete Your Bachelor's Degree and Teacher Preparation Program

To become a high school math teacher in Illinois, first you'll need to get a bachelor's degree that includes a state-approved teacher preparation program and student teaching experience. Various universities in Illinois offer undergraduate programs in math education. You can see a full list on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website. Your institution of higher education will need to fill out a form verifying the program you completed meets state standards. (Note: If you have already completed a bachelor's degree in an area other than education, but want to become a math teacher, the state offers alternative routes to certification.)

The state also requires coursework in the following areas: teaching special needs students, teaching English language learners, reading methods and content area reading. You can find approved courses to meet this requirement on the ISBE website.

Step 2: Pass Basic Skills and Teaching Assessments

Illinois teachers need to pass a basic skills assessment for teaching certification. To do this, you'll need to submit your ACT or SAT exam scores. Passing scores depend on when you took the exam; find out your required score on the ISBE website.

You'll also need to complete the edTPA, the Teaching Performance Assessment. This evaluates your teaching skills in a classroom. Usually, this is done after a student teaching experience as part of an approved teacher preparation program.

Step 3: Pass the Math Content Exam

Finally, you'll need to take the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) exam in Mathematics (208). The passing score is 240, and the exam costs $122 as of 2019. This exam, which lasts more than 3 hours, covers various mathematics topics, including algebra, calculus, geometry and statistics. You can register for the exam and view preparation materials on the ILTS website.

Step 4: Apply for Your Certification

Once you've completed your education and testing requirements, apply for your Illinois certification online through the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS). Through this system, you'll also pay an application fee by credit card. The state also requires that you submit an official transcript and other relevant documents by mail or email.

Step 5: Understand Certification Registration and Renewal

Once your application for certification is accepted and you receive your teaching license, you'll have to register it. Licenses are registered in the region you teach in or in an Illinois county. Registration costs $10 per year as of 2019.

After five years, you'll have to renew your certification. To be able to renew your certificate, you have to complete 120 hours of professional development.