Becoming a History Teacher in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, a valid license is needed to become a history teacher. Read on to discover more about the requirements needed, such as degree, training program, and exams. Schools offering Teaching - Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Massachusetts History Teacher Certification Information

Those interested in teaching history in Massachusetts must first obtain the Initial Educator License in History. Prospective teachers can choose from two options, grades 1-6 or grades 5-12, depending on the grade level they wish to teach. Read below to find out more about the specifics regarding requirements for these licenses.

Education Required Bachelor's degree; history education teacher preparation program approved by the state
Exams Required MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills; MTEL History (not required for teaching grades 1-6)
License Validity Period Initial license valid for five years; can be extended once for an additional five years if needed
Advancement Requirements 50 hours with a mentor, three years of teaching experience, completion of a graduate or other education program to advance to professional license
Mean Salary (2018, Massachusetts) $82,600 (all elementary school teachers), $79,030 (all middle school teachers), $80,020 (all high school teachers)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 7% (all elementary school teachers), 8% (all middle and high school teachers)*

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

Meet Education Requirements

Prospective teachers in Massachusetts must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or school. Those interested in teaching history generally major in history, social studies, or a related major. A typical history major includes coursework in world history, American history, European history, and geography.

Complete Teacher Preparation Program

Prospective teachers must complete a teacher preparation program that focuses on history education and has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This can be completed as part of the bachelor's degree or by enrolling in a separate program. The program generally includes coursework in developing historical literacy, history curriculum methods, and state required coursework in Sheltered English Immersion. Candidates also complete a practicum as a student teacher to gain real-world skills in a local classroom.

Pass Required Exams

All prospective history teachers must pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL): Communication and Literacy Skills exam. In addition, those interested in teaching middle school (5-8) or high school (8-12) must also pass the MTEL History content exam.

The Communication and Literacy MTEL includes a writing and reading subtest and covers topics such as the meaning of words, punctuation, and sentence usage. The MTEL history exam includes multiple choice and open-response questions in U.S. history, world history, geography, government, and economics. A minimum score of 240 is needed to pass each exam.

Complete Advancement Requirements

After the initial license validity period of five years, teachers must advance to the professional license. To do so, teachers must have three full years of experience and complete a one-year induction program with 50 hours with a mentor. Teachers must also complete an advance education program, such as a master's degree.

Those who do not meet the requirements after five years are eligible to apply for a five-year extension of the initial license. This is a one-time extension and requires employment in a school and proof of plans to complete the requirements for the professional license advancement.

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