How to Become an English Teacher in New York: Certification & Requirements

Get the facts on the certification process for New York English teachers. Read for an overview of certification types, education credentials and trainings. Schools offering Literacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Info for New York English Teachers

English teachers in the state of New York must have a valid classroom teacher certificate in English. The entry-level certificate is known as the initial certificate. During the first renewal period, initial certificate holders are eligible for the professional certificate (an advanced certification level that involves the completion of mandatory Continuing Teacher and Leader hours). The table below summarizes the relevant certification and career statistics for New York English teachers.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Certification Level Initial or Professional Classroom Teacher Certificate
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: Select the Appropriate Track and Complete the Required Education

There are two separate initial certificates available for English teachers depending on the grade level. The first is for middle school teachers (covering grades 5 thru 9) and the second for teaching high school (grades 7 thru 12). Each of these certificates has 10 separate tracks to certification, with the most common being the completion of a New York state-approved teacher preparation program or an individual evaluation of the candidate's college coursework. The individual evaluation guidelines include a minimum 2.5 GPA and completed courses in a variety of topics (including liberal arts, written analysis and expression, and teaching literacy skills among others). Candidates on this track must also verify at least 40 days of supervised classroom teaching experience.

Step 2: Pass All Examination Requirements

Both the formal teacher preparation and individual evaluation certification pathways involve the completion of three separate examinations. The Educating All Students test (EAS) is a New York state-developed general education test with a total of 43 questions. The edTPA examination is a teaching performance assessment that involves the evaluation of your teaching skills in classroom settings (requiring you to videotape a practice lesson). Finally, the Content Specialty Test (CST) evaluates your knowledge in your specific teaching subject. For English teacher candidates, candidates can choose between taking the English language arts test or the safety net English language arts test. Check the NYSED website for registration instructions and applicable fees.

Step 3: Complete the Background Check and Required Trainings

All initial certificate candidates must complete a variety of trainings and pass a national criminal background check. Required trainings include workshops on discrimination intervention and the prevention of bullying and harassment. Other topics include child abuse identification and school violence intervention. All workshops are conducted by approved service providers across the state. Detailed workshop schedules and registration are available on the NYSED website. The background check must be completed directly through the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA). Once you have completed all requirements, you can create an account on the NY.gov TEACH website in order to submit your application online.

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