Education Requirements for Becoming an English Teacher in Delaware

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The 21st century places significant demands on literacy: students need to learn how to communicate proficiently and fluently with a range of tools and styles in order to succeed. English teachers have an important role to play in ensuring their success, not only in reading and writing but also in cross-cultural communication and technological literacy.

In Delaware, the state Department of Education is responsible for licensing teachers. To become an English teacher in Delaware, complete the following steps:

Complete a Bachelor Degree and Educator Prep Program
Complete Testing
Apply for Your License and Certificate
Maintain and Upgrade Your License
Pursue Graduate Work



Step 1. Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program

To become an English teacher in Delaware, the first step is usually to complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher prep program at a regionally accredited college or university.

Your teacher preparation program must include a student teaching component, unless you do one of the following:

  1. Complete a state-approved alternative route (details are available here), or
  2. Complete one year of teaching, including 91 days or more at one post in one Delaware public or charter school. For details, consult the state’s regulations here.

    There are currently four NCATE-accredited educator preparation programs for Delaware, a list of which may be found here.

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Step 2. Complete Testing

Before becoming an English teacher in Delaware, you must pass one of the following tests:

  • Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), which assesses basic competency in reading, writing, and math through multiple-choice questions and an essay question. Passing scores in Delaware are as follows:
    • Reading: 175
    • Writing: 173
    • Math: 174
  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, which measures basic skills in reading, writing, and math, through multiple choice questions and two thirty-minute essay questions. Passing scores in Delaware are:
    • Reading: 156
    • Writing: 162
    • Math: 150

The state has also passed some exemptions for the Praxis tests, designed for those who may have taken other tests in previous years. The Core Battery Communications Skills test, SAT Reasoning Test, or GRE tests are all considered potentially acceptable alternatives. A list of passing scores is available here.

You are also required to take subject-specific content area Praxis II tests, which vary according to the grade level you will be teaching:

  • Middle School: Middle School English Language Arts test 5047 (passing score 164)
  • Secondary Education: English Language Arts: Content Knowledge test 5038 (passing score 167)

Middle School: Middle School English Language Arts

The Middle School English & Language Arts test is a 160-minute test that includes 130 minutes for 110 selected-response questions (mostly multiple choice), and 30 minutes for two constructed-response questions. The test has been aligned with the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and other national standards. Test components are summarized below:

  1. Reading (46% of your score): Identifying major authors and works, situating authors and texts in their historical or literary contexts, understanding defining characteristics of literary genres, understanding literary and inferential interpretations, understanding literary elements and plot choices, understanding informational texts and rhetoric.
  2. Language Use and Vocabulary (11%): understanding the conventions of Standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, understanding the parts of speech; identifying different sentence types.
  3. Writing, speaking, and Listening (18%): understanding the distinct characteristics of different types of writing, and effective delivery of a speech or presentations, understanding methods that authors use to appeal to specific audiences, understanding what constitutes an effective written argument.
  4. English Language Arts Instruction (25%): knowing common and research-based approaches to supporting language acquisition and vocabulary development for different types of learners; knowing techniques for instructing students to participate collaboratively in discussions.

Further and more detailed information on the test components is available in the study guide here.

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge

The English Language Arts: Content Knowledge test is a computer-delivered 150-minute test with 130 selected response questions, most of which are multiple choice. The content is divided into three categories: reading (49 questions, 38% of your score); Language Use and Vocabulary (33 questions, 25% of your score), and Writing, Speaking, and Listening (48 questions, 37% of your score). A study guide is available here.

All Praxis tests are available in Delaware at the following locations: Dover, New Castle, and Newark. Test dates are available here.



Step 3: Apply for Your License and Certificate

The first type of license to apply for is the Initial License, which is valid for three years and cannot be renewed. The license is considered inactive until you start employment, and so the three-year license period begins on that date that you are hired. If you are a graduate of an approved teacher prep program and applying for the first time, you should apply online here.

Providing a criminal conviction history is required. You complete the application process online, but must mail all official transcripts, certificates, and experience listed in the application to the Delaware Department of Education at the address below:

Delaware Department of Education
Collette Education Resource Center
35 Commerce Way, Suite 1
Dover, DE 19904
ATTN: Certification

During the term of the Initial License, you are required to participate in a comprehensive teacher induction program that will including mentoring and other types of professional development activities.



Step 4: Maintain and Upgrade Your License

The next license to apply for is a Continuing License, which is valid for five years and may be renewed. Applicants coming from within Delaware must submit a complete application that includes verification by the school district, charter school, or other employing authority of state teacher performance annual evaluations conducted during the period of your initial license. Detailed information on the Continuing License is available in Delaware’s regulations here.

To renew the Continuing License for another five year-term, you must complete ninety clock hours of professional development during the term of your license. At least one half of the required hours must come from activities relating to your work with students or staff. A renewal handbook may be found here.

An advanced license is also available for educators who are board-certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. These are valid for ten years unless revoked or extended; detailed information may be found here.



Step 5: Pursue Graduate Work

Post-baccalaureate academic work can further your teaching skills, deepen your experience, enhance your connections, and often provide a raise based on school district salary schedules.

Some of the post-baccalaureate programs that may be available in Delaware include:

  • Masters in Teaching (MAT)
  • Graduate Certificate in Curriculum and Instruction
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • MA in Educational Leadership
  • Ed. in Educational Technology
  • Ed. in Educational Administration
  • Ed. in Elementary Education
  • S. Specialist in Education
  • Ed. Literacy Emphasis
  • D. in Education
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Teaching



Delaware English Teacher Salaries

Delaware has always been known as the First State of the Union because it was the first to ratify the Constitution. It’s a mere 96 miles long and no more than 35 miles wide at its largest point. It is the second smallest state in the country. For such a small landmass, big things take place here.

Sixty-five percent of the nations Fortune-Five Hundred companies are incorporated in Delaware. The state ranks number two on the U.S. economic index. Twenty-eight percent of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher and more than three-fourths of its students graduate from high school. Delaware’s education is an important political topic.

In a recent speech the Governor set aside six million dollars to support certain under-performing school districts that allowed extended school days and nutritional programs. Additional funding for higher teacher salaries would of course attract the best teachers as well.

Teacher salaries in Delaware are currently determined based on several factors. One element is where you teach. Each county is divided into districts, which in turn have set salary schedules for each of its teachers. A second criteria is your level of education. You are rewarded for investing in your education.

As an example, a high school English teacher in the Brandywine School District in Wilmington Delaware will earn $40,761 with a bachelor’s degree their first year compared to $47,767 if they had a master’s. Here are two other English teacher salary comparisons:


  • Entry: $ 38,642
  • Experienced: $ 44,609


  • Entry: $ 40,410
  • Experienced: $ 44,340

Other salary information for Delaware may be found in the table below:

Area Name
Annual Median Salary
Wilmington DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division

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