What does it mean to teach language arts to students in Idaho? Imagine that you help a five-year old discover the wonder of books for the first time as they learn to read independently, or you see the smile on fifth-graders face when they win poetry contest. Teaching English language arts in high school also has its rewards. You are the one who can help students gain the necessary skills that will allow them to fill out a job application, create a resume, read their driver’s handbook, and learn how to properly craft a letter.
Teaching language arts is a crucial piece to anyone’s developmental growth. Without the ability to read and write well, a student enters adulthood educationally impaired. This could mean the difference of a lifetime of restrictions versus a wide open door to do whatever they want. You have the opportunity to become that influencer in a young persons development. When you are ready to take the steps to gain a teaching certificate in Idaho, just follow the items step-by-step below and in a few short years you will become a teacher.
|Select Your Degree/Teaching Program|
|Pass Idaho Exams|
|Apply to the Idaho Credential Board|
|Continue With Your Renewal and Education|
Step 1. Select Your Degree/Teaching Program
Bachelor’s Degree and Teaching Program
Becoming an English in Idaho will give you the opportunity to embark on a potential lifetime career. Unlike the corporate world, teaching for thirty years in one school is a real possibility. A career in teaching requires that you enjoy children, have a certain level of patience and understanding and posses all the needed skills for your subject. Your personality will reflect some of these requirements and the teaching skills can be earned through proper training.
The baseline for a teacher’s education is a bachelor’s degree that also has a teaching program attached. There are other ways to approach the educational requirement, but this is the least amount of school that is acceptable to Idaho’s Board of Education.
The degree programs available through Idaho colleges will allow you to gain the right kind of experience needed to become a teacher of record. The flow of your education starts out broad in subject matter. In the lower division portion, you will encounter general educational courses such as math and science. As you continue through the semesters, your classes will start to become more focused. This is when you will begin to take more defined English courses especially for teachers in grades 6-12.
The last section of your education will train you in the art of teaching. At this point, you will have most of your basic education behind you and will now focus on learning the ropes of teaching. You will learn how a classroom is run and gain an understanding of how children learn. You will also spend time in a class as part of your intern portion of the program. A mentor teacher may be assigned to you during this time. When you are done, you should feel confident knowing that you are ready to teach.
Sometimes teaching candidates will come in from other industries. You may wonder if you have to go back to school and earn another degree. You could potentially seek a masters program at this time. This is always a great possibility. Teachers who hold a master’s degree typically earn a lot more income over the course of their career.
If you prefer not to get a master’s degree, one possible alternative is applying to the American Board. The American Board requires that you are a post-graduate student in order to enter their program (your initial degree will be counted). The length of time to complete the program– typically about ten months –is often less than other similar programs. This program is particularly good for teachers wishing to earn a license appropriate for grades 6-12. For lower grades, you will have to have a secondary endorsement such as special education. This will take more time to complete.
Step 2. Pass Idaho Exams
Now that you are finished with all the education requirements, you are able to move on to testing. Each teacher candidate will need to pass a set number of tests that show you have what it takes to teach. These tests are common to all teachers who want to earn a credential in Idaho. For English teachers in the upper grades (6-12) there will be a subject-specific test required. For the lower grades, you will have to show that you have the skills needed to teach younger children. All teachers, no matter what grade level, will also participate in the basic skills tests.
The process for testing may take a little time. You may want to spread the tests out over a period of time. If you do, you can focus on preparing for one test at a time. If you decide you want to complete all of them, Depending on the testing timeframes, you might be able to do that.
If you decide to teach grades 6-12, you will apply for the English content test. If you teach younger children, Pre-K-8 you will apply for the Early Childhood Content test. If you plan to achieve Highly Qualified status, you will also need to take the Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood Content test or Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects.
Step 3. Apply to the Idaho Credential Board
Once you have you passed your exams, you are now qualified to apply for your credential. Idaho has several different licensing options, all with their own requirements. In order to make sure you don’t miss a step, it is important that you look over the requirements from time to time in case there have been changes. The basic steps to earning your first credential and satisfying the application process include:
- Earning your degree and having official transcripts ready to send in with your application.
- Passing the exams and having proof of those sent in to the licensing Board.
- Getting a fingerprint card. This will also require a background investigation for criminal violations.
- Gathering any supporting documents.
- Filling out the application form.
- Paying the application fee.
All material will be sent into the following address:
State Department of Education
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0027
Completing all the above items qualifies you to receive the standard Idaho credential that will remain valid for five years. When the five years are up, it will be time to renew your license. The certification starts on September 1 and expires August 31 of the five-year cycle.
Step 4. Continue With Your Renewal and Education
When you have been teaching for five years and it is time to renew, there are certain things you will need to accomplish during those five years in order to renew your certification. As a teacher, continuing with your own education is important. New methods for teaching, new technology, and other things can change in five years. You will want to stay current on these things in order to remain effective. The route to recertification can happen by participating in 6 continuing education units.
These units are typically available from a variety of sources. You can check with local colleges in Idaho through their credentialing department. They will have specific courses that qualify for credit. Other courses are available through private educational contractors.
You can also take advantage of this requirement by taking a master’s program. Having some of those units count towards your continuing education as well as going towards a higher degree doubles your reward. Not only will you be recertified, you will also likely increase your salary and your status as a highly qualified teacher.
Idaho English Teacher Salaries
Teaching in Idaho allows you the opportunity to choose from living in places such as the large bustling city of Boise where tall buildings line the night sky against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains, to rural cities where crickets sing in miles of alfalfa fields. This diverse state is known for its agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.
There is also diversity in what a teacher can expect to earn from one district to the next as teacher salaries vary across the state. Here are two examples:
- Entry: $ 34,855
- Experienced: $ 37,448
- Entry: $31,750
- Experienced: $33,596
What is most striking about the Nampa school district is the step salary schedule. For instance if you’re an English teacher with the requisite bachelor’s degree, the schedule doesn’t indicate an increase for the 13 year steps on the schedule. The salary remains at $31,750 for thirteen years. It is only with a master’s plus 36 units will you realize your full salary potential of $54,216 at the thirteen-year mark.
Taking this same district as our example, there are other possible ways to earn money throughout the year. For instance, the school pays a stipend of up to $1,691 for the yearbook advisor. They offer most athletic coaches additional money as well. The drama coach, who is often also an English teacher, can earn up to an additional $3,141.
Boise on the other hand increases the pay in the second year for the teacher with a bachelor’s degree. They will earn $35,112 in year two and by year five they will be up to $36,393. The teacher with a master’s degree plus 30 units will eventually earn $64,242 after seventeen years of teaching.
For additional teacher salary information across Idaho’s cities see the chart below: