As a potential new educator in Maine, you will want to familiarize yourself with the new state standards for teaching English Language Arts. The Standards that have been implemented are based on several criteria including researched evidence over a period of time showing what works in teaching; aligning curricula with college and work expectations, and finally that learning is global in focus. These standards were included when it was determined that each was essential to preparing a student for college and career readiness. All curriculums must be relevant to our new global and competitive society.
As a new language arts teacher in Maine, these standards will be implemented in various ways depending on the grade level you teach. One thing is certain for all teachers, as the expectations for teaching are raised, teachers will want to enter the job market well prepared. If you are considering a career in teaching, below is an outline of the steps it takes to become a teacher in Maine in the twenty-first century:
|Choose Your Educational Program|
|Pass Maine’s State Exams|
|Apply for Maine Teaching Certification|
|Renew Your Teaching Certificate|
Step 1. Choose Your Educational Program
The best way for you to become a successful educator is to start out well prepared with your own education. Maine colleges offer many programs that will allow you to gain the skills you need to become a teacher. Many of these programs follow the basic format of an undergraduate degree that has a teaching preparation section.
These bachelor degrees will typically be broken down with courses that teach the following during your teacher preparation section:
- Children’s Literature
- How Children Learn
- Childhood Education
- Innovation in Education
- Multi and Intercultural Education
- Childhood Psychology
- Designing Curriculum
- Methods and Practices
- Social Development
- Student Teaching
Not only will you be armed with the best practices and methods of teaching at your grade level, you will also come away with a well-rounded general education. The programs are typically considered to be four to five years in length.
For students who want to seek a master’s degree, there are several options available. One such option is seeking a M.Ed. degree (Elementary Education and Secondary Education). This degree is for anyone who wants to teach elementary grades through high school. The M.Ed. program typically requires a minimum of 33 credits beyond the undergraduate degree.
It has been noted that many of those teaching in Maine went through alternative means to gain a teaching certificate. If you currently hold a degree and have decided to become a teacher, you may be a good candidate for the alternative route.
Your degree must have been obtained from an approved college or university. You will be evaluated for appropriate content for the courses you took. You will also be required to take the state exams (see below).
If you feel you are a candidate for this path, you can apply for a conditional license. As a holder of a conditional license, you will want to be aware of one important caveat. The school district you seek to teach in must have tried to hire a regularly licensed teacher and was unsuccessful.
If the conditional license approach is appropriate for you, you will still need to complete all the required elements of a full teaching license and at the same time function in your teaching job.
Step 2. Pass Maine’s State Exams
Each educator candidate in Maine will undergo a series of Praxis exams that test both your basic educational skills and your core competencies as well. The basic tests are divided into three sections. Each section is allotted a certain amount of time for completion and has a required fee for each attempt.
Along with the basic skills tests you will need to apply for one of the following (depending on your grade level of teaching):
- Early Childhood Test 5024
- Elementary Education Grades K-3: Tests 5024, 5621
- General Elementary K–8: 5001, 5002,5014, 5622 (grades K-6 only)
- Middle School English Language Arts: Test 5047
- Secondary Education: Test 5038
If you are ready to apply to take your exams, you will first need to create a profile on the Praxis website. Form here you can apply for your testing dates, pay your fees, and request your scores.
Step 3. Apply for Maine Teaching Certification
When you have passed the exams, you can send in your certificate application. There are five basic steps required for certification in Maine:
- Fill out an application.
- Include your college transcripts. These must be official and no copies are permitted. Your social security and GPA must show on the transcripts.
- Pay the fee.
- Include a copy of your state exam scores.
- Have your fingerprints taken (before receiving your certificate, you will need to have a set of fingerprints on file).
Your first certification is considered temporary and will need to be renewed at the one-year mark. It will be renewable for three years.
Step 4. Renew Your Teaching Certificate
In order to renew your teaching certificate in Maine you will need to have the recommendation and a signature of your supervisor on the backside of your application. Be sure and complete the following as well:
- Submit your complete application
- Pay the appropriate non-refundable fee
- Obtain six renewal credits
Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to renew your certificate. There are two possible choices for you to renew depending on where you are in the certification process:
- Renew One-Year Certificate– If you hold a one-year certificate choose this selection to renew your certification
- Renew Full Certificate– If you hold a provisional certificate, you should choose this selection to renew.
Maine English Teacher Salaries
Maine holds the unique bragging rights to being the furthest eastern point in the United States. West Quoddy Head, Maine is a state park and lighthouse at the farthest end of the U.S. and serves as a northeastern boundary. This picturesque park is iconic for Maine’s beautiful Atlantic Ocean scenery. If you plan to teach in Maine, you will have the opportunity to live in areas of rugged coastlines known worldwide for it’s lobster, as well as in dense forested areas where sweet Maine blueberries abound.
Teachers in Maine schools will earn salaries that are structured according to the local counties negotiated contracts and will reflect that districts policy. For instance, in Portland Maine, they do not offer a higher salary to teachers who hold advanced degrees as many schools do. Teachers will earn a raise at the four-year mark. They will then earn a raise each year as long as they have met the professional development requirements. The maximum teacher salary is $81,579. In contrast to that, for example, is the Bangor Maine school district. An English teacher in Bangor, Maine will earn $34,247 with a BA. In five years that same English teacher will earn $42,999 if he received an MA.
As you can see, not all the school districts in Maine are equal when it comes to salary schedules. They also have additional money available for other types of activities that can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a teacher salary each year. For instance, in Bangor, the following stipends are available and could increase a teaching salary:
- Honor Society – $685
- School Council – $1,027
- Advisor – $342
- Yearbook – $685
- Mentoring – $1,000
- Speech- Three Act Play – $2,055
To see other city and county salary data across Maine refer to the table below: