In 2014, the Nevada Board of Education adopted the Smarter Balanced Assessment testing in order to gauge how well students are doing on core curriculum, including English Language Arts. This new testing criteria will create a higher set of goals for student achievement than in the past. Politicians want to be certain that Nevada’s future citizens are well prepared once they leave school.
Becoming an English Language Arts teacher in Nevada will allow you to participate in shaping the future citizens of Nevada. The part you play in a student’s education will be a lasting gift as they go into careers in the future. Learning strong English Language Arts skills is a critical component of all the rest of a student’s education. To start on this path, you will find a basic list of steps to becoming an English Language Arts teacher in Nevada:
|Complete Your Education|
|Pass Teaching Exams|
|Apply for a Teaching License|
|Renew Your License and Continue Your Education|
Step 1. Complete Your Education
In order to teach in Nevada, you will need to meet certain educational goals, which includes a bachelor’s degree (minimum requirement) and specific coursework based on the grade level you plan to teach. For instance if you plan on becoming an elementary school teacher, you will need to accomplish the following:
Complete a preparation program for teaching elementary grades that includes 50 semester hours in elementary education broken down in the following categories:
- 8 hours in supervised student teaching grades K-8
- 9 hours- methods of teaching elementary level subjects (math, science, social studies)
- 9 hours in methods of literacy or language arts
- 3 hours adaptive education
- 3 hours in classroom educational subjects such as technology, childhood development, and how to manage a classroom
- 18 hours of credit as follows:
- 6 hours in general mathematics
- 6 hours in general science
- 6 hours in social studies
As you can see, elementary school teachers will spend a great deal of time studying in a broad number of subjects. There are specific course requirements for middle school and pre-K through 2nd grade as well. The most concentrated English courses will be required if you plan to become a secondary school teacher. If this level is your goal, you will need to take the following:
- 36 units in English as a major
- 24 units in English as a minor (with specific courses in subjects such as advanced composition, literature, and speech)
There are designated schools in Nevada that offer accredited teaching programs. It’s important that the program you choose is accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
Step 2. Pass Teaching Exams
Every state has a certain testing requirement that proves a teaching candidate is ready for their new career. These tests are created so that you will show your competency in basic topics such as math and writing as well as grade-specific English Language Arts. There are two kinds of testing: Nevada state-mandated testing and Praxis competency testing.
The Nevada State mandated tests are: Nevada School Law, Nevada Constitution, and U.S. Constitution. You will need to receive a 70% or better passing score on each of these tests. More information is available at the Department of Education website.
The second series of tests are the Praxis competency exams and subject area exams. These tests will show that you have achieved basic competency in writing, math and English as well as grade-level appropriate training.
To apply for the Praxis exams, go to the ETS Praxis website and create a new account. From here you will be able to apply for your testing times and dates, change a test date, and request your scores.
Step 3. Apply for a Teaching License
The final step in the process is applying for your state license. You will take this step once you have completed all the above requisites. Nevada breaks its teacher licensing into three grade-specific categories:
- Early childhood education
- Elementary education
- Secondary education
Each license has certain educational requirements as mentioned in step one — beyond that differentiation, the steps to licensing in Nevada are similar for each grade level. The general requirements are:
- Complete the Initial License application
- Supply your official college transcripts on Srip-Safe paper (or equivalent). Please note that your transcripts do not have to be provided in a sealed envelope.
- Complete a fingerprint card
- Complete a verification of Teaching Experience form
- Complete a verification of Work Experience form
- Send an original copy of your competency test scores
- Complete a TB test within 12 months of licensing and have your healthcare provider sign the form. The test must come back negative
- Pay the application fee ($161 as of 2014)
Your application includes statements that must be attested to before a Notary Public. It will then need to have the notary seal affixed to it.
Your new license will be sent to your email address that you supplied on the application. You can also go to the Nevada Education website and look up your license.
Step 4. Renew Your License and Continue Your Education
All licenses expire on the holder’s date of birth in the expiration year. Prior to that time, you will need to complete 6 professional development credits in order to renew. These credits can be from an accredited college at the undergraduate or above level. The renewal application may be submitted as early as nine months before the license expires.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree, your license will be valid for five years. For master’s degrees, you will need to renew every six years.
Nevada English Teacher Salaries
In recent years there has been a great deal of interest in offering teachers merit pay incentives. In 2012 Nevada legislatures released a report about the use of merit pay—or Teacher-Pay-For-Performance-Plan— in Nevada that is still being worked out. To date, the salary for a teacher in Nevada is primarily driven by time on the job and amount of education—similar to many other industries.
As an example, a first-year English teacher in the Clark County School District will receive $34,684 if they graduate with a BA. The same teacher could increase their annual pay by a considerable amount if they decide to further their education. If the English teacher earned a Master’s degree, Clark County pays $40,276 and for a doctorate, the same teacher would earn $49,154.
The earning potential that a teacher receives in the first year is then extended over time and can make a significant difference over one’s career. Not only will the teacher with the master’s or PhD continue to earn a higher amount, they may also be entitled to other salary increases.
The Douglas County School District pays an honorarium to a teacher who has gone on to earn a Ph.D. They receive an additional $1,000 each year added to their step pay. The salary the teacher with a Ph.D in Doulas County is $45,577 in. Here are two other comparative salary ranges in Nevada schools:
Nevada Joint Union High School District
- $43,650 to $48017
Lander County School District
- $36,281 to $43,537
For other teacher salary information for cities throughout Nevada see the table here: