In 2014 Vermont began to lobby to restructure their school districts. The proposed benefits behind the legislation — saving money and offering a better experience for students — translates into a greater expectation of student’s learning. Employers have been concerned about the level of education students have when they exit school. Because many lower paying jobs have gone to other countries, lawmakers want to up-the-bar for the future by requiring that Vermont students gain more sophisticated skill sets in order to qualify for employment when they graduate.
As a candidate for teaching English in Vermont, you will play an important role by ensuring that your students have the proper reading and writing skills. These skills are likely going to be some of the most important ones they gain in school. If you are considering a career as an English teacher, the general steps to licensing are laid out for you below:
|Complete a Degree|
|Take the Exams|
|Apply for Your License|
|Renew or Upgrade Your License|
Step 1. Complete a Degree
For many students seeking to become English teachers in Vermont, the direct route is earning a bachelor’s degree with a complementary teaching program. These types of programs are popular because they will offer the required amount of education needed to enter the teaching field. The work that you will encounter in these programs will consist of general education courses, a broad range of English courses, and specific teacher training.
These teaching programs typically include about 128 semester units of coursework. All the courses are divided by upper and lower-division. Freshman and sophomore years comprise your lower-division courses, and junior and senior years are your upper- division. They also provide a student teaching portion that will train you in the daily responsibilities of teaching as well as actual in-class experience. The state of Vermont requires that you have twelve (consecutive) weeks of student teaching in class.
If you plan to teach secondary students, you will encounter more core classes in English than if you were focusing on Elementary students. Secondary school teachers will have to have more English courses because they will teach a variety of classes in this core subject throughout the day. Elementary teachers will have a contained classroom where students typically stay all day. This will require you to have the ability to teach a wider scope of subjects.
For students who already hold a degree but have not satisfied the teacher preparation requirement, the Peer Review alternative education approach may be a good path for you. There is a requirement for all Peer Review candidates to satisfy the sixteen Principles for Vermont Educators, as well as the endorsement competencies and requisites. You can satisfy these requirements through previous training, experience, education, and any additional courses that will need to be taken in order to prepare you to teach.
The process to apply for the Peer Review is as follows:
- Send in a completed application to the Peer Review and pay the required costs
- Sign up for and complete the Peer Review clinic
- Construct and present your portfolio
- Complete the evaluation
- Finish the process with a final review
Step 2. Take the Exams
The next step in this process is state required exams. English teacher candidates in Vermont will need to pass the PRAXIS exams. You will have a series of tests that will demonstrate your level of educational proficiency. The exams required are as follows:
- Praxis Core Skills Exam: The first test is separated into three subjects: writing, mathematics, and reading skills.
- PRAXIS II: The next tests are content and grade specific proficiency testing. These test include:
- English and Language Arts content test number 5039 (secondary school teachers only).
- Elementary Education tests 5001-5005 (for elementary teachers only).
- Middle School English Language Arts test number 5047 (middle school teachers only).
- Reading Language Arts Specialist test number 5301 (all grades if you plan on becoming a specialist in reading and/or English).
When you are ready for the tests you may register online. Here is the registration process:
- Review the Praxis policy information
- Confirm the tests that you need to take for your grade level
- Create a Praxis online account
- Register for the tests
- Print out your test ticket and take this with you when you go to your testing appointment
Step 3. Apply for Your License
Now that you have passed your tests, you are ready to finalize the process. English teachers in Vermont will apply for the Initial License for their first teaching certification.
You will want to add your English endorsement to your application if you are applying to teach secondary school. If you are applying for elementary school, you will request the elementary endorsement. These endorsements are required so that you will be licensed to teach your specific content and grade. The endorsement code’s initial digit shows the level of school you are authorized to teach. The last digit is your content code for English.
After you fill out your application you will mail the following:
- All requested documents
- The application fee
- A request allowing a background check
- Fingerprints (read here for instructions)
Send all information to:
Office of Educator Licensing
219 North Main Street
Barre, Vermont 05641
Step 4. Renew or Upgrade Your License
Once you have your Initial license and are ready to renew. You will have the opportunity to seek different levels of state licensing during your career. Each level will have certain requisites that Vermont’s Department of Education requires.
This is a three-year license that will take at minimum 45 hours continuing education (past your initial degree). You will need to renew your license through your Local Standards Board
This is a seven-year license that requires the following:
- Receive an official recommendation from one of the following:
- Agency of Education
- Regional Standards Board
- Local Standards Board
- Have been employed as an English teacher for minimum of three years
- Completed all the requisites of level one
- Develop and complete an Individual Professional Learning Plan (IPLP
Level Two- Renewal
When you have acquired a level two license you will have meet the following requirements to renew it:
- Create your development and assessment portfolio
- Complete 135 hours continued education
- Create an Individual Professional Learning Plan (IPLP)
Vermont English Teacher Salaries
Vermont is one of the smallest states in the country. It has long been known as the Green Mountain state where bears, raccoon, moose and other wild animals still roam freely. The beauty of the state draws many visitors and residents alike each year to explore the outdoor wonders. If you plan to live and teach in Vermont, you can expect to average an annual salary of $51,378. Not all schools will have a base salary equal to that, however.
For instance, an English teacher in the Colchester Vermont School District will start with an annual base salary of at least $41,145. Each year the step increase is about 11% to 13%. There are other ways to increase it though. For example, if a teacher is appointed as a team leader they will be paid an additional increment of 8.12% of the current year base salary. On top of that, if they work more hours than they are contracted, they will be paid an hourly rate of $35.00 an hour.
In the Hartford school district the base salary is $36,094. They also allow for stipends for leadership positions. Teachers can earn an additional 13.9% of their base salary if they are designated as the department head. They will also receive an additional $50 for each member in their department under certain class and load requisites. This additional funding is subject to change however if local funding isn’t available to support it.
Taking on additional roles of leadership is a common way for teachers to add more income to their annual salary. There are other kinds of work that teachers partake in that will help boost their income as well.
Many teachers will take on coaching positions for instance. These positions usually pay a stipend of several thousand dollars. English teachers will often become the head of the journalism department and create the school newspaper. They may also become the drama coach. Both of these positions may pay the English teacher an extra stipend for after school hours. There are a lot of possibilities especially as each school has its own unique needs and opportunities.
To see more teacher salary information for other cities around Vermont please see the table here: