In the fall of 2014, for the first time, Wyoming Department of Education hosted a Language Arts Teachers’ Conference focused on the importance of reading and literacy. It has long been discussed how learning to read a foundational skill needed to support all other courses in education. This conference seemed to be a first step in show of support to the language arts programs across the state.
If you are considering a new career teaching English in Wyoming public schools, you will be on the forefront of giving students what they need to succeed in education. Without the ability to read and write, a student has little chance of doing well in any other subject. To become a licensed English teacher in Wyoming start by following these basic steps:
|Complete Your Wyoming Teacher Education|
|Pass Wyoming Teaching Exams|
|Apply for a Wyoming Teaching License|
|Renewal of First Wyoming License|
Step 1. Complete Teacher Your Education
You will have to consider the time and effort you want to put into your own education as you plan how you will earn your teaching license. While you may decide that a four-year undergraduate degree is the program for you, a master’s degree may also be a good choice as well. Each program will get you ready to become a teacher and give you the skills you need to teach in Wyoming schools.
Taking the undergraduate program will generally last about four or five years of full-time study and a master’s program will add an additional year on to that. Any school(s) program you apply to must be accredited by the NCATE in order to qualify for the state license.
English Teacher Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate program will consist of approximately 122-128 semester units of study. These units will be comprised of all your general coursework, core classes, and your pedagogy. You will complete your degree with an internship at the end. The nature of your classes will depend on the grade of your students.
If you teach elementary students, your education will remain more general in nature. If you teach secondary students, you will have a greater concentration in the English Language arts.
In your teacher education program, training will be similar for both elementary and secondary teachers. You will learn how to create lessons and maintain classroom control. You will also discover how students learn, how they think, and how they develop.
English Teacher Master’s Program
The master’s degree will expand on what you have already learned. It will be comprised of an additional focused set of courses in your major. These courses will go into greater depth and break down each category. For instance, a broad category of literature may be segmented into Eastern European Literature of the 15th Century.
The master’s degree will also require a master’s thesis at the end of the program. The number of units that will be required will depend on your school, but it is typically about 33-36 semester units.
Special Coursework Requirements
One of the special coursework requirements in Wyoming is knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. The course you take must cover U.S. history prior to 1865. It has to include a study of the U.S. Constitution. Political science courses could count if they include study of the Constitution. You will need to have a grade “C” or higher in this course.
Step 2. Pass Wyoming Teaching Exams
The next phase of credentialing is passing state exams. The Wyoming state exams are administered by PRAXIS. These exams are segmented in two ways: by grade level and by subject. As an English Language Arts educator you will need to look through the list and find your appropriate grade and subject and match each one up with the other.
Here is the general registration process:
- Sign up for an online account
- Determine the tests you need to take
- Study for your test utilizing the available material
- Chose your testing date
- Pay your fee and take the test
Step 3. Apply for a Wyoming Teaching License
You are now in the final phase of your licensing process and are ready to apply for state licensure. The processing times for state licensing will vary throughout the year. You can check the current processing times by selecting the hourglass icon on the PTSB page. Each step will take time to complete so it is a good idea to complete each process as soon as possible.
Gather all of your support material such as your school documents, transcripts, internships, letters, etc. Have your transcripts sent directly to you so that you can mail them with your application.
Fingerprinting- You will need to provide fingerprints on two original blue fingerprint cards issued by the FBI. Your fingerprint card can only be completed in black ink. They will not accept any other color of ink. You also must not staple, fold, smudge, or damage the card in any manner or it will be rejected.
Submit your testing results.
Submit the full application with the above items and the processing fee to the following:
Professional Teaching Standards Board
1920 Thomes Avenue, Suite 400
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Step 4. Renewal of First Wyoming License
Your initial license will remain in effect for five years at which time it will be ready to renew. You will need to complete five Professional Teacher Standard Board Units in order to qualify for renewal. These professional development units count as a type of continuing education credit in Wyoming for English teachers. The general procedure for renewing your English teacher license online is as follows:
- Go online to begin the renewal process
- Print the renewal instructions
- Create a user profile and sign in
- Select Professional Teacher Standard Board from the drop down menu
- Under the license selection choose the license you are renewing
- You are now ready to proceed with the application renewal and questionnaire
Wyoming English Teacher Salaries
Teachers in Wyoming will earn different salaries depending on each district’s negotiated contracts. On average, teachers make $49,900 a year throughout the state. As schools try to attract the best teachers in Wyoming they realize they also need to increase teacher salaries. This often means teachers who have invested the most time in their own education will be rewarded with a higher salary.
A teacher in the Fremont School District, for instance, will earn an entry-level salary that is based on his degree at the time of hire. So for instance if a new teacher with zero years of experience and a B.A. is hired as an English teacher, he would make $43,400 in year one. If he had an M.A. plus an additional 45 units he would earn $51,400. He could increase his pay by taking on extra duty activities throughout the year as well.
The district pays 6.75% of a teacher’s salary to produce the spring drama production. They also give teachers stipends of up to 13.5% to coach the debate team each year. This could be a substantial boost to a teacher’s annual income. They also pay for advisory positions as well as participating in the school honor societies.
In Big Horn this same teacher would start out at $44,795 with a B.A, and if he had gone on to earn an M.A. along with 30 additional units he would make $51,395 a year. The Big Horn schools also have additional stipends for extracurricular duties as well. Here are a few more comparisons:
- BA: $46,00
- M.A. +45: $54,400
- BA: $43,362
- M.A. +45: $51,536