History can be a fascinating subject for many high school students as they learn about the world around them. If you'd like to learn how to become a Virginia high school history teacher, we can provide you with the requirements.
Requirements for Virginia High School History Teachers
|Average Salary for High School Teachers in Virginia (2019)*||$69,070|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Testing Requirements||Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) subtests Reading (091) AND Writing (092), AND Praxis Social Studies: Content Knowledge (5081)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
Along with a bachelor's degree in history or social science and history, you'll need to complete a teacher preparation program. Many Virginia colleges and universities provide 1-year certificate or post-graduate master's in teaching programs. These will allow you to take all the knowledge you learned in your history program and apply it to a high school classroom for students. These programs will include the essential skills need to become a high school teacher, including curriculum building, teaching techniques, and adolescent development. You'll also get involved with student teaching, putting into practice these skills. Sometimes, these courses are included with a bachelor's degree program or with a 4+1 program. For history, you'll likely study topics on American history, world history, ancient history, and geography.
Step 2: Complete Required Exams
The first exam to take toward licensure is the Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA). This exam is broken down into two subtests: one on reading and one on writing. These subtests can be taken together or separately. Both tests include 40 multiple-choice questions, but the writing exam includes two essays and four short-answer questions. You must score 235 or higher on each subtest, or 470 on both. To take a single subtest, the cost is $40; to take both, it is $80.
You'll also need to take a Praxis content knowledge exam to become a high school history teacher. This exam is called the Social Studies: Content Knowledge exam. You'll have two hours to complete the 130 selected-response questions. These questions look at six areas: U.S. history, world history, government, geography, economics, and behavioral science. In order for this to count toward your requirements, you must score 161 or higher.
Step 3: Complete Other Required Training
Along with transcripts and exam scores, you'll also need to submit proof of training in other areas. As of 2017, Virginia now requires all teachers to be trained in CPR, AED and first aid. This training can be completed through any number of CPR-training organizations, such as the Red Cross. You must prove certification.
In 2017, a dyslexia training program was added to teachers' requirements as well. This exam must be taken prior to applying. It can be completed online for free through the Virginia DOE website. This module helps provide dyslexia awareness training.
Finally, you'll also need to complete the Virginia Department of Social Services training program on child abuse and neglect recognition. This is essential to provide awareness training for all teachers so that they can protect the students outside of the home. This webinar can be completed for free online as well.
Certification Resources for Virginia High School History Teachers
Along with the VCLA, you'll need to take the Praxis history exam. Be sure to study up using the below resources.
- Prepare for the Praxis Exam
- Virginia Communication & Literacy Assessment (VCLA): Practice & Study Guide
- Praxis Social Studies - Content Knowledge (5081): Study Guide & Practice