Teaching in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a popular destination for hunters and fishermen—as well as for history buffs, given the state’s role in the Revolutionary and Civil wars and its long Colonial history. Historic landmarks and museums can be found throughout the state. For those looking to start a career in teaching, Pennsylvania also provides a rich and livable setting in a family-friendly environment. While the current educational climate has its challenges, lawmakers and legislators are taking action to ensure that Pennsylvania’s students continue to receive an excellent education.The Pennsylvania State Board of Education is also working toward implementing Pennsylvania Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics by mid-2013. As a result, teachers at all grade levels will have new standards as to what topics are to be taught and mastered. The CCSS is a state-led alternate to the No Child Left Behind Act, which gives states more flexibility in how students achievement is measured; so far, 45 states have adopted CCSS standards. Pennsylvania is already taking steps toward developing more state-specific measurements of student progress, including making its Keystone Exams a requirement for high-school graduation. These changes would require students graduating in 2017 to show proficiency in algebra I, biology and literature; by 2020, graduates would also be required to show proficiency in composition, civics, and government. The state also plans to develop five additional Keystone Exams for voluntary use in the subjects of geometry, chemistry, algebra II, U.S. and world history. All these measures, as well as others still in the preliminary stages of development, are evidences of Pennsylvania’s ongoing commitment to quality education—and for the need for teachers who are qualified in these subject areas.Before a potential teacher can be hired in Pennsylvania, he or she must first earn teacher certification in the state. The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Certification Services requires candidates to complete a bachelor’s degree program, with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and usually from a state-approved teacher certification preparation program. In addition, all candidates for certification must pass Praxis I Basic Skills Exams in reading, writing, and mathematics. For more detailed information about certification requirements in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania teaching certification website.
- Educational Environment in Pennsylvania
- Career Outlook in Pennsylvania
- What are the benefits of teaching in Pennsylvania?
- How do I become a teacher in Pennsylvania?
- Find schools offering Masters in Education programs in Pennsylvania
Educational Environment in PennsylvaniaIn May 2012, Pennsylvania was awarded a $36.1 million federal grant to strength literacy programs statewide. The Keystone to Opportunity grant program supports literacy outcomes for all children from kindergarten through 12th grade, including disadvantaged students, limited English-proficiency students and students with disabilities. To that end, 95 percent of the grant moneys are being funneled to local districts.
Teaching salaries in PennsylvaniaThe median annual wages for Pennsylvania teachers are as follows:
- Elementary: $53,370
- Middle School: $59,980
- High School: $56,660