A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.
The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Virginia for the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education(see page 157). Lists of subject area shortages are determined by individual school districts which consider factors such as the number of teacher vacancies and applicant-to-vacancy ratios in assessing whether there is a shortage. Shortage determinations are then sent to the U.S. Department of Education, which compiles an annual nationwide listing.
Career & Technical Education
Health & Physical Education
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Virginia
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 11/1/2016.
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Virginia, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Step Four: Submit a Virginia teaching credential application.
Continue below for more information.
Earn Your Virginia Teaching Credential
Virginia provides several routes to licensure, including college and university programs approved by the Board of Education, reciprocity for educators licensed by other states and alternative routes for qualified candidates. Contact the Virginia Department of Education for more information or go to Teach.com’s credentialing page.
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Virginia
Teacher education programs in Virginia are a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The coursework often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, teaching methodology and preparing students to research, design and implement learning techniques in their field of study. Fieldwork includes student teaching, observing classrooms or completing an internship.
All states, including Virginia, require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to receive teacher certification. Virginia does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, although it does specify the skills it wants teachers in every area or subject to master. The state does require 300-375 clock hours of field experiences, including 150 or more hours of supervised student teaching, depending on your specialization.
Every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Virginia Department of Education’s licensure pagefor more information. Visit Teach.com to learn more about additional requirements regarding Virginia teacher preparation programs.
Step Two: Virginia Teacher Certification Programs
Teachers in Virginia are required to complete an accredited teacher education program from a college or university. A list of state-approved college and university teacher preparation programs can be found at the Virginia Department of Education’s list of Approved Educator Preparation Programs.
Step Three: Required Tests for Virginia
In Virginia, teachers must pass a Basic Skills Test requirement and also Subject Area Competence assessments related to their teaching specialty area.
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Alternative Certification in Virginia
People who wish to teach in Virginia, and who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university other than an education degree and who have not earned a teaching certificate, can earn an alternative teaching certificate as long as they satisfy the state’s requirements. One route is the Virginia Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program.
One of the primary benefits of having a master’s degree in education is a higher salary. Teachers with master’s degrees are also more likely to be offered positions in education that advance their careers. Contact the Department of Education for more information about the benefits of a Master’s in Education Degree in Virginia.
In 2015, Virginia teachers earned an average yearly salary of $54,486, according to the Virginia Department of Education’s Workforce Data and Reports page. In Virginia, teachers’ salaries and benefits are determined by each teacher’s experience and qualifications. Virginia teachers can also benefit from some of the additional incentives that are offered, which include scholarships, loans and tuition assistance programs.
Teachers in the state of Virginia are required to become members of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), a system for all state employees. As a member of VRS teachers are eligible to retire with full benefits at age 65 as long as they have worked a minimum of five years, and at any age if their age and years of service total at least 90. They can also receive reduced benefits if they retire at 60 with a minimum of five years service. More information about retirement options, qualifications and benefits are available through the VRS website.
An online list of professional development opportunities is available on the Virginia Department of Education website. Opportunities include archived webinars (online seminars) and educational technology programs. Teachers interested in professional development can find additional resources and programs through the U.S. Department of Education’s online Teacher-to-Teacher workshops and Virginia’s curriculum enhancement program, Community of Learning.
Job seekers can find job listings and resources, information about education job recruitment fairs and school district or division websites at the VDOE Another resource is TeachVirginia,an online teaching job bank, which provides information and resources about licensure, critical shortage areas, switching careers and special education.