How to Become a Teacher in Virginia

Virginia is somewhat unusual in that most state private schools require licensure for teachers, as well as all public schools. Getting licensed and certified to teach means that you have not only the skills and knowledge but the sheer dedication it takes to excel in this challenging but important career.

Teachers must undergo a fairly strict regimen of education, experience and testing in order to receive their licenses, but they then get the privilege and responsibility of guiding young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. Learn about becoming a teacher in Virginia, the requirements for certification and the responsibilities to maintain your status in the state.

Virginia Teacher Certification Requirements

Virginia Teacher Certification Types

Virginia, like many other states, has a multi-tiered system for certification. The initial license is the Collegiate Professional level, which is followed by a Postgraduate Professional license.

Virginia Teacher Education

To receive your collegiate license you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree with a teacher prep program from an approved accredited institute of higher learning.

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Master’s Degree Program

To qualify for a Postgraduate Professional level licensing, you’ll need to achieve a Master’s in teaching or education.

Virginia Teacher Certification Exam

Virginia requires several examinations. These include the VCLA, or Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, the Praxis subject exam for your chosen area, and for those seeking elementary or special ed. certifications, the Reading Assessment exam.

Teacher Experience

You’ll student teach as part of your teacher’s prep or Master’s degree program.

Background Check

Fingerprint and criminal checks are required to apply for teacher licensing in Virginia.

Alternative Certification and Other Requirements

  • Virginia Alternative Teacher Certification: Virginia offers technical professional licensure and a career-change alternate route to licensing. Both require specific educational requirements and it may be possible to obtain a provisional license while pursuing full certification.
  • Teacher Certification Renewal: Both the Collegiate and Postgraduate certifications are good for five years, and are renewable with 180 credits of professional development.
  • Virginia Substitute Teaching: Virginia substitute teachers don’t have to be licensed, but must have at least a GED or high school diploma and must attend school orientations to become acquainted with policies and procedures. A sub can only work 90 consecutive school days per teacher that is vacant.
  • Reciprocity: Virginia does offer reciprocity for out-of-state candidates, provided that they meet the same standards the state requires for its own teachers.

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Virginia Teacher Certification

What Does a Teacher Do in Virginia?

Teachers have to guide and prepare students for life after school. This means not only educating them on the academic skills they’ll need but guiding them in terms of interpersonal and life skills as well. They must prepare and deliver content both through presentations and activities. They must grade papers, tests, and assignments and assess student progress.

Teachers also must stage interventions when needed for students experiencing problems, be it behavioral, emotional, trauma-based, or for any other reason. They must have outstanding communication skills to attend meetings and discuss issues with parents and administration. Above all, they need compassion, sensitivity, and dedication to what they do.

Virginia Teacher Salary

Virginia is expected to see a very solid 11.4% growth in the teaching field by 2024, which makes this an attractive state in which to teach. The BLS estimates that teachers in this state pull down an average salary every year of around $63,330.

Virginia Teacher Certification Links

Teacher Certification Programs in Virginia

Teacher Certification Programs in Virginia

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Becoming a teacher is an important decision that requires commitment, dedication, and passion. Teacher certification requirements vary by state. However, there are a number qualifications that every state requires to teach at the public school level. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!