Requirements for Middle Grade Teachers After July 1, 1997
Since July 1, 1997 the requirements for teaching at the middle grades are 18 semester hours of credit in the subject matter area of major teaching assignment (e.g., language arts, mathematics, general science, social science, music); in some cases the 18 semester hours requires a specific distribution of coursework. In most cases the 18 semester hours have no distribution requirement in the subject area. There are some middle grades endorsements that require more than 18 hours in the content area, such as reading teacher (24 hours with a distribution) and library information specialist (24 hours).
Where a teacher is assigned to deliver instruction in two areas (e.g., language arts and social science, or mathematics and science), the teacher shall meet the 18 semester hours in one area and have at least 9 semester hours of coursework in the other instructional area.
For any middle grades endorsement, the middle grade teacher must also complete the following courses. This is in addition to the content area course requirements. Once taken, these middle grades courses can be used for any additional middle grades endorsements when combined with the appropriate content area coursework:
These two middle grades courses must be completed at senior level institutions, not at community colleges. Please contact the university's education department for appropriate courses to meet these requirements.
- 3 semester hours of coursework in middle school philosophy, curriculum and instructional methods for designing and teaching developmentally appropriate programs in the middle grades, including content area reading instruction, and
- 3 semester hours of coursework in educational psychology focusing on the developmental characteristics of early adolescents and the role of the middle grade teacher in assessment, coordination and referral of students to health and social services.
For teachers certified before July 1, 1997, it is State Board policy:
- that persons with upper elementary/junior high school endorsements or qualifications before July 1, 1997, qualify to teach the same areas in middle grades without meeting new middle grades course requirements
- that persons with an elementary or high school certificate issued before July 1, 1997, need only a single course to teach in a minor assignment area, provided that course was taken before July 1, 1997
- that persons meeting requirements for a new area after July 1, 1997, must meet the requirements for middle grades, including persons completing qualifications for minor assignments after July 1, 1997, when 9 semester hours and the middle grades courses are required